Looking to pack some muscle on or even just trying to improve your cardiovascular fitness? Compound lifts could be the key to help you reach the next level of your fitness journey. A compound exercise is a movement that works multiple muscle groups at the same time. Think of your squats, deadlifts, bench press and pull ups. These differ from isolation exercises, such as a bicep curl or hamstring curl, that focus on increasing hypertrophy for one muscle group.
So, why are compound movements so essential? Read on for five reasons why you should prioritise compound exercises in your workout plan!
You burn more calories
Since compound lifts require you to use more muscle mass, they also require much more energy. A weighted squat, for example, uses all the muscles in your leg, as well as your core and forearms. Compound exercises can be a way to build more muscle mass and burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.
They improve and build your intermuscular coordination
When doing exercises that use multiple muscle groups at once, you increase your overall strength and coordination. Isolation exercises can help you focus on a weak area, but it can also mean that certain parts of your body are stronger or more muscular. A compound lift has the benefit of utilising multiple muscle groups at the same time which can help both joint movement and mobility.
They’re more time effective
As stated before, you burn more calories when doing compound lifts and use multiple muscle groups at the same time. With compound lifts, It’s easier to get a full body, or even upper or lower body workout, done quickly when you’re strapped for time. That’s not to say you should rush through your workouts, though!
They can strengthen your core
Guilty of skipping ab workouts? Many in the fitness world are, but luckily many compound exercises utilise the core. An overhead press, deadlift, squat and even a pull up require core strength and help to build your abs. Whilst some isolated ab exercises should still be included in your training programme, you can feel comfort knowing that compound exercises do still work your core.
They can help stimulate the release of hormones
It takes a lot of strength to complete compound lifts, especially if you are lifting heavy! Since your body requires more muscle fibres to use multiple muscle groups at once, this can promote the release of hormones which help build muscle, such as testosterone and other natural growth hormones. This will be of huge benefit if you are looking to build muscle and burn fat.
As you can see, compound exercises are essential to a weightlifting programme, whether you want to improve your physique, your fitness or both. Want some help with learning a few compound lifts? Get in touch with a staff member at your local Lifestyle club for any fitness tips or demonstrations!
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