Are you looking to build strength and size? You should try compound exercises. As the name suggests, compound exercises work several groups of muscles simultaneously.
They’re the main ‘heavy’ lifts, forming the base of any strengthening plan. If you train often, it’s most likely you’re already including some compound exercises in your routine.
But what’s so important about compound exercises? Why do you need them to be stronger? And which compound exercise will offer the best results?
In this guide, we’ll break down the key principles of compound exercises and look at the most effective ways of building muscle.
What Are Compound Exercises?
Compound exercises are any strengthening exercises where you use several muscle groups simultaneously. They include exercises such as deadlifts and squats, and they come with many benefits.
Benefits of Compound Exercises
They allow you to lift heavy
You can load up the weight and go heavy by using several muscle groups. This is precisely what you want to build muscles, get stronger, and progress.
By working several areas simultaneously, you save time. This is ideal if trying to do several workouts around a tight schedule or simply fitting more in at the gym.
They burn more calories
Doing more exercises and moves that engage several muscle groups while lifting heavier weights is the perfect recipe for burning more calories. Besides, you use more glycogen stored in the muscles when taking more weight.
They are complex
Compound exercises require a lot of focus. Unless you’re a seasoned lifter, you’re always going to try to improve your form. This means you’ll always have something to work towards when down at the gym. They’re perfect if you’re the kind that gets bored easily.
They get your heart rate up
When done right, compound exercises can be just as cardio-based exercises at getting your heart rate up. This is because you’re using several muscles simultaneously and working them exhaustively.
To ensure your muscles are topped up with ample energy to lift, the heart needs to pump harder.
They improve coordination
Typically, compound exercises can take years to master. Every nitty-gritty detail should be perfect- not only to build muscles but also to prevent injuries. Therefore, allowing your muscles to learn the movements is great for helping you focus and improve coordination.
They improve mobility
Compound exercises are quite technical, and learning to do them correctly and hit the right muscles implies having good joint mobility. Shoulder, knees, hips, wrists, and ankles play a significant role in helping you build muscle. Therefore, as you work on your strength, these exercises also help improve your mobility.
Best Compound Exercises
Below is a list of compound exercises that are most effective in muscle building across all the major muscle groups:
- Squats- Glutes, hamstrings, core, hip flexors, quads, and lower back
- Barrel hip raises- Hip flexors, biceps, core, lower back, glutes, and hamstrings
- Deadlifts- Hamstrings, core, hip flexors, glutes, lower back
- Incline bench press- Upper chest, triceps, and front delts
- Clean and press- Glutes, core, lower back, hamstrings, quads, delts, hip flexors, lats, upper chest, triceps, and traps
- Parallel dips- Core, chest, triceps, and delts
- Pull-ups- Delts, lats, biceps, core, and traps
Compound exercises are important to ensure your training is effective. They work several groups of muscles simultaneously.
They’re the main ‘heavy’ lifts, forming the base of any strengthening plan. They include exercises such as deadlifts and squats, and they come with many benefits.