Why Compound Exercises Deserve a Place in Your Workout
How can you make the most of every squat and lift? The answer is compound exercises.
In this article, we’re covering the benefits of compound exercises: what they are, how they help, and how you can use your Hampton equipment to maximize your burn in the minimum amount of time.
What are the Big 5 Compound Exercises?
A compound exercise may sound complicated, but don’t let the name scare you off. In its most basic form, a compound exercise targets more than one muscle group simultaneously.
Your compound exercise could be a weighted squat to target glutes, core, and upper body strength. It could also combine two moves to maximize muscle burn, like a squat followed by a kick. The options are endless as long as you follow the main principle of compound exercises: work more muscles in fewer moves.
The top 5 categories of compound exercise are squat, deadlift, bench press, shoulder press, and pull-ups. All five of these categories will help you reap the benefits of compound exercises, so work them into your routines whenever you can!
Need some concrete examples to help you get started?
A compound exercise could be a bicep curl followed by a shoulder press or a lunge with a weighted twist. Some traditional routines, like pushups and pull-ups, also qualify as compound exercises since they simultaneously work arms, upper body, and the core.
Can You Build Muscle with Just Compound Exercises?
Compound exercises are one of the best options for building muscle because they prioritize the quality of the workout over the number of repetitions.
A compound exercise burns more calories since you’re using more muscles at once. It boosts your workout efficiency–instead of one move for glutes and one for the core, you can combine them both in a lunge/twist combo.
Compound exercises are also an effective way to build overall strength quickly.
Whether you’re trying to work out in a limited timeframe or just looking to increase the effectiveness of your daily gym routine, trying compound exercises is a great way to achieve your fitness goals faster.
You can easily use your favorite Hampton products for compound workouts. Here are a few great options.
Gel-Grip Urethane Dumbbells
The squat press
- Start with a standard squat, but hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- When you come up, extend your arms for a press.
- Make sure you’re not rounding your back!
The Dumbbell Lunge
Get more out of your lunges by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Add a row at the bottom for maximum burn!
Believe it or not, a simple deadlift can be a great compound exercise. Just make sure you’re keeping your back straight throughout the lift to focus on strengthening multiple muscles.
Clean and Press
If you’re a pro in the gym, consider upping your game with this technically challenging compound exercise. This move combines a deadlift and a shoulder press.
You’ll need to be very careful with your technique when switching from the lift to the press, so walk through each step to make sure you’re using proper form.
Take it to the next level with this advanced sequence.
Holding the kettlebell at your chest, extend one leg in front of you and squat with the other. Stand up again while keeping your elevated leg as straight as possible.
This one is brutal, so it’s best for more seasoned pros.
One Arm Row
A simple row engages multiple muscle groups. For more of a burn, try a one-legged row, or combine it with a lunge.
Is It OK to do Compound Exercises Every Day?
Because compound exercises are such an effective workout, it can be tempting to do them every day. However, if you want to maximize the benefits of compound exercises, you’ll need to give your muscles time to recover between sessions.
If you’re relatively healthy, you can do compound exercises again 48 hours after your last session. That works out to two or three times per week.
If you’re a pro with lots of fitness experience, you might be able to do compound exercises more frequently, but be sure to vary the loads you’re working with and train lightly on in-between days to minimize the risk of injury.
When you’re trying to maximize your workout time in the gym, you need to prioritize quality over quantity.
The best way to get results quickly is to engage multiple muscle groups with compound exercises. The benefits are significant, so try adding a few of these moves to your next gym routine!