When we go to the gym, we see weights, treadmills, and other interesting equipment to work out. Most people aim for different body parts every day like legs, biceps, triceps, chest, back, and so on. These focused sessions are known as isolation-based workouts. These involve commercial weight machines and work only one muscle group and joint at a time. Done over an extended period of time, isolation exercises come with their own set of injuries and problems.
So, if you are taking this approach towards exercise, then it’s time to stop and rethink. To combat the wear and tear caused by isolation exercises, several people around the world are including compound exercises in their fitness regime. They are more organic and beneficial to our bodies as they focus on the natural flow of the muscles and joints.
What are compound exercises exactly?
To keep it easy to understand, compound exercises require multiple body parts and muscles at one time. This is different from the conventional isolation exercises we do. Isolation exercises focus on just one body part at a time. A great example would be doing weighted squats. The squat exercise engages many muscles like the lower body and core, the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, lower back, and core. Another great example is deadlifts. The exercise works your glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, lower and upper back muscles, quads, and core. All of these at the same time and with just one movement.
Compound exercises are very important because they translate to common movement patterns and work more muscles at once. These can be tricky to execute and may also involve gym equipment which may cause injury or harm to you. When starting out, seek professional help from PT instructors and learn how to perform the exercises in the correct form. It is strongly advised that you wear a waist belt in the beginning to not injure your spine. Use powder on your palms when lifting weights, so you get a better grip and do not get any blisters.
What are the benefits of compound exercises?
Compound exercise allows you to get a full-body workout in less time, keeps your heart rate up, and generally burns more calories. Moreover, it simulates real-world movements, it helps build strength for everyday living. Compound exercises will help you become stronger, and more naturally in terms of training. You mimic movements that are performed in real life which is safer than just focusing all your energy on one body part.
For overall wellbeing, maintenance of the body, and growth of muscles, compound exercises seem to be the best. The best part is that you work more body parts in less time because of these exercises. You effectively save time.
What are the different types of compound exercises?
The most common types of compound exercises include:
- Chest press
- Jumping rope
- Lunge with twists
- Pushup to overhead press
- Shoulder press
- Pull down
Compound exercises give your body a wholesome workout, working multiple muscles at the same time. As a result, you will feel a bit tired at the beginning as you’re working multiple body parts at the same time. Compound exercises tend to allow you to lift heavier loads and build more strength. When involved with such exercises, you decrease the risk of injury during sports. On top of this, these exercises also keep your heart in check. On the other hand, isolation exercises allow you to isolate a particular body part and work on them. Improving strength in specific muscles and also isolates individual muscles.
What’s best is to create a mixed workout plan of both compound and isolation exercises. In a week, you can do compound exercises thrice, and the next two days you can use isolation exercises to work on body parts that need more attention or maintenance.
Remember, it should be more compound exercises than isolation. Use isolation exercises when you need to strengthen a particular body part and just need to focus on that.
You know what plan works best for you depending on your needs and functionality. Now that you know about the different types of exercises, this is the perfect time to get started with it.