Compound Exercises | What Are They And Why They Matter?

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Today, learn what compound exercises are and why they matter. These types of exercises can have you seeing results sooner rather later. Besides, you use them to a degree almost every day without realizing it.

What are compound exercises?

Compound exercises are exercises that utilizes two or more joints and multiple muscles at the same time. An example of this would be a Lat Pulldown. This exercise involves the shoulder and elbow joint with the muscles: lats, biceps, trapezius, and rear deltoid to generate force.

Unlike isolation exercises which only work one joint and muscle at a time, you can get more out of a compound exercise. An example of an isolation exercise would be bicep curl or knee extension. The biceps curls only uses the bicep and elbow joint, and the knee extension use only the quadriceps and knee joint. Now, isolation exercise are still good to use especially if you are in a rehabilitative state recovering from an injury but are not they are not as applicable to everyday movement as compound exercises are.

Benefits of compound exercises

Time-efficient

Get more done in less time by working more muscles at once instead of one exercise at a time

Burn more calories

Using more muscles at once will burn more calories since they will require more energy use

Build coordination

Become more aware and fine tune your motor skills using multiple muscles and joints at once

Elevate heart rate

The heart works harder due to it having to pump more blood to multiple muscles

Gain more muscle mass

More muscles get more work over time on a consistent basis

Increase flexibility

Greater number of muscles are stretched during movements at once

Increase in strength

They allow more muscles to be engaged during movement to help generate more force

When to use compound exercise?

Compound exercises can be used almost anytime during your workout but depending on what your goal is, determines when it is best to use them. A strength athlete will more likely use them in the beginning of their workout especially if using free weights. A bodybuilder may use them after doing isolation exercises when using a pre-exhaust approach for hypertrophy. You have options when it comes down to when to use compound exercises.

Compound exercises to add to your workout

Deadlift

Compound Exercises | What Are They And Why They Matter?
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Primary Muscles Used: glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, trapezius, lats, and erector spinae

Joints Used: Knee, hip, and ankle

Squat

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Primary Muscles Used: glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings,

Joints Used: Hip, knee, and ankle

Bench Press

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Primary Muscles Used: pectorals, deltoids, triceps

Joints Used: shoulder and elbow

Shoulder Press

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Primary Muscles Used: deltoids, triceps

Joints Used: shoulder and triceps

Back Row

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Primary Muscles Used: lats, trapezius, rear deltoid, biceps, and erector spinae

Joints Used: shoulder and elbow

Pull-up or Chin-up

Photo provided by Canva

Primary Muscles Used: lats, trapezius, rear deltoid, and biceps

Joints Used: shoulder and elbow

Safety Tips When Performing Compound Exercises

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to safety when performing compound exercises. The goal of staying injury free should always be a top priority when working out. You may not be able to do much of anything if you injure yourself. So, allow me to give you a few safety tips.

  1. Never sacrifice form
  2. Cherish your rest periods
  3. Use an appropriate weight
  4. Warm up
  5. Use a competent spotter

Conclusion

Compound exercises are great and should be included in your fitness program as much as possible. Think about it, majority of the time you do not perform isolated movements using one muscle at a time in natural movement. You utilize multiple muscles and joints at the same time when moving naturally. Examples would be when you are walking, squatting down to pick up something, putting food back in the pantry, and so forth. Your day is full of compound movements.

After reading this article, I hope that you start incorporating more compound exercises into your workouts or overall fitness program if you have not done so already. Be sure to pay a visit to my online store for some amazing products to help you reach your health and fitness goals. My healthy lifestyle resource page is source as well to assist you as well. I wish you the best on your journey to a healthier you.

Be Healthy, Be Balanced, Be You

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