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Why Big Movements Trump Small Isolation Exercises


Why Big Compound Movements Trump Small Isolation Exercises for Building Muscles

When it comes to building muscle mass, there is a common misconception that focusing on small, isolated movements like bicep curls will result in significant gains. However, the truth is that big, heavy compound exercises are the key to unlocking substantial muscle growth. In this article, we will explore why small movements alone are insufficient for building big muscles and why focusing on compound exercises is crucial for overall muscle development.

• The Importance of Compound Movements: Compound exercises involve multiple muscle groups and joints working together to perform a movement. Examples include squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups. These exercises stimulate a greater number of muscle fibers, promoting systemic growth and strength gains throughout the body. They create a more significant anabolic hormonal response, including testosterone and growth hormone, which are essential for muscle hypertrophy.

• Maximal Recruitment of Muscles: When performing compound movements, large muscle groups such as the legs, back, and chest are engaged. This recruitment of major muscle groups stimulates the release of greater amounts of muscle-building hormones, leading to more substantial gains in muscle mass. For instance, exercises like squats and deadlifts not only target the lower body but also engage the core, back, and even the biceps to a lesser extent.

• The Role of Back Development in Bicep Growth: Many people believe that performing countless bicep curls is the key to developing massive biceps. While isolation exercises like bicep curls can contribute to arm development, it is essential to recognize that the biceps are secondary muscles in many compound movements. Exercises like rows, pull-ups, and deadlifts heavily involve the muscles of the back, which, when developed properly, will provide a solid foundation for bicep growth. A strong back supports greater strength and stability during exercises that target the biceps directly.

• Chest Development and Tricep Growth: Similarly, when it comes to building impressive triceps, focusing solely on isolation exercises like tricep extensions may not yield optimal results. Compound exercises that primarily target the chest, such as bench presses and push-ups, also engage the triceps as synergistic muscles. These compound movements place significant stress on the triceps, leading to their growth and development over time. By incorporating compound exercises into your routine, you can efficiently target multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

• The Efficiency of Compound Movements: Another advantage of compound exercises is their efficiency. Since these exercises engage several muscle groups simultaneously, you can accomplish more in less time. Rather than spending hours performing isolated exercises for each muscle group, compound movements allow you to train multiple muscle groups in a single session, maximising your workout efficiency.

While small movements like bicep curls and tricep extensions have their place in a well-rounded workout routine, they are insufficient on their own for building significant muscle mass. To achieve substantial gains, it is crucial to prioritize big, heavy compound movements. These exercises recruit multiple muscle groups, stimulate the release of muscle-building hormones, and lay the foundation for balanced muscle development. Remember, when you have a strong back, your biceps will benefit, and when you have a well-developed chest, your triceps will also grow along the way. So, focus on compound exercises, lift heavy, and watch your muscles grow bigger and stronger.

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