The Importance of Compound Exercises

If you have no idea of what equipment to use at a gym, you don’t have to worry since you actually have an idea of the most basic workouts. They’re pretty much posted on any fitness magazine, billboard, or resources online. 

Don’t worry about biceps isolation curls or calf raises yet. Your coaches at Gold’s Gym or Retro Fitness will recommend this to you once you’ve mastered the basic compound exercises first.

What are compound exercises?

Compound exercises target several muscles at the same time, hence the name. These exercises usually require heavier weights to activate these muscle groups. They’re core to building a good strength foundation.

These exercises also target major muscle groups, so beginners who start compound lifting will see gains in size and musculature. It’s the simplest and most effective way to gain weight. Compound exercises also require more energy, and doing it is a great way to lose fat.

What are the compound exercises?

1. Squats

One of the largest muscle groups in the body is the thigh and leg muscles. Squats also require the heaviest weights to use to activate these all at once. Having strong legs also is a precursor to your ability to work out other muscle groups effectively.

Squats make use of the muscles in the thighs and the buttocks. It also helps you develop core strength and back muscles. These two muscle groups help maintain good posture when walking or standing.

2. Deadlifts

In relation to squats, deadlifts balance muscle strength at the posterior side of the body. Squats help develop strong thigh muscles, but you also need your hamstrings to grow. Deadlifts are the twin workout of squats.

Deadlifts target the hamstrings, a majority of your back, and your glutes. It’s a workout that benefits individuals who spend too much time sitting. Strong back muscles help correct and maintain good posture.

3. Barbell Rows

Barbell rows target your latissimus dorsi. These muscles are what you would call “wings” in the bodybuilding industry. It is one of the biggest muscle groups in the back – it helps support the majority of upper body weight.

Barbell rows also target other muscle groups like the biceps, upper back, and the rear side of the shoulder. It’s an exercise that is similar to deadlift since it focuses on the upper portion of the posterior side of the body. This also benefits individuals with poor posture.

4. Presses

The overhead press and the bench press target the upper body muscles, specifically the anterior portion of the body. The overhead press is a push-type workout, engaging your upper chest muscles, shoulders, your triceps, and a good portion of the upper back.

And finally the most famous workout of all, done during Mondays where the equipment it’s done is always unavailable – the bench press. It’s a major workout component that targets the chest and shoulders. The workout also targets the triceps. 

Other honorable mention(s):

Pull Ups – this is a workout similar to overhead presses but employs pulling instead of pushing. It helps develop biceps, lats, chest and shoulder muscles.

Doing compound exercises helps you maximize your gains and minimize the time spent at your gym. They not only build size, but these exercises help you develop good core strength and athletic ability.

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