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Compound exercises are known as the secret to building lean, strong muscles. If you have ever done some research into new workouts to add to your gym routine, then chances are you would have come across some of these incredible exercises.

Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle or improve your fitness, compound exercises can help you reach your fitness goal.

Before we get into the excellent benefits of compound exercises, let’s first explain what exactly these are…

Tell me a little more about compound exercises

Compound exercises are movements that incorporate and activate multiple muscle groups.

Isolation exercises (another common term in the world of fitness), target a specific muscle group (here’s looking at you, bicep curl).

Both these types of exercises have fantastic benefits and have their own place in any training plan, however, compound exercises are a great way to get more done in a shorter period of time.

There are 2 different types of compound exercises:

  1. Single movement compound exercises: These include the activation of multiple muscle groups in one single move. Some examples include a squat, lunge or deadlift.
  2. Double movement compound exercises: These are 2 moves that create one exercise, such as a bicep curl into a shoulder press.

Why you should include compound exercises into your training routine

Did you know that one of the biggest reasons people give up their training routine is because they just don’t have the time?

While isolation exercises are great for those who have the time or inclination to slowly build a muscular body, these ‘one muscle’ movements are not effective enough to maximise the calories burned in a workout. And not only that, but if you stick to isolation exercises only, you are missing out on a lot of the benefits of compound movements.

The truth is, everyone should include compound exercises into their fitness plan.

The 3 main categories of fitness that compound exercises are extremely effective for include:

  1. Cardiovascular
  2. Strength
  3. Flexibility

Now it’s time to get into the exciting part of this article (are you ready?)

4 benefits of compound exercises

The benefits of compound exercises are incredible.

They activate multiple muscle groups, which help you to gain more strength and also burn more calories. Compound exercises help improve your balance, coordination and also strengthen your abdominal muscles. But before we give all the details away, here are the 4 main benefits…

1. Burn more calories

Compound exercises make you work harder, sweat more, move more and use more energy.

The more muscles you use during a workout, the more energy you expend. This means that compound exercises can help your body to burn more calories in a shorter period of time.

2. Spend less time working out and more time making gains (or shredding down)

Whether you are on the gain train or wanting to slim down and lean out, compound exercises will help you reach your goal, and in half the amount of time.

Compound exercises are a great way to get in a full body workout in a short amount of time. Only have 30 minutes to squeeze in a workout? No problem. Download a quick and effective compound workout plan and get to training!

Did we mention that you can also burn more fat doing compound workouts?

3. Improve your intramuscular coordination

When you move and activate several muscle groups at the same time, this inevitably works on your coordination.

Over time, your muscles will start to remember (muscle memory) the movements and apply this strength and coordination to other situations and activities.

A large number of pro athletes include compound movements into their training regimen to do exactly this. Professional mountain bikers who need a lot of balance and coordination to ride over technical sections find that compound exercises improve their dynamic balance and movement skills.  Gymnasts are also athletes who rely heavily on their own ability to balance and maintain a strong core.

4. Improved cardiovascular system

Your cardiovascular system refers to your heart and blood vessels. Cardio exercises are any exercise that raises your heart rate.

The thing is, our bodies were created to move. To keep your muscles in good shape, you need to move them. In time, this movement will develop stronger muscles that lead to a healthier, more efficient body.

Because compound exercises are targeting a number of muscles at once, these movements can easily increase blood flow and as a result, your heart rate will increase to meet this demand.

Your heart is a muscle. The more it works, the healthier it gets.

Where to start

Knowing what compound exercises to include in your workout routine can be tricky. One of the most important things you need to ensure is that your form is correct (to not suffer from any injuries).

If you want to know where to start, then get in touch with our team and we can help design a personalised training and eating plan for you. One of our professional and qualified trainers can also guide you along the way.

To get you started, have a look at this blog post on 1 PIECE OF EQUIPMENT. 10 MOVES. ALL THE SWEAT.

Gemma Oberholzer

About Gemma Oberholzer

I guess you can say I'm a serial self-improver. Since I was a kid I can remember being weirdly thrilled at the idea of learning something new and figuring out how to use that new found knowledge to better myself. This perpetual learn-grow itch eventually lead me to the field of Health and Wellness and it's here I've been, fascinated for the last 8 years of my study and work life. From Human Life Scientist and learning the mechanics of physiology and intricacies of metabolic biochemistry, to Food and Nutrition Scientist where I deepened my understanding of diet and it's key role in human performance and health. Geared with this comprehensive education and better appreciation for human health, I've since been able to practically apply this in my career through the fields of research, product development, brand management and marketing. In 2018, I was finally able to bring all these learnings together and so my passion project, WellBe&Co, was born. WellBe&Co is a personal and corporate wellness company specializing in easy-to-implement, lifestyle-focused nutrition, training and health solutions. It's here that I've gained invaluable insights into the human-side of the health and wellness industry in a way that has enabled me to provide relevant content and value-adding services to individuals and companies alike and live out our mission to build communities that know better and grow together through better health.

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