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What are compound exercises?

May 2, 2017

Question: "What are compound exercises and why should I be doing them?"

Christian Agudelo, ACSM - CPT

There are many benefits of compound exercises, but first you need to understand what compound exercises are. There are two types of compound exercises. The first type is an exercise that involves multiple joints and muscle groups working together in a single movement for example: deadlifts, lunges and squats. The other type of compound exercise involves two movements to create one exercise such as a bicep curl to lunge or a squat to press. The overall benefits of these types of compound movements can range from lean muscle mass building, more calories burned per exercise and an increase in cardiovascular conditioning. Because of the complexity of these movements, compound exercises are used a great deal in resistance training because of their positive effect on an individual’s program. Another benefit to using compound exercises such as the multiple movements is that it helps save time if you are only able to train for a short session that day. Because you can target more than one muscle group you can perform less exercises during your workout and be able to still get a great workout in a short amount of time.

Earvin Bahena, NSCA - CPT

Compound exercises are movements that utilize multiple joints and muscle groups at the same time. Examples of compound exercises include; Squats, Deadlifts and Bench Press, these exercises use major muscles and smaller muscles as you do them. There are multiple reasons and benefits from adding these types of exercises to your workout regime. You are able to effectively train more muscles at once and burn more calories. Utilizing more muscle groups you have the ability to lift heavier weights and gain strength than before as well as increase your testosterone and growth hormone levels. Time wise using compound exercises you can effectively train your major muscles in a shorter time since you doing multiple movements . If you want to build muscle and strength in a timely manner than compound exercises are the way to go.


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