We lead busy lives and just fitting exercise into one’s life and finding time to do it can be a challenge. Compound exercises can help solve that issue. So, what exactly are compound exercises? Compound exercises are when you are using multiple joints and muscles group in the same exercises instead of just working one muscle group such as what you would do in an isolation exercise, like a bicep curl. These types of exercises can help you be more time efficient with your workouts as you can hit different muscles groups at the same time during one exercise.
You may be familiar with a squat exercise. Squats alone are a great compound exercise as they engage your glutes, quads and calves. To further engage more muscles in this compound exercise would be to add a bicep curl so you are strengthening both your biceps and lower body at the same time.
There are great health benefits from doing compound exercises. They can:
Help raise your heart rate – when large muscle groups (such as in a squat exercise) are activated in an exercise they challenge the heart to pump more blood to those muscles so they can have fuel and be more active. This can help with your cardio vascular fitness.
Help improve balance and coordination – involving multiple muscle groups such as in a forward lunge with a lateral raise, you now are engaging your core for stability while doing the exercise so you don’t fall over. As you raise your arms up to do the lateral raise just that movement alone can create an instability so you will need a strong core to help you from falling over.
Burn calories – muscles need oxygen whether your exercising or not. When you exercise and in the case of doing compound exercises your muscles work harder therefore they need more oxygen. Oxygen helps increases circulation and speeds up your metabolism helping you burn more calories.
Improve flexibility – as you do strength training exercises you are doing dynamic stretching where there is movement of a joint through a range of motion which lengthens the surrounding tissue. Contraction and lengthening of a muscle happens while performing an exercise. As you activate the muscles through an exercise the temperature rises in the muscles helping to reduce tension and allowing for lengthening so the muscles become more flexible. Doing compound exercises can help with the flexibility in more muscles than just in isolation exercises.
When exercising it is always good to change up your routine. Compound exercises bring additional benefits to your workouts because they challenge your muscles in different ways and it is a great way to keep yourself from getting bored. I have an upcoming free Compound Exercise workout video on my YouTube channel which should be out on October 28th. I’m excited for you to try it out. See you on your next workout!