What Are Compound Exercises

Compound exercises are a great way to develop overall strength, but they can be intimidating for beginners. Compound exercises use more than one joint and involve multiple muscle groups at once. They’re also challenging because they require you to lift heavier weight than other exercises, which will help build lean muscle mass in less time than isolation exercises like biceps curls or calf raises do. We’ve got answers for all your compound exercise questions below!

Know your compound exercises.

Compound exercises are exercises that involve several muscle groups at once. They’re your bread and butter when it comes to building strength and muscle mass, because they allow you to lift heavy weights while keeping good form.

These movements require the involvement of many muscles in order to execute them properly, which means they’ll help you build total-body strength faster than isolation exercises do. By working multiple muscles at once—and often multiple joints—compound movements can also be more challenging than isolation moves because of the increased amount of weight used. In other words, you’ll get better results doing squats than leg extensions on a machine where there’s no added challenge from stabilizing against gravity or an opposing force (like another person).

Bench press versus pushups.

Compound exercises, like the pushup and bench press, are more effective than isolation exercises like bicep curls or triceps. Bench presses are superior in this regard because they allow you to use heavier weights than pushups.

The biggest difference between bench presses and pushups is that a bench press requires less stability than a pushup does; it’s easier to hold your body weight up in the air with just one arm (as opposed to both) while doing a pushup—even if you place your feet on something stable so they don’t leave the ground entirely during the rep-out phase. Additionally, bench pressing puts less strain on your joints than performing another type of squatting movement (like squats). That being said:

Both compound movements build upper body strength effectively; and

Both compound movements are great for increasing muscular endurance

Squat versus lunge.

Some people prefer compound exercises because they feel more natural or allow them to move in different ways than typical isolation exercises. Others gravitate toward isolation moves because they’re less intimidating or easier on the joints and muscles—especially if you’re new to working out.

Regardless of which types of exercises you choose, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

You should always be moving with good form whenever you lift weights—that means not flexing your neck forward or backward as if looking over your shoulder;

using proper posture throughout;  

keeping your back straight instead of bent forward at the waist;  

keeping knees lined up with feet (a squat) rather than letting knees come beyond toes when lowering into a lunge position;  

maintaining control during each repetition so that weights don’t drop below shoulders before returning arms fully extended above head after each rep.

Deadlift versus Romanian deadlift.

The deadlift is a compound exercise that works your hamstrings, glutes and back. It also targets your core, grip strength and forearms. The Romanian deadlift (RDL) is a full-body exercise that targets the same muscles as the traditional deadlift except it focuses more on your lower back.

The RDL uses a more upright stance than other lifts, so you lift with less knee bend at start of movement while keeping hips low and back straight. This reduces stress on lower body joints compared to typical squats or lunges.

Dumbbell incline chest press versus incline dumbbell chest flye.

Incline dumbbell chest press

This is a compound exercise that works the chest, shoulders and triceps. It’s an excellent way to build strength in your chest and upper back.

Incline dumbbell flye

This is an isolation exercise, meaning it targets one muscle group at a time (in this case the pecs). While these types of exercises are less effective overall for building strength, they are great for targeting specific muscles groups (like your pecs) and can be great for maintaining muscle mass when you don’t want to lift heavy weights all the time.

Learn how to incorporate compound exercises into your workout routine to get the most bang for your buck!

Compound exercises are a great way to get the most bang for your buck. They’re more effective than isolation exercises, more efficient, and more functional.

Compound exercises involve multiple muscle groups in one move and allow you to lift heavier weights than the typical machine-based isolation exercise (which targets only one muscle). This makes them particularly effective for fat loss, muscle gain, and strength gain—and it’s why they’re so popular among athletes.


As you can see, there are many different ways to work your muscles and get the most out of a workout. Compound exercises are a great way to build muscle and burn fat, but don’t forget about all the other benefits they bring! Incorporate some compound exercises into your routine today so you can enjoy all the advantages of this type of workout.

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