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Compound exercises are the backbone of efficient and effective strength training programs. Targeting multiple muscle groups simultaneously maximizes muscle engagement, promotes functional strength, and facilitates a more balanced development. Incorporating the best compound exercises into your routine can accelerate muscle growth, enhance calorie burn, and improve overall athleticism.
The Top 10 Best Compound Exercises
We’ll dive into the Top 10 best compound exercises understanding why each is vital to your wellness process.
Squats are a compound exercise where you stand with feet shoulder-width apart lower your body by bending knees and hips and then return to a standing position. They target multiple leg muscles.
Why it’s one of the best compound exercises: Squats primarily target the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. However, they also require significant core lower back and calves engagement.
How to do it:
- Stand with feet shoulder-width separated, chest up and eyes forward.
- As you hunch down push your hips back like sitting in a seat.
- Keep your back straight and lower yourself until your thighs equal the ground then push back up.
Deadlifts are a compound weightlifting exercise where you lift a stacked hand weight or other load starting from the earliest stage, a standing position drawing in different muscles including the lower back hamstrings and glutes.
Why it’s essential: Deadlifts work the whole back chain, incorporating the glutes, hamstrings, lower and mid-back, traps and lower arms.
How to perform: With a barbell on the ground, stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend at the hips & knees grip the bar, keeping your back flat. Drive through the heels, lifting the bar and standing upright.
3. Bench Press
The Seat Press is a strength-preparing exercise where you lie on a seat, bring down a hand weight or loads to your chest, and push it vertically. It focuses on the chest, shoulders and rear arm muscles.
The benefits: This exercise targets the pectorals and engages the triceps and deltoids.
Execution: Lay flat on a bench and grip the barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width. Press the barbell to your chest then extend your arms fully.
Pull-ups are a bodyweight practice performed by swinging from a flat bar and pulling your body up until your jaw is over the bar. They fortify the chest area, especially the back and arms.
Why they’re among the best compound exercises: Pull-ups predominantly work the latissimus dorsi, biceps and mid-back muscles.
Technique: With an overhand grip, grasp a pull-up bar and hang. To perform a chin-up start by pulling yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Then, slowly lower yourself back down.
5. Rows (Bent Over Barbell Rows)
Bent Over Barbell Rows are a strength exercise where you bend at the waist, hold a barbell with an overhand grip & pull it toward your lower ribcage, targeting the upper back and biceps.
Benefits: Rows focus on the mid-back muscles and engage the biceps and lats.
How to: With feet hip-width separated, twist at the hips, keeping the back level. Hold the free weight with two hands, pull it towards your middle, then discharge.
6. Overhead Press
Overhead Press also known as Shoulder Press is a strength exercise where you lift a weighted barbell or dumbbells from shoulder height to overhead. It primarily works the shoulder muscles.
The importance: This move targets the deltoids, triceps, and upper pectorals.
Method: Hold a barbell at chest height with palms facing forward. Press the bar overhead, extending your arms fully, then lower it.
Jumps are a lower-body exercise where you stride forward on one leg bend both knees to a 90-degree angle and lower yourself. They concentrate on the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps.
Why they stand out: Thrusts focus on the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, offering phenomenal lower body advancement.
Performance: Step forward with one leg, bending both knees until the back knee is close to the ground then push back up to the starting position.
Push-Ups are a bodyweight exercise where you start in a plank position, lower your body by bending your elbows and then push your body back up. They strengthen the chest, shoulders and triceps.
Benefits: They work the pectorals, triceps and deltoids with core stabilization.
Execution: Begin in a plank position. Lower your body towards the ground, then push yourself up.
9. Clean and Press
Clean and Press is a compound weightlifting exercise. Weight is lifted from the ground and pressed overhead using barbells or dumbbells. It engages multiple muscle groups.
Significance: A full-body development focuses on the legs, center, deltoids, and rear arm muscles.
How to: Begin by deadlifting a hand weight, then, at that point, quickly pull it up to bear level, getting it with twisted knees.
Dips are a bodyweight exercise where you suspend yourself between parallel bars, lower your body by bending your arms and then push yourself back up. They primarily work the chest and triceps.
Why they make the list: Dips primarily target the triceps but also engage the pectorals and deltoids.
Method: Using parallel bars, lower your body by bending the elbows until they’re at 90 degreesthen push yourself back up.
Incorporating the best compound exercises into your workout routine can offer numerous benefits. Not only do they work multiple muscle groups simultaneously but they also mimic everyday movements, improving your functional fitness. These compound exercises are indispensable for those looking to get the most out of their workouts.
FAQs For Top 10 Best Compound Exercises for Strength
Compound exercises refer to movements that involve the use of several muscle groups simultaneously. These exercises are efficient for building strength and increasing muscle mass.
They promote muscle growth, burn more calories than isolation exercises, and enhance functional strength.
It depends on your goals, but 2-3 times a week for strength training can be effective.
Absolutely! Start with lighter weights or bodyweight variations to build foundational strength.