Compound exercises that work several muscles at once are an excellent way to stay in shape because they mimic movements that people perform in everyday life. Building strength in these motions helps ensure effective functioning for the future.
The right compound exercises can achieve a full-body workout in less time than focusing on specific muscles individually. They often keep the heart rate up, too, offering more cardiovascular benefits for a well-rounded fitness experience.
The classic pushup builds both upper body and core strength.
The abdominal muscles hold the body stable, so this exercise strengthens the rectus abdominis and obliques. The deltoids, pectoral muscles, triceps and biceps, and erector spinae in the upper body all work to bring the torso down and up. The National Library of Medicine recommends doing 12 to 15 pushups per workout.
There are lots of modifications for people who are working toward a "full" pushup or have to adjust their workout for other reasons. Pushing up from the knees rather than the toes takes much of the core work out of the exercise and focuses on the arms. For more similar benefits to a full pushup, try an incline pushup. Lean forward onto a bench or the wall and push up and down from this angle instead.
Squats build lower body strength by using the quadriceps and glutes. They also increase the stability and strength of the trunk and upper body. Most professional athletes include squats in their strength training programs.
Beginners can do a partial squat until they feel comfortable with the full squat. It is important to use caution with this exercise, as it can injure the knees if done improperly. Using a wider stance can decrease the stress on the knees. Make sure the knees are going out over the toes, not falling in or out.
Pullups and chinups are not for beginners and take a lot of work to achieve correctly. They are excellent for building spine strength and working multiple muscles. All the back muscles, as well as the biceps, muscles of the forearms, lats and traps, and abs are at work during this exercise. They also improve grip strength. A bodyweight row is a good exercise to work up to full pullups. Place a barbell a few feet off the ground and lie or hang below it, pulling the chest up to the bar and lowering back down. Once proficient with this method, the person may move on to full pullups. This modified version can also work with a TRX. Any compound, functional fitness routine should include lunges. This multi-purpose exercise works the
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