Compound Movements vs. Single Joint Movements: Which Ones Are Better For Building Muscle?

October 26, 2021 4 min read

Compound Movements vs. Single Joint Movements: Which Ones Are Better For Building Muscle?

 

Your fitness routine is probably full of exercises that work out different parts of your body. Maybe you’ve been told to do bicep curls, squats, and pushups to work your muscle groups. But what if you could target all the major muscle groups in just one exercise? Then you might have heard of compound movements. There are two broad categories of resistance training exercises, compound movements and single joint movements. For example, the squat is a compound movement while an arm curl is a single joint movement.

An Insight

The main difference between these two types of exercise is in terms of the muscles involved in the exercise. Compound movements work multiple muscle groups at once, whereas single-joint exercises only work one group at a time. That means that if you want to get stronger, it's better for you to do squats than arm curls. A compound movement is an exercise that works more than one joint at a time, like a squat or a lunge. They are also known as full-body exercises because they require coordination of many joints and muscles to execute properly. Compound exercises are especially helpful for those looking to build muscle mass or burn fat. Here are some ways to incorporate these movements into your workout!

 Section 1: What Are Compound Movements?

 

 

The name compound movement pretty much sums up what these are: they involve multiple muscle groups working together to perform a movement that's controlled by your brain. The compound movement gets its name from the 'big' muscles that make up the majority of the muscle tissue (i.e. the huge glutes, hamstrings, quads, and rear delts).

Single-joint exercises usually involve just a few muscles to perform a movement. This means that the muscle itself gets the majority of the work (which is called 'isometric'). This is why you'll generally see most people do squats versus step-ups, for example. The whole body gets the workout of muscles working at once. The benefit of compound exercises is that they use more muscle, which means they burn more calories per workout.

 

What Are Single Joint Movements?

 

 

One-joint movements don't work multiple muscles at once, so they're better for preventing injury and building mass. One example is a deadlift, which uses the rectus abdominis and lower back. Since it only works one muscle at a time, it's perfect for building mass.

 

Single-joint movements are also great for endurance training. For example, rowing uses both your quads and calves at once, and you can even combine running with it. Since it's just one exercise, you can increase the intensity at any time.

 

Compound vs. Single Joint Exercises

 

There are actually two very different ways to perform exercises. The most basic form of compound movement is one muscle working at a time.

 

To perform a single-joint exercise, one muscle works to perform a movement while the other is kept static. For example, if you want to work your biceps, then you would perform curls first. To do the biceps curls, your biceps would get tired and you would switch to the triceps to work on that one muscle group.

 

In general, compound movements are more effective at building muscle and building strength because they use multiple muscles. But if you're only interested in increasing your strength, then you should choose a single-joint exercise. That means doing tricep extensions or pushups.There are many ways to perform compound movements.

 

The Benefits of Compound Exercises

 

 

To get a better understanding of the difference between single joint and compound movements, let's first talk about why you should work them at all. Strength is a relative term. Strength increases with training, which means that the more reps you do, the stronger you get. Muscle mass is a measurable term, and muscle mass also increases with training. So if you're not increasing the number of reps you can do, the number of muscle fibers you're training may be the same or even smaller. By training multiple muscle groups at a time, you ensure that you're getting a greater output of strength, but that doesn't mean you won't lose some muscle if you're only training one muscle group at a time.

 

The Benefits of Single-Joint Exercises

 

 

However, single-joint exercises aren't without their benefits. They're often faster and more effective at stimulating your muscles and stimulating blood flow to your muscles. In fact, a study showed that one-arm curls increased grip strength by 17 percent after just eight weeks of training.

 

So if you do a lot of arm curls, chances are you'll be disappointed if you're really trying to increase your grip strength. But, if you just want to lift more weight, try your arm curls first, then move on to more compound movements.

 

 

Conclusion

 

When it comes to resistance training, different forms of exercise serve different purposes. That means different exercises can be the best for you at different stages of your progress. 

 

If you want to get bigger and stronger, higher-rep, single-joint movements are the best choice. They're better for building muscle, they don't fatigue as quickly, and they also make the whole exercise much more difficult.

FAQs

What are the suitable exercises for a beginner?

If you're just starting out, lower-rep, compound exercises are the best choice for you, especially if you're new to strength training. They'll help you increase the size and strength of your muscles, and they'll make the entire workout much more efficient.

What are the benefits of Compound Movements?

The benefits of compound movements is that they engage more muscles at one time. An example is the deadlift. You can lift more weight with a compound movement because you're engaging more muscles, which helps you build more muscle.


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