Compound Exercises

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 at a time.

Compound Exercises or Isolation Exercise

Compound movements target more than one joint and work multiple muscle groups together. Isolation movements target one joint and one muscle. For example, a compound exercise like the kettlebell swing uses different muscle groups throughout the body at the same time, while an isolation exercise like the bicep curl only works the one elbow joint and bicep arm muscle.

For most people who are trying to get the most out of their workout program in a time efficient manner, compound exercises are recommended. 

Kim Demonstrating the Kettlebell Swing

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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