Isolated exercises are exercises that involve only one joint (which is why they are also called single joint exercises), in isolation from or with only minor participation of other muscles. As these exercises help you work on details, they can be very beneficial. 

Next to isolated exercises, there are also compound exercises, which involve cooperation of at least two joints. The best effects are achieved when these two are combined. Training plans should be elaborated in such a way as to make isolated exercises supplement compound exercises, which should be the core element of the workout.

What is the role of isolated exercises?

  1. A way to master the technique Isolated exercises allow you to perfectly focus on the muscle you are building up and involve all your power in this very group, paying attention to the slightest details of each movement. As a result, your workout is more effective and less injury-causing.
  2. A perfect way to start the training session Isolated exercises are done to induce preliminary fatigue of a big and strong muscle group, which are trained later during the workout mainly based on multi-joint movements.
  3. If used at the end of the training session, in turn, isolated exercises lay foundations for the next, much more intense workout.
  4. A good thing to try if you are injured Isolated exercises help you precisely adjust the load to individual muscle head pairs, as a result of which you can train even with injury of the specific muscle group. In this way the recovery and regeneration take less time.
  5. Additionally, isolated exercises facilitate the development of muscles which cannot be effectively pumped up with multi-joint exercises or are technically difficult to train.
  6. If you are a beginner:
    In this phase you want to quickly build as much muscle mass as possible. Focus on compound exercises, as they will get you the most benefits in relation to the time you need to spend doing them. You can consider introducing one isolated exercise into your training, i.e. standing barbell forearm curls. The main beneficiary of this exercise will be the biceps.  There is no need to do separate biceps exercises at this stage.
  7. If you have little time to work out, choose compound exercises. If you want to train the entire body, you would have to spend countless hours in the gym doing isolated exercises, while 3-4 properly selected compound exercises will do the job, giving you a perfect muscle stimulation and saving your time.
  8. If you have no plans to participate in bodybuilding competition. You can give up isolated exercises if you do a sport which does not require proportional muscles.
  9. Standing Barbell Arm Curls This exercise should be among the very first isolated exercises incorporated into a workout routine
  10. Seated or Standing Calf Raises The primary (main) exercises may not stimulate your calves enough, wherefore certain disproportions in the shape of both legs can occur after some time.

When are isolated exercises waste of time?

There is a certain hierarchy of importance of individual isolated exercises

When it comes to isolation exercises, there are many that are for it, and many that are against it too. Moreover, some will say that it is best to do certain types of isolating muscle exercises in order to enhance the overall workout routine, but when is it good and when actually is it a waste of time? For that reason, we are going to go deeper into this question, within our article topic today, so if you are a beginner or even a long-time workout enthusiast and just want to learn more we encourage you to read on to find our best answer, let’s get to it!

When it comes to exercise and doing work out routines, we all want to get the best workout to improve our overall body, and health. However, there are times that doing just isolating muscle exercises, could defeat our overall progress. That being said, in answer to our question mentioned earlier on, ” doing certain isolating muscle exercises could actually be both good and or bad”, if done for the wrong reasons as we will now explain why. 

Therefore, if you are wanting to become a bodybuilder for example, then perhaps doing certain isolation exercises such as for the upper chest area would be an ideal choice for you to target. However, many people would also greatly benefit more from their overall workout routine by doing what is called compound type exercise movements to use several muscle groups at the same time within their exercise workouts. Keep in mind, however, that using both types of exercises such as the types that will target certain muscle groups only while doing isolating muscle exercises can still be beneficial within your workouts as well. 

With that said, at this point you might still be wondering then are isolating muscle exercises good or bad to do? Well, the answer to that would be for you to decide first what goals are you trying to achieve with your overall workout schedules? If you are short on time, and doing these exercises to improve your overall appearance and health then we would suggest that you do compound movements, so that it is easier for your body to get the most benefits out of the workout, and several muscle groups will be engaged within the movements you do, instead of isolated targeted muscles.

On the other hand, if you recently injured a certain body part during your workout, then it might be best to give that targeted muscle group a rest for the time being. Therefore, in these certain types of circumstances doing instead certain isolating muscle exercises would allow your body to recover from the injury, but still, give you the benefits that exercise would help you with for your overall well being too. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that there are times that using certain isolation exercises that target say your biceps, are still beneficial to use even when you are not training just as a bodybuilder for example. 

Having said that, if you want to use both isolating muscle exercises, and compound types of exercises together in your same workout routine there are a few suggestions we would like for you to take into consideration. Therefore, we would suggest that you start with doing compound types of exercises so that your body is engaging more than just one type of muscle group, to begin with. Then you can move into certain targeted isolating muscle exercises during the same routine, and thus your body will still gain both the added benefits that each type of exercise routines can easily provide to you long term.

When it comes to deciding which types of exercises are better for a person to do such as isolating muscle exercises, or doing compound types of exercises the many suggestions for both can be overwhelming to decide upon which way to start with. However, we hope that our article helped to better clarify to our readers that there are times doing both types of exercises that target a certain muscle group, and doing compound types of exercises can both actually be beneficial long term. Finally, while doing exercises can be great, we want to encourage our readers to first consult with their own doctors, to ensure that whichever types of exercises you are ready to begin doing, whether it be isolating muscle exercises, or compound movement exercises that you are safe to begin doing them for your own workout routine, and that your doctor has cleared you to start an exercise workout that is specific for your body, and your own overall health needs in a safe manner.