If you are interested in a strength-building journey, you’ve probably happened across the term compound exercises. Compound exercises such as squats, dumbbells, and deadlifts get more than one joint moving at a time. Compound movements have added benefits of closely mimicking and preparing you for motions you may perform in the real world. Exercise experts agree that compound exercises are strength-and-fitness seekers. Combined Exercises are those that combine two exercises into one and target muscles. “Bulk of the exercises in people’s workouts should be compound,” said fitness and nutrition content Trevor. Here, we will discuss the best compound exercises with a list of compound exercises beneficial for you.
What Are Compound Exercises?
Exercise is generally classified into two parts- Compound Exercises and Isolation Exercises. In this post, we will cover exactly what a compound exercise is. A compound exercise is an exercise in which multiple muscle groups are used at the same time to perform a movement. The squat is a famous example of a compound exercise. Many muscles in the legs and the lower body, such as quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, core, and lower back engagement.
On the other hand, the isolation movement tends to focus on a single muscle or muscle group. For example- A bicep preacher curl would focus almost entirely on the bicep. Read on the list of compound exercises that you should know to add to your workout routine and tips to keep you safe.
List of Compound Exercises That You Should Know
If you don’t have any injuries or movement restrictions, compound exercises will work as a foundation for your strength training workouts. These are some compound exercises that can help you maximize muscle growth from head to toe.
Home gym Equipment needed: none
Muscles targeted: quadriceps, glutes, and calves
- Start squat with feet slightly wider than hip-width. Turn your toes slightly out.
- Keep your chest up and out while engaging your abdominals and shift weight to the back into heels by pushing your hip back.
- Lower yourself and keep yourself almost parallel to the floor. With this, keep your knees aligned over your second toe.
- Keep your chest and core tight while pushing yourself through heels to stand back to your starting position. Now, squeeze your glutes on the top side.
- In the same way, perform 10 to 15 repetitions. Do at least 3 sets of it.
Equipment needed: set of dumbbells, ab or exercise ball
Muscles targeted: abs, deltoids, pectoralis major, triceps brachii
- Sit on an exercise ball with your core engaged. Hold a dumbbell in your hand.
- Start by placing a dumbbell on your thighs and then propel dumbbells to shoulder height at a 90-degree angle with elbows to the sides dumbbells facing forward.
- Now, press dumbbells straight forward with your arms.
- Now return your arms to 90- degree angle, with your elbow in the shoulder height position. Don’t go lower than this; otherwise, you will feel pressure on your shoulder joint.
- In the same way, perform 12 to 15 repetitions. Do at least 3 sets of it.
Equipment needed: barbell (optional; can add weights to barbell for the additional challenge)
Muscles targeted: forearms, lats, glutes, hamstrings, core, upper-, mid-, and lower back.
- Firstly, start with a barbell on the floor, feet, and hip-width apart, toes underbar.
- Drive your hips backside and keep your spine tight and core neutral as you squat down. Remember, your flat should remain flat.
- Grasp the bar properly and ensure your hands should be placed on the bar slightly wider than your thighs.
- Keep knees soft and push yourself through heels as you start to lift.
- Pull the bar upside so that your hips rise with the bar at the same time.
- Finish your movement with a glute squeeze at the topside.
- Now, slowly lower the bar to the ground.
- In the same way, perform 10 to 12 repetitions. Do at least 3 sets of it for 30 to 60 seconds of each.
Front Lunge With Twist
Equipment needed: none
Muscles targeted: glutes, hamstrings, abs, hips
- Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart with your arms outstretched in front of you.
- Keep your arms outstretched. Your front leg should be at a 90-degree angle, and it should not extend beyond toes. Your back should also form a 90-degree angle.
- Twist your upper body to the right, and then twist back to the center in the lunge position.
- Now return to the starting position and repeat the position with the left leg.
- Repeat 8 to 10 lunges with each leg. Work up to 3 sets.
Equipment needed: medicine ball
- Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Now, hold a medicine ball in front of the right hip.
- Rise up the ball and lift the weight overhead pivoting on the right foot to turn the body toward the left side. Now swing the medicine ball in the arc with force while the left foot is outside.
- Catch the medicine ball and return back to start again through the opposite side. Count it a complete rep.
- Repeat the same for one minute.
The High Plank T Spine Rotation
Equipment needed: none
Muscles worked: abs, shoulders
- Firstly, take a push-up position in which your arms should be under your shoulders and engage your core. Legs should be about hip-width distance apart in this exercise.
- Squeeze thighs and glutes by keeping your hands straight while anchoring
- Lift your left arm up and twist your hips and shoulders towards the left. Pressing them up toward the ceiling.
- Bring your left arm down to the ground and anchor straight towards the floor. Now alternate and twist with your right arm.
- “Anchor” left hand straight into the floor while bringing the left arm down towards the ground.
- Alternate and twist so that your right arm is in the air.
- In the same way, perform 8 to 10 repetitions. Do at least 3 sets of it.
Reverse Lunge to Balance with Bicep Curl
Equipment needed: a set of dumbbells.
Muscles targeted: glutes, hamstrings, abs, hips, biceps.
- Stand by holding a
- Dumbbell in each hand with feet hip-width apart. Keep your arms extended down with your palms facing towards the body.
- Step backward through your right foot and keep yourself in a lunge position by lowering hips and legs.
- Now bring your right foot forward, anchor your left foot into the ground, and then return to the standing position.
- With the help of both arms, perform this again at the same time.
- Finish by returning right leg into the lunge position. Bring your arms back and dumbbells parallel to the body.
- Repeat the same through the right leg at least 6 to 8 times before switching to the left.
- Take rest 60 to 90 seconds after completing each set. Complete 2 to 3 sets.
Health Benefits You Can Get by Doing Compound Exercises
Usually, compound exercises are prescribed to athletes because they replicate more natural movements and ensure athletes’ training as efficiently as possible. Compound exercises involve various muscle groups and allow us to use time effectively to do workouts more efficiently.
- Burn calories, increase the mass level
- Use exercise time efficiently
- Elevate heart rate
- Release greater hormones levels
The Other Benefits of Adding Compound Exercises in Workout
- These exercises burn more calories as more muscles are being used.
- It increases the efficiency of the workout because more muscles used in a short space of time
- These exercises help improve coordination and balance.
- Natural patterns of movement help improve joint mobility and stability.
- It is helpful in the improvement of the cardiovascular system.
- These exercises allow us to do more extended periods of workouts with lower levels of fatigue.
- It allows lifting heavier weight by building overall strength.
- Compound Exercises train multi-joint exercises.
- These exercises help raise testosterone levels and growth hormone levels.
Why Do People Should Use Compound Exercises?
People should consider compound exercises to improve overall strength and do efficient and functional workouts that will give them what they need. If you have more specific goals, then isolation can be suitable for you. However, you can incorporate both types of movements, with compound movements forming the workout’s foundation. Compound exercises allow for heavier weight and maximum muscle usage. On the other hand, isolation exercises spare energy for later and allow other muscles to take over. For strength and power sports, compound exercises are the right way to go.
Implementing a list of compound exercises into your workout regime will be easier and time-consuming for maximizing muscle growth, minimize wasted time and achieve the strength and muscle goals you wanted. With the help of compound exercises, you can feel the fat burn in multiple places. Next time you can try and incorporate the above list of compound exercises by challenging yourself appropriately.