Compound exercises are a form of weight training that use multiple muscles groups at once, rather than isolations exercises that focus on single muscles. Compound exercises allow you to:
- Increase cardiovascular fitness through higher heart rates
- Burn through more calories
- Stabilise your core and joints as well as improved overall coordination and balance.
If you are looking to lose those last stubborn pounds, boost your metabolism and improve your strength, add these five compound exercises to your routine.
The Bench Press –Works the chest, shoulders and triceps.
This popular exercise helps grow your chest and targets the lower pectorals. This helps men widen their chest and women tone the muscles under the breast to prevent sagging.
Remember that you must keep control of the bar at all times so it is recommended to use a spotter or trainer.
1: Lie back on a flat bench.
2: The starting position is lifting the bar from the bench with a medium wide grip. Then hold it straight over your chest with your arms locked.
3: From that starting position, lower the bar slowly till it slightly touches the middle of your chest. Inhale while you lower the bar.
4: Hold this position for a beat and then push back in a controlled manner to the starting position. Exhale while you lift.
- That is one rep. Repeat for desired number of repetitions.
The Pull Up – works the back and biceps.
The pull up is easily one of the most challenging exercises that demands upper body strength. This exercise promises to work your arms and back like nothing else. There are many variations of chin up bar workouts that you can utilize to get variation in your routine
1: Stand straight under the pull up bar. Grip the bar with your arm fully extended.
2: Hang from the bar with your knees bent then pull yourself up so to where your chin clears the bar.
3: Return to your original position.
- That is one rep.
Squats – works all of the leg muscles and lower back.
Squats are a favourite for a reason – they work most of your major muscle groups at once, the hips, buttocks, thighs, quadriceps, hamstrings for strong legs, as well as muscles in your back and core.
1: Start with your feet shoulder about a width apart while keeping your feet pointing forward. They can point outwards up to 15 degrees.
2: Raise your arms straight out, this will help keep your back straight. Slowly bend at the knees and stick your bottom out as if you are sitting on a chair.
3: Continue to bend into your squat until about 90 degrees and then straighten your legs until you are standing
4: Kepp your head up and eyes forward as well as your weight in your heel. Correct form means your knees do not drift over your toes.
- This is one rep. Add weights or repetitions to make it a greater challenge.
Deadlifts – Works the hamstrings, glutes, back, as well as your overall body.
This exercise must be preformed with correct posture and form throughout regardless of what weights you are using. Keep a straight back and bend from your knees to grasp either the dumbbells or the barbell. Lift them approximately six inches off the ground. Maintain that straight back during the entire lift.
1: Start with your feet a shoulder-width apart then bending at your knees, reach down and grasp the bar. The markings on the bar will indicate where you should hold, slightly less than a shoulder width.
2: Raise the bar in a slow and controlled motion up the shin, to hip level and back down the shin. This exercise uses your legs, hips and other muscles but not your arms.
Shoulder Press – Works the shoulders and triceps.
The shoulder press, also known as the military press using barbells is a compound exercise that will target the shoulder muscles and the triceps.
1: Select a barbell and hold it with your palms facing forward, your grip should be approximately shoulder width.
2: With a barbell in each hand, rest the barbells near your collar bone.
- Slowly life the weights above your head, while inhaling.
3: In a controlled way, lower your weights back toward to your collarbone while you breathe out.