Performing compound exercises requires your body to move multiple muscle groups to complete a movement. This is to ensure that your body gets a balanced workout for your upper body and lower body in a shorter time.
Performing compound exercises offer great fitness benefits such as more burned calories, improved intramuscular coordination, better flexibility, elevated heart rate, improved strength, and built muscular mass.
Best Compound Exercises for Beginners
If you’re a beginner, you don’t have to stress and strain yourself too much with an advanced compound workout. There are simple compound movements you can do at home.
You will need a workout mat for this compound exercise. If you need more cushioning for your knees, you can fold a towel to kneel over with. For starting position, begin in all fours – keeping shoulders over wrists and hips over knees.
Engage your abdominal muscles to maintain a neutral spine. Draw your shoulders, and reach your right arm forward in line with your ears as you extend your left leg all the way back. Tuck in your chin by lengthening the back of your neck, eyes gazing on the floor. Hold the position for a few seconds before returning to your initial position to complete 1 rep. Repeat the movement with the other arm and leg.
Like the bird dog, position yourself on all fours. But this movement doesn’t require a mat as you would move in one point to other. Lift your knees slightly, about 1 or 2 inches from the floor until your hips are slightly higher than your shoulder level.
Use the balls on your feet to support your pose. Start crawling by stepping one of your hands and your opposite foot, then your other hand and its opposite foot. Crawl into a box by moving twice in each direction.
For starting position, stand with one foot behind. With arms extended, place your hands together. Perform a lunge movement by bending your knees, and engaging your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Keep your shoulders and hips in one line, with squeezed glutes and abs.
Pivot the balls on your feet to rotate 180 degrees, facing the other side still in a lunge position, stand and lunge. Rotate again while in lunge stance before returning to the starting position. Use your abs to stabilize your position and maintain balance.
Hinge and Reach
To start, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Relax both your arms alongside of your body with the palms facing one another. Slightly bend your knees while you hinge at the hips, make sure to keep an elongated spine.
Press the glutes back while reaching out your arms forward at shoulder height as you maintain your palms still facing each other. Thrust your hips slightly forward, to go back to the starting position, as you also swing your arms behind.
Best Compound Exercises to Build Strength
If you’ve been working out for some time and can take on more challenging compound exercises, and want to build strength at the same time, these are the following workout you can do at home without having the need to use complicated gym equipment.
Squat Overhead Press with Rotation
For this compound exercise prepare a dumbbell for each hand. In starting position, stand with your feet hip-distance apart – toes slightly pointed out. Relax your shoulders as you hold the dumbbells in each hand.
Perform a squat by sending your hips back, knees slightly bent while thighs are parallel with the floor. Use your heels to drive yourself up while you press your right arm toward the ceiling, pivoting with your right foot, turning the torso in the opposite direction to the left. Return to center before performing another squat.
As you rise back up, perform a rotational movement in the opposite direction – torso turning to the right while pivoting with your left foot, to complete one rep.
Lunge with a Twist
Dumbbells or medicine balls are necessary to perform this compound exercise. To get into a starting position, stand while holding the chosen workout gear at the chest.
Lower into a lunge by taking a big step forward with the left foot until both of the legs are positioned 90 degrees, as you extend your arms straight at the height of your shoulder. Then, twist your arms and torso over your left leg, go back to center, and step back to return to the initial position. Repeat the compound movement on the opposite side to complete one rep.
Best Core-Focused Compound Exercises
These following compound movements are designed to keep your body and core engaged. You may also need some workout gear to perform these workouts.
Lateral Bear Walk
You can use an exercise mat to perform this compound exercise. To start, get yourself into a bear plank position- hands on the floor with shoulders over wrists, knees under hips while hovering over the mat in few inches.
Keep your hips stable as you move your hands and feet left for three steps. Maintain your head in line with the tailbone and knees stay off of the floor. Avoid getting your hands or feet crossed. Hold the position for a few seconds, then move 3 steps to the opposite direction with your right foot to complete one rep. Perform as many as you can in one minute to complete a set.
Lie on your back on the mat with your legs extended and arms at the side of your body. In one movement, Lift your upper body, arms and legs forming a “V” shape with your body. Lower your upper body back to the starting position to complete one rep.
There are numerous best compound exercises to perform to achieve the fitness that your body needs. The good news is you don’t have to always hit the gym to be able to perform compound movements.
Working out at home can not hinder you from doing compound exercises, you don’t even need complicated machines.
Compound exercises are one of the best ways to complete your fitness goals in a short amount of time compared to performing isolation moves that only focus on one muscle target.
Performing basic and modified squats for an instance can already engage multiple muscle groups such as the core, quads, glutes and hamstrings.