It's likely that you've performed compound workouts previously and didn't even realize it. Unconvinced? Have you ever gone to a circuit training class or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout where you were assigned squats, deadlifts, or press-ups? Have you tried a beginner's strength training program or anything more specific to functional fitness? If one of those questions was answered in the affirmative, then you have likely performed complex workouts and/or lifted weights.
For a good reason, compound workouts are among the most popular and often performed workouts in the fitness world. There is a large compound exercises list, and each exercise has its own advantages. And once you master the proper technique, it can also be a lot of fun.
To begin, let's define compound movement exercises.
Compound workouts, sometimes called compound lifts, are those that target numerous muscular groups at once. Consider the deadlift. They are full-body compound workouts that strengthen your back, legs, glutes, abs, and shoulders all at once.
Here Are Six Advantages of Compound Movements and Lifts
1. Compound Workouts Are Efficient
You can get more done in less time if you divide and conquer. Ideal if you need to fit in a few workouts between meetings and family obligations, he explains. He has a point. Making it to the gym can be difficult, and wasting time there might feel like a sin. The best way to maximize your workout time and hit numerous muscle groups at once is to use compound resistance training movements. Work is a nice one.
2. Compound Exercises Allow You to Lift Heavy
With compound exercises, "you can afford to go heavier" because you're using more than one muscle group at a time, as put out by Davies. The ability to keep proper form regardless of the load being lifted is crucial.
3. Compound Exercises Expedite Calorie Burn
More calories can be burned by performing complex workouts, which include using more weight and more muscle groups. In addition, the glycogen stored in your muscles is depleted at a faster rate as you gain weight. Excellent for releasing excess nervous energy, as he puts it.
4. Compound Exercises Get Your Heart Rate Up, Too
According to Davies, "done right," strength training-based routines can be just as effective as cardio-based ones at raising heart rate. This is because you are working many muscles at once and putting a lot of strain on them. Therefore, your heart must pump more forcefully to supply your muscles with enough energy for lifting.
5. Compound Exercises Help Improve Your Mobility
A lot of technique goes into performing a compound lift. To do them effectively and work the intended muscles, you need to have sufficient joint mobility. Your shoulders, knees, ankles, and wrists all contribute to your muscle growth. Thus, compound workouts not only help you concentrate on your strength but also help you focus on improving your mobility, as Davies explains.
6. Compound Exercises Can Improve Your Coordination
Accidental clumsiness is a human trait. Doing compound exercises to build muscle and strength can make you more steady in critical situations. (Balance is more crucial than ever as you become older, so this is extremely necessary.)
In addition to maximizing muscle growth, minimizing injury should be your top priority when weight training. Focus and coordination can be greatly enhanced by learning the moves and giving your muscles a chance to adapt.
The 'Big 5' Compound Exercises
Here, courtesy of Davies, are the five most fundamental compound workouts and lifts, along with a brief description of their benefits.
Targeted muscle groups include the thighs, buttocks, hip flexors, hamstrings, and abs.
You will probably be able to lift the heaviest loads when performing squats. You don't have to arch your back or wiggle around to execute the exercise because the weight is already on top of you.
That doesn't make them simple, though. Getting the technique right is especially important when using a substantial amount of weight in the squat rack.
In addition, squats are critical for bulking up since they work for so many muscular groups simultaneously.
The hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and abdominals all get a good workout.
Many people have doubts about the safety or efficacy of deadlifts because they are a type of compound strength exercise. Many of us learn early on that bending at the waist when lifting is unsafe. For this reason, they may appear dangerous to the uninitiated. However, the right way to do the exercise is to do it with a straight back the entire time, not to mention that it is one of the strongest compound back exercises.
When done properly, deadlifts reduce the risk of injury rather than increase it. They're fantastic for working on your posterior chain's weak spots and will get you much closer to your strength goals.
"Work out with just a barbell and focus on using your glutes and hamstrings rather than your back and shoulders."
In the early stages? If you're still honing your technique, trap bars are an excellent tool to have at your disposal. They'll also make it less likely that you'll accidentally slouch forward while lifting.
Lats, deltoids, traps, biceps, and core all get a workout.
According to Davies, 'pull-ups' might mean any number of different exercises performed on a pull-up bar. Chin-ups are by far the most common kind. When you have mastered one style, it is beneficial to switch things up and try others.
To strengthen your back and increase your functional fitness, pull-ups are an excellent choice. Because of the emphasis on body weight support, they are also great for developing the grip strength necessary for a wide variety of exercises.
4. Loaded Carry
Grip, shoulder, back, core stabilizer, arm, and leg muscles are all engaged.
"To begin with, they challenge you physically on a global scale. A variety of equipment, such as dumbbells, buckets of water, kettlebells, sandbags, and trap bars, can be used to accomplish loaded carries. Make sure it's a heavy load, though. Keep your back straight, stoop down, and take two of the heavy tools you'll be utilizing, then stride as far as you can. Relax, and then start over. You should probably walk approximately 20 yards.
5. Bench Press
Target Muscle Groups: Pecs, Shoulders, and Triceps
The bench press is an excellent compound chest exercise. If you want to strengthen and tone your upper body, this push compound workout is for you. You get a lot of use out of it because it works for three different muscle groups.
Workouts for the Bench:
Before you get started, make sure your shoulder blades are set. Pack them in tight on the bench.
Use a spotter (someone to keep an eye on you and assist if you start to falter) whenever possible to avoid injury.
When the bar (or free weight) hits your chest, take a deep breath in. Relax and enjoy the ride back uphill.
What Are the Best Compound Workouts for Beginners?
Squats, deadlifts, and pull-ups are the "big three" and are the best compound exercises that any novice should be doing.
"If you have a weak back, a trap bar is helpful for deadlifts because your starting point is higher, placing less strain on your lower back," the article advises.