What is a Compound Exercise?

What is a Compound Exercise?

Compound exercises are everyone’s friend. They let us target multiple muscle groups at once, making our exercise routines more efficient, interesting and can introduce new challenges to an old routine! 

What is a compound exercise?

Compound exercises involve more than one muscle group and more than one joint at the same time, such as a squat, deadlift, lunge, one arm carry, bench press or jump rope Exercises that mainly focus on a single muscle or muscle group are called isolation exercises, like a bicep curl. 

Most tasks and chores we have to do in our daily lives, like taking garbage out, vacuuming, or washing dishes require using multiple joints and muscles. Training compound exercises can make all these tasks easier! 

Benefits of Compound Exercises 

There is so much to gain from incorporating compound exercise into your life. 

  • Increase balance and coordination
  • Improve movement patterns
  • Reduce muscle imbalances
  • Decrease total time exercising
  • Train new muscle groups
  • Strengthen joints 
  • Increase core and abdominal activation

Examples of Compound Exercise

Squat Thrusters 

  • This is a full body exercise that combines a squat with a shoulder or overhead press. It is incredibly efficient in targeting multiple muscle groups at once: the quadriceps, glutes, deltoids and triceps. 
  • Start with your feet in a normal, comfortable squat distance and positioning, with dumbbells held at the shoulder. Stand up and push your hands up to the ceiling at the same time. Bend your knees and bring your elbows down at the same rate, and repeat! 

Side Plank Clamshell 

  • Combining two great exercises to reinforce their benefits is a win-win in my book. Working the obliques and the glutes, this is a great abs and booty exercise.
  • Start with knees together, use a band above the knees for added resistance if necessary. Place the elbow on the floor beneath the shoulder. Lift your top knee to the ceiling, while keeping your bottom knee on the floor, at the same time, lift your hips from the ground. Come down slowly and repeat! 

Kettlebell Slides 

  • Tired of the plank for core training? This compound exercise will work and total body stability, with an emphasis on abs.
  • Start in a push up position, with feet nice and wide for extra balance. Reach across your body and pull the kettlebell just past your shoulder. Place the moving hand back to the floor and repeat with the other side! 

Come see us at VanCity Physio for the right exercises that are tailor made just for you.

Book a consultation today: https://vancityphysio.janeapp.com/

Follow us on Instagram for more information: VanCity Physio (@vancityphysiotherapy)