A bit more insider information on resistance training and two different but interesting and effective ways of exercising. Compound exercises are defined as multi-joint exercises, or those that involve more that one joint, ans therefore more that one muscle at a time. In the real world (not the gym!) our bodies usually work in this way, using 2 or more muscles at one time to produce force, usually lots of muscles work together to produce effort. A good example would be a push up; the chest muscles are contracting to push you up, but at the same time the triceps are helping to straighten the elbow, while the deltiods and rotator cuff muscles are helping to produce the movement as well as stabilise the joint. These helper/stabilising muscles are called synergists and fixators respectively, you may see this written on machines at the gym with an accompanying diagram to show you which muscles are working. These compound exercises rely on good neuro-muscular co-ordination between all the contributing muscles. As more muscles are working more resistance or weight can also be used and functional movements (movements that we do in everyday life) can be trained.
Isloation exercises are ones that only work one joint or one muscle group. The example here would be the chest fly, where while lying on a bench with dumb-bells in each hand and elbows slightly bent you move your arms towards each other until they meet above you. These exercises although less functional than compound exercises are still useful, especially in advanced weight training and if you are trying to pinpoint one specific muscle. A good example of this would be pre-exhaust training (more on this in another blog).
So be sure you do some strength and resistance training at least 2 times a week, it will help with weight loss and keep your bones and joints strong. Have a look at our resistance training pdf on the knowledge page