What are Compound Movements?
What if I told you that doing compound movements in the gym burned more calories during your workout; would you know which exercises to do?
What if I also told you that compound movements burn more calories post–workout than any other exercise, would you believe me?
Imagine learning that this type of movement maximizes your time in the gym, helps you lose weight, and helps you burn more fat; would you do more?
Compound Movements, also known as Compound Exercises, are multi-joint movements that work several muscle groups at one time, compared to isolation movements that work one muscle at a time.
An example of a compound movement would be a squat. A squat works your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and core. An example of an isolation movement is a bicep curl, which only works the bicep. See the difference? One muscle versus many muscles. The more muscles you are working at one time the more calories and fat you will burn. Cool, right?
Compound movements are not only for the gym but also can be a great home workout. You don’t necessarily need heavy weights. You just need a little bit of time and a little bit of space to get in some good compound exercises.
Benefits of Compound Movements
One of the biggest benefits of compound movements is that they make effective use of your time. When you are short on time but want to put in a quick weight–training workout, think compound movements. Other benefits include:
+ more calories burned
+ improved coordination
+ improved flexibility and range of motion
+ gaining more muscle
+ improved strength
Best Compound Movements
The following list is derived from an article by the American College of Sports Medicine. While these 7 items are personally my favorite, there are unquestionably other compound movements that might work better for you. It all depends on your level of fitness. Give them a try!
- Areas of Focus – quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and core
- Areas of Focus – almost the entire body but especially the hamstrings, glutes, arms, core, and back (trapezoids)
- Bench Press
- Areas of Focus – chest, shoulders and triceps
- Areas of Focus – entire back region (emphasis on lats), forearms and biceps
- Bent-over barbell rows (reverse grip)
- Areas of Focus – back region (emphasis on upper back; rhomboids, trapezoids), and biceps
- Shoulder Presses
- Areas of Focus – entire deltoid region: front, medial and rear (emphasis on front deltoids)
- Lunges (static)
- Areas of Focus – entire leg region (emphasis on glutes and hamstrings)
Combine Compound Movements with Isolation Movements
Combining both types of movement makes for a great workout. For example, a squat to a bicep curl or a squat to a bicep curl to a shoulder press.
It’s important to keep good form while performing exercises. Squatting may seem safe but when weights are added and the exercise is done improperly, it could result in injury.
Always consult your doctor before starting an exercise program. Have an LA Fitness Pro Results® trainer help you with the basic principles of weightlifting and proper form when exercising.
Next time you are in the gym or doing a home workout, incorporate a few compound movements. Get your heart–rate up and boost your metabolism. Since compound movements engage several muscles at one time, it requires more energy from you. In turn, you burn more calories by spiking your metabolism and increasing your heart rate, which make you stronger.
Check out this workout routine “The 2 Week Workout Finale for the Your Best Beach Body Ever!” This 2 week workout routine combines plyometrics, compound movements and integrated intervals so you can strut your stuff with confidence. For more articles like this one, subscribe to our newsletter to receive monthly highlights from the Living Healthy Blog.