Your Compound Exercise Guide
Anyone familiar with strength training has heard of compound and isolation moves, but what exactly is the difference? Is one better than the other? All exercise provides benefits, but the fitness experts at HomeGrown Lifting are big proponents of compound exercises, and we’ll tell you why.
What Are Compound Exercises?
A compound exercise involves multiple muscle groups and motion across more than one joint. These exercises enhance functional movement and strength that crosses over to daily activities. The gains in those areas can help reduce your risk of injury when performing everyday tasks, like lifting heavy objects from the floor or grabbing things from a shelf above your head.
Benefits of Compound Exercises
- They’re a more efficient way to exercise. With isolation exercises, you work each muscle individually, meaning you have to spend more much more time overall to hit every muscle. Compound exercises allow you to work more than one muscle group in a single set.
- You can perform heavier lifts during compound moves. Think about the difference in your max weight for bicep curls vs. bench presses. You can bench far more weight because you use more muscles to make it happen, meaning you can squeeze out more gains with less effort.
- You’ll see muscle gains more quickly if you make compound exercises part of your workout habits. Compound moves use more muscles and heavier amounts of weight, which forces your muscles to adapt more than isolation moves, resulting in faster muscle growth, as well as healthier and stronger joints.
Potential Drawback of Compound Exercises
For all the benefits they offer, compound exercises do have a catch. Using more than one muscle group means targeting a single group for growth is challenging. Muscles are smart, and when they know another group will help pick up the slack of a heavy lift, one group can slack off. If you are trying to target individual muscles or address certain specific problems, then isolation exercises will serve you better.
The Best Compound Exercises
Now that you know why you should be performing compound exercises, you’re probably wondering which ones are best. We’d love to say all exercises are equal in our eyes, but we do have our favorites:
- Deadlift: This move targets your legs and lower back especially but makes use of every major muscle group in your body, making it the king of compound moves.
- Squats: A classic for a reason. Any variety works, just as long as you’re using the proper form.
- Bench Press: This move targets your chest and triceps and activates your core, shoulders, and legs. Varying grips will target different muscles more effectively.
- Power Clean: Explosive power is the defining factor of this compound exercise. You’ll feel the burn in your glutes, arms, and traps; a solid core is necessary to protect your spine, so you’ll also get serious gains in your abs and back.
- Pull-Ups: When you master the pull-up, you can exercise anywhere, anytime. While primarily a back move, engaging your core and glutes will help stabilize your movement and keep your body straight while performing the movement.
You need the best equipment to get the best results from your compound exercises, and HomeGrown Lifting has everything you need. Our products are made in the USA and offer a discount to military and first responders. We ship our products across the lower 48 United States and offer local pickup for customers near Nicholasville, KY, and Charleston, SC. Contact us today for personalized equipment recommendations or to place an order.