Compound exercises have also been found to:
- Elevate testosterone
- Improve muscular coordination
- Increase power
Compound exercises address many actions at once, making them both efficient and effective. Here are some of the best compound exercises to add to your workout.
1. Hip Hinge or Deadlift
This compound movement targets the forearms, lats, glutes, hamstrings, core stabilizers, and upper-, mid-, and lower-back. It’s an amazing exercise for the whole posterior chain.
Stand with feet about hip-width apart. Make sure you are close enough to the bar. Drive your hips back. Take the tension out of the bar. Brace your core, and keep tension in the lats, and the knees soft as you push your heels into the floor. As the bar approaches the knees, think about shooting your hips into the bar. Finish in a tall stand while clenching your glutes.
This exercise enhances mobility in the hips and ankles, and challenges core stabilizers, posterior chain, lower legs, and quads.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Dial your feet into the floor, activating your hips. Control the downward, or eccentric phase toward the floor—don’t let gravity lower you down. Move the tailbone toward the floor, while maintaining a tall, engaged torso. Push the floor away and rise to stand, fully extending.
3. Loaded Carries
This exercise targets the grip, shoulders, back, core stabilizers, arms, and legs. You can perform loaded carries with dumbbells, buckets of water, kettlebells, sandbags, trap bars, etc.
Brace your core and bend down and grab two of the heavy implements you will be using and walk as far as you can. Rest and then do it again…and again.
The primary movements of the lats are upper-arm adduction, internal rotation, and extension, but their secondary properties make them adaptable to train for posture. Strengthening the lats will provide better postural stabilization of the spine and lower pelvis because of its attachment points. The pull-up also trains the grip, arms, shoulders, back, core, and pelvic floor.
To start, arms should be fully extended. True pull-ups work through a full range of motion. Retract the scapula, stabilize the girdle, and initiate the work or muscular contractions by pulling your body up until your chin is over the bar. Lower the body in a very controlled manner until the arms are fully extended.
Your arms, shoulders, serratus, core stabilizers, and pectoral muscles, along with the legs, glutes, and lats are all engaged to help you maintain a zipped-up line.
Place your hands on the floor directly under the shoulders with your fingers spread wide. Squeeze the glutes and press the heels away. Keep your head in line with your body and bend the elbows to lower the chest with control toward the floor. There should be no sagging anywhere in your body. Keep the legs, glutes, and shoulders engaged as you press back up to the starting position.
Elizabeth Andrews, author, and contributor have been a group fitness instructor and coach for 35 years, teaching and developing exciting classes and programming. Elizabeth holds many specialty certifications, including ACSM, ACE, Animal Flow, FMS, FRC, DVFT, and EBFA.