What is a compound exercise? A compound exercise
is one of two types of resistance exercises. Compound exercises are also called basic exercises,
complex exercises, or multi-joint exercises. Compound exercises are opposed to isolation
exercises. Whereas an isolation exercise works one joint, and so seeks to isolate one muscle
group, a compound exercise involves more than one joint, and so more than one, or several,
muscle groups. Multi-joint or compound exercises, as a result of working at multiple joints,
tend to involve the largest muscle groups of the body. They can be performed with free
weights, resistance machines, or body weight. Examples of typical compound exercises are
squats, shoulder press, deadlifts, pullups, pushups, and bench press.