While cardio is a great way to lose weight, if you want to tone and build muscle, it’s a smart idea to incorporate compound exercises into your workout routine. We take a look at some whole-body compound exercises to maximise muscle growth and get a better workout in less time.
What is a compound exercise?
Compound exercises target multiple muscle groups, as opposed to isolation exercises that work out a single muscle. Something like a squat will work out glutes, hamstrings and quads, while a push-up will target the chest, triceps and core. Compound exercises can also be a great way to burn calories fast, especially if you overindulged a little during the Christmas break!
To get a full body workout with compound exercises, you can incorporate several at once to make a big impact. Adding weights or bands will create resistance making for an even more intense workout.
Here are a list of compound exercises you might like to consider adding into your workout program:
- Push Ups – builds muscle mass and strength in the chest; works triceps and pectorals and deltoids.
- Squats – work the entire lower body; specifically the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and the calf muscles.
- Deadlifts – works several muscle groups, including your back, glutes and legs.
- Pullups – works the muscles in your back, rear shoulders, and arms.
- Overhead Press – a fantastic strength-and-muscle builder for shoulders, triceps, trapezius muscles, abs, legs.
- Barbell Rows – effective upper-body strength exercise that works several muscles in the back and arms.
- Incline Press – builds muscle in the upper chest the deltoids (shoulders) and the triceps (back of the arms).
- Stiff Legged Deadlifts – work multiple muscles of the back and lower body; hamstrings, on the back of your thigh, the gluteus maximus, and buttock muscles
Recovery after Compound Exercises
Compound exercises are more challenging than isolation exercises and require more energy and focus. Always allow for a recovery day after a workout with compound exercises to avoid injury and for the body to repair muscle fibres.
You should expect some soreness after a workout with compound exercises, such as light muscle tenderness and stiff joints. But excessive soreness is a sign that you may have pushed it too far or not let your body recover enough in between workouts. Appropriate stretching techniques, using a foam roller or getting a massage will help ease your recovery.
Adequate hydration, eating carbs and protein and cooling down after a workout are also important factors when exercising your whole body. At Striders, we can assist you with your nutrition and fitness goals. Contact us for a free consultation today, to find out how we can help you smash your goals this year!