Compound Exercises

See How To Cut Your Workout Time in Half

In the perfect world, we would have all the time we need to exercise and stay healthy. But for most of us...thats not going to happen. Often times, the best we can do is to try and squeeze a quick workout in "here and there". 

Well, the good news is you don't have to spend countless hours at the gym to get in shape. By choosing the right types of exercises, you can see surprising results quickly.

The key is to use compound exercises - these are movements that use multiple muscles at the same time. This style of resistance training quickly builds muscle and improves your fitness level in far less time than working your muscles one by one. They also help you build more lean muscle and burn more calories.

Compound Exercises and Isolation Exercises

Compound movements target more than one joint and work multiple muscle groups together. Isolation movements target one joint and one muscle. For Example, the kettlebell swing uses muscle groups throughout the body, while the bicep curl only works the one elbow joint and bicep arm muscle.

Kim Demonstrating the Kettlebell Swing

Compound Movements Working the Core Muscles

It all starts at the base. Exercises using different groups of muscles together, rely on the center of the body core muscles to do a lot of the work. Without a stable foundation, you won't be able to do many exercises like squats and lunges. Progressively, the more you work your core muscles, the stronger and tighter they will get.

Favorite Compound Exercises

Here are some of the most popular compound exercises that are used to target multiple muscle groups. 

  1. Push Ups
  2. Dumbbell Squats
  3. Overhead Press
  4. Dumbbell Lunges
  5. Kettlebell Swing

dumbbell squat exerciseKyle Demonstrating the Dumbbell Squat

Key Benefits

  • Benefits of doing physical activity. Reduce heart risk, weight management, reduce cancer risk, increase bone strength, improve mental health.
  • Time Management. Since you will be working more than one muscle group with each exercise, you can finish faster and cut down on your days at the gym. This can also allow you more free time for other activities.

  •  Variety. You can choose movements from virtually every type of exercise available. These include free weights, kettlebells, weight machines, body weight exercises, dance routines, aerobics, yoga, pilates, fitness balls, and martial arts. Really, the combinations are endless, and your choices will depend on the results you want to achieve.

    Working out should be fun, right? And, let's face it, for most of us, lifting a dumbbell up and down can get boring.  If you don't enjoy what you are doing, you will be less likely to keep it up. So, add a little variety and have fun while getting fit.
  • Overtraining. Because you won't be working out as much. The risk of you overtraining is low. This also means that the chances of you getting injured are reduced significantly.

  • Calorie Burning. Compound exercises will not only burn extra calories, they will also help you burn away body fat and replace it with slimming muscle.

  • Daily Activities. Many of these types of exercises can benefit you with your daily activities. How many times do we swing a bag of dog food or lawn fertilizer and count on our arm and back muscles working together...and without us hurting ourselves.

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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