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8 best Compound exercises

Jul 10, 2018

Compound exercises are the ones that hit multiple muscles and help you build some serious strength in a short span of time. But these are difficult exercises and require time to perfect them, that is why most of the people refrain from these and opt for easy isolation movements. But if you wish to gain strength and build serious muscle mass then these should be part of your training schedule, especially if you are a beginner. Today we will walk you through the best compound exercises that you should focus on to build a strong and athletic physique.

1] Flat Bench Press

How to do it:

Lie face up on a flat bench, with chest out, shoulders down and back slightly arched, butt on the bench and feet flat on the floor.

Hold the bar using an overhand grip, which should be wider than your shoulders.

Bring the bar down to chest level while inhaling

Push the bar up while exhaling and try to squeeze your chest muscles.

Focus Muscles:

  • Pectoralis Major

  • Triceps Brachii

  • Pectoralis Minor

  • Coracobrachialis

  • Serratus Anterior

  • Anterior Deltoid

2] Squats

How to do it:

Set up the bar in the squat rack and place it on your traps.

Hold the bar firmly and look straight with your head held high.

With the complete load on you, step back and place both feet at shoulder width or slightly more as per your comfort.

Initiate the move by taking your butt back and down and continue till your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Push the weight up and aim to keep your back in a neutral or arched position all the time.

Focus Muscles:

Quadriceps

Hamstrings

Adductors

Glutes

Erector Spinae

Rectus Abdominis

3] Deadlift

How to do it:

  • Set up the bar with weights on the floor, stand facing the barbell with your legs at shoulder width, keep your core contracted and back slightly arched.

  • Initiate the move by hinging your hips, bend the knees until the thighs are parallel to the ground, and grab the bar using one overhand grip, and underhand grip.

  • Try to lift the bar by pushing your feet into the floor and then contract the back at the top portion of the movement.

  • Aim to squeeze the glutes at the end of the movement.

Focus Muscles:

  • Quadriceps

  • Hamstrings

  • Erector Spinae

  • Glutes

  • Trapezius

  • Rectus Abdominis

 

4] Military Press

How to do it:

  • Sit/stand with your back straight, hold the barbell on your front delts with an overhand grip.

  • Push the bar upward in controlled motion.

  • Slowly lower the bar down, again resting in on your shoulders.

Focus Muscles:

  • Anterior Deltoid

  • Trapezius

  • Medial Deltoid

  • Triceps Brachii

  • Supraspinatus

  • Upper Pectorals

  • Serratus Anterior

5] Bent Over Row

How to do it:

  • Stand with an arched back, legs slightly bent and hold the bar using a overhand grip which could be wider than shoulder-width apart

  • Pull the bar up to the upper abs or lower pecs, try to pull with your elbows to really hit the lats.

  • Slowly get the bar down and repeat the motion without losing your form.

Focus Muscles:

  • Latissimus Dorsi

  • Teres Major

  • Rhomboids

  • Trapezius

  • Brachioradialis

  • Posterior Deltoid

  • Biceps Brachii

  • Rectus Abdominis

  • Brachialis

  • Erector Spinae

6] Upright Row

How to do it:

  • Stand with your legs at shoulder width, grab the bar using an overhand grip.

  • Pull the bar up till shoulder level by raising the elbows as high as possible, possibly up to your chin.

  • Lower the bar down slowly, to engage the muscles effectively.

  

Focus Muscles:

  • Trapezius

  • Biceps Brachii

  • Levator Scapula

  • Brachialis

  • Deltoids

  • Erector Spinae

  • Glutes

  • Rectus Abdominis

 

7] Dips

How to do it:

  • Hang from parallel bars with your arms fully extended, keeping your chest out and shoulders back and down to avoid any injury.

  • Bend the elbows and lower yourself until your chest is upto the bar level.

  • Extend elbows back up, and exhale.

  

Focus Muscles:

  • Pectoralis Major

  • Brachialis

  • Anconeus

  • Serratus Anterior

  • Triceps Brachii

  • Anterior Deltoid

 

8] Pull-Ups

How to do it:

  • Hang yourself from a bar using an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width.

  • Try to pull your chest up till it touches the bar, while squeezing your lats

  • Lower yourself slowly to increase the time under tension on the target muscles.

Focus Muscles:

  • Latissimus Dorsi

  • Brachioradialis

  • Trapezius

  • Teres Major

  • Brachialis

  • Biceps Brachii

  • Rhomboid Major

  • Rhomboid Minor

Without a solid foundation you can’t expect to build something strong, similarly to build a strong physique you need to prepare yourself to execute the exercises with adequate strength. Compound exercises, help you build that foundation for your body to grow on the isolation exercises. We suggests you to ditch your isolation exercises for a while and aim to perfect these compound exercises first and then go full force on your isolation workouts to scale up your gains.