Most of us lead very busy lifestyles. Work, family and life commitments all too often leave us short on time to complete all the things we want to achieve on a daily or weekly basis, especially with the desire to achieve maximum physical results. Some of you may find yourself saying “I don’t have time to go to the gym” or “I won’t have enough time to get a good workout in”. What if I told you that you can have a great workout that achieves excellent results with less time? Let me bring you up to speed with compound exercise.

Compound movements by definition are multi joint movements or exercises that involve more than one muscle group working at the same time. They are more functional than isolated movements as they emulate real world biomechanics and force the body to work systemically to produce a whole body effect. Pushing, pulling, squatting, pressing, lifting and jumping are all effective, practical movements that give us useful strength which we can use to increase our sports performance and complete our daily tasks with more efficiency by coordinating multiple muscles and joints simultaneously.

5 Benefits of Compound Exercises

1. Burn More Energy In Less Time

Major muscle groups working together in compound exercises, like squats and lunges, require more energy to coordinate movement, move heavy training loads, and provide oxygen to working muscles than single-joint exercises that only work one or two small muscles.

2. Build More Muscle

While isolation work is important for muscular hypertrophy, with full-body compound movement training you’re targeting any given muscle group two to three times per week for maximum physical activity and enhanced muscle growth.

3. Increase Strength

Compound exercises such as the squat, deadlift and bench press variations are full body movements that require the most total-body effort to execute. By making these exercises the backbone of your workout program, you’ll be challenging your body to continuously and effectively build strength.

4. Time Efficient

By focusing on the major multi-joint exercises that work your entire body you’re stimulating the same muscles using one exercise instead of breaking them down into seperate isolated exercises. These types of movements are not only more functional and involve greater use of the deep internal core muscles needed for stabilisation, but are more efficient and time effective.

5. Increase Flexibility and Range of Motion

By training the whole body as one integrated unit you’re able to stimulate the same muscles and joints in one workout that might take two or three isolation-based workouts, and by working your body in a functional manner you can effectively increase your range of motion and measure healthy tendons.

5 Great Compound Exercises to Use in Your Workout

1. Turkish Getup

This is exercise involves getting up from the ground in a supine lying position with a weight in one hand into a standing position and returning to the ground again. It involves a lot of energy, coordination and balance and can be modified to become quite challenging.

2. Kettle Bell Swings

This is a hip dominant exercise that works the legs, back and arms while increasing the heart rate. It requires a lot of energy and is a great muscle building exercise to help strengthen the heart and posterior chain.

3. Spewpee

This is a modification on the burpee using a high bar, where at completion of the burpee in standing position you add a pull-up at the end. If you thought burpees were hard, this really takes it to the next level!

4. Clean and Press

This is an exercise performed with a bar which combines a deadlift with an overhead press. It requires good technique to execute correctly but can be modified according to the skill level required. Guaranteed to get your muscles singing and your heart rate soaring!

5. Medicine Ball Slams

This exercise uses the whole body to bounce a weighted ball off the ground in a continuous motion. It recruits the legs, arms, core muscles and is a great exercise to increase your metabolic rate quickly!

For help with any of these exercises, modifications or some new ideas, be sure to come and see us for some personal training!

See you in the gym,

Michael.