Today I want to help you find the best compound exercises to start with. Even if you know about them a little already and have used them in your training routine, you might find new and useful information here.
Before getting into my top 6 exercises I will tell you about effectiveness and benefits of compound exercises.
Why to use compound exercises
Compound exercises have been proven to be really effective in building muscle. Many researches point out that using compound movements in your training will drastically increase your muscle mass and strength.
The reason behind this fact is that compound movements target many muscle groups compared to isolating exercises that usually target only one. This enables improvement in many muscle groups at the same time.
Another reason is why growth happens faster is that compound exercises let you lift better amounts of weights. Lifting more weight of course applies more pressure to muscles and they have to work harder. This way muscle fibers are able to shred more effectively and that leads to development and growth of muscles.
As said before, compound exercises train more muscle groups and usually that includes your core muscles like abdominal muscles and your lower back. They are important in many exercises and also in your daily life. They help you to keep up the good posture as well. So using these in your workout is extremely important.
Useful things to remember before starting
But like in exercising overall, in compound exercises there is a risk of injury. That can be avoided by always remembering to perform a movement the right way. There are a few common mistakes that you should avoid in performing the movements.
Firstly, if you are about to perform an exercise that you have never before done, don’t use too much weight. If you just focus on lifting a good amount of weight, you probably won’t perform the movement correctly. In a result your development and muscle growth will be slow. In the worst case scenario you will injure yourself and will not be able to train in a while.
I recommend you to start with low weight and learn how to perform the movement correctly. It is okay if that takes you a while because later it will benefit you hugely. As you get to the movement, you can start adding more weight.
Almost in every compound movement it is necessary to keep your back straight. In compound exercises you will lift heavier weights than isolating ones and your back is the easiest to injure.
Always focus on the muscles you should be using to perform the exercise. Mind-muscle connection is critical key in getting better and stronger. Don’t just lift, use and feel the muscles you should be using.
Now I will recommend you top 6 compound exercises I think are best for beginners, especially in muscle growth. I tried to represent equally a few of each: push movements, pull movements and leg exercises. I didn’t use core exercises because I will be telling about them later.
1. Bench press
Bench press is one of the exercises recommended for beginners to start building your upper body. Results can be seen surprisingly fast. As in every exercise, first learn to perform the movement correctly.
Bench press can be performed using different lifting angels. Doing that you are able to target different chest parts. Bench press can also be done with dumbbells or a barbell. Both of them have their own benefits.
2. Back squat
Back squat is one of the best exercises to develop your legs. I chose specifically back squat because front squat can be difficult for beginners to start with. I suggest adding front squad to your workout routine after you have learned back squat first.
Back squat effectively trains your glutes, thighs, quads, calves and of course your core. It is advisable to use this as one of your main exercises during leg days.
3. Pull ups
Skill of doing even one pull up is disappearing. Average person is likely unable to perform a pull up. So being able to do pull ups tells a lot about your overall health. If you can’t do them, soon you can. In a gym there are usually pull up machines which you can start with. You can adjust the weight to the right amount for you.
You can also use a friend’s help while doing pull ups with your own weight. He can lift you and help a little. Even if you don’t do the movement fully on your own, muscles will get stronger and sooner than you realize you will be able to do them by yourself.
Pull ups are also excellent exercise to perform at home. You don’t need any added weights to grow and strengthen your back muscles and biceps.
Deadlift beside bench press could be considered as a king of all power and strength exercises. It strengthens basically your whole body. It is also of the hardest movements to perform so be sure to learn it precisely before adding weight. I myself have struggled a lot with this one so you should be careful too. There are lot of things to be considered.
Even though deadlift might harder than the others you should not be afraid of it. It is important to start learning the technique fast so you can add it to your workout plan. Deadlift is in important role in getting stronger and bigger.
5. Shoulder press
Another great compound exercise for your pushing muscles is a shoulder press. It activates mostly shoulders but also chest and triceps and fairly affected. In my opinion it is great and pretty easy to perform so it suits beginners well.
Lunges are one of the most underestimated leg exercises. You rarely see people use them as part of the workout but that doesn’t mean they would not be very efficient. They develop basically all of your muscle groups in legs at the same time.
Because you have to balance yourself while doing This adds a lot to this exercise. It is hard for your legs and core so they will be affected dramatically. After doing this exercise beside squat or another compound exercise and adding a few isolation exercises to workout will guarantee that sweet pain in your legs next day.
Find your style
It is important to find compound exercises that fit for you. You might have limitations that mark off some exercises. Test different types of exercises and find what suits you best. Come up with the best workout plan for you.
Check out this review if you want to!
See you next time, Eetu