Compound movements are the Holy Grail of resistance training. But what are they? Nicola Addison, personal trainer of Eqvvs training who trains models Elle Macpherson, Daisy Lowe and Erin O’Connor brings you another Fitopedia special (‘cos it’s all about the education, innit?)
Compound movements use multiple joints and muscles. For example, a squat will use the abdominals, gluteus maximus (butt muscles), hamstrings, quadriceps, thighs and hips while also working parts of the back and shoulders if the squat involves additional weight for supporting the bar. This means that because there is so much going on with the body during a compound movement the body needs to work harder and therefore burn more calories. It’s a more effective way for exercising the whole of the body to lose weight and make the most of your workout. Other compound movements include lunges and planks.
Isolation movements will only work one joint as the movement is becoming isolated. For example, a bicep curl is an isolation movement because the only joint being used is the elbow and only allows a few muscles to come under contraction during this particular movement.
Personal trainer Nicola Addison owns Eqvvs Training gym and has helped shape the bodies of Elle Macpherson, Erin O’Connor and Daisy Lowe.