What is a compound exercise? A compound exercise is any exercise that uses multiple joints and trains many muscle groups at the same time.
The alternative to doing compound exercises is doing isolation exercises (single joint movements such as bicep curls). If you have all the time in the world to do your strength training workouts, a program that isolates each muscle group (think body-builder workout) is feasible.
Isolation training is very popular with body-builders who are trying to bring up lagging muscles. You have to remember that most body-builders have spent years in weight training to develop their muscles, and that many of these years have been spent working with compound exercises.
Gardiner, NY Personal Trainer / Strength Coach
Bindu Nambiar is the head personal trainer and owner of Physiqology, a personal training business based in the town of Gardiner in the Hudson Valley, NY area. She specializes in injury rehab, strength training for sport, flexibility, and mobility training.