Similarly, overhead presses of various types focus on the front and medial deltoids but also involve the triceps, especially at the tops of reps. Upright rows with a shoulder-width or wider grip target the medial deltoids but also hit traps and biceps. For example, adding leg and back motion to barbell curls distributes much of the work to secondary muscles. Power cleans are a compound and ballistic exercise that you should feel more in your traps than any of the many other muscles worked. The higher the surface, the easier the exercise becomes. Walk for 20 to 30 seconds to complete one “set.”. As you lift and lower the weight, both your elbow and shoulder joints articulate substantially, making it a classic example of a multi-joint, or compound, exercise. You can also do strict pulldowns with an underhand grip, focusing on the top half of the movement (when the elbows are coming down and not back). Here are 10 that can help you maximize muscle growth from head-to-toe. His work appears regularly in Men's Health and Experience Life. These fundamental exercises will do your body good, but there’s always room to keep pushing it. Assuming you don’t have major injuries or movement restrictions, compound exercises should form the foundation your strength training workouts. Compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups, especially those in the lower body, burn more calories and boost your heart rate more than most exercises, especially isolation movements. What are Compound Exercises? Keeping your chest up, gaze forward, back flat, and core engaged, take a large step forward with your right foot and lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your left knee is bent 90 degrees. Due to the complex landscape of your back, with multiple muscles working together and the fact that most lat lifts involve two pairs of joints (elbow and shoulder), you have to work hard to come up with upper-back exercises, like pullovers and stiff-arm pulldowns, that aren’t compound. A primary body part is engaged. Performing the squat is similar to standing up from a seated position, whereas doing an isolation move like the leg extension is similar to, well, nothing you’d typically do anywhere else besides the gym. For example, an overhead press works the deltoids and triceps. On the other hand, simpler body parts, like calves and biceps, are stressed best with isolation exercises. Usually not recommended, this can be effective if done sparingly. Pause, and then push the weights back up to the starting position. Each workout will consist of mainly compound movements with a mix of various accessory exercises to minimize any potential muscle imbalances. Thank you for signing up. Keeping your back flat, chest up, and core braced, push your hips back and lower the weights to mid-shin level, keeping them close to your body (your hips should remain higher than your knees). Squats, hack squats, Smith machine squats, and leg presses—and all their variations (one leg, front, etc. Because the many types of pullups, pulldowns, and rows are all compound, it’s likely you’re already doing an all-compound back routine. Simultaneously jump up and pull your upper chest to the bar with your legs pointed slightly in front of you. Exercise experts don’t agree on much, but nearly all of them agree that compound exercises are a strength-and-fitness seeker’s best friend. Compound exercises allow you to utilize the heaviest weights, better overloading the targeted muscles. Stiff-leg or Romanian deadlifts target the hams with other lower-body muscles. For example, an overhead press works the deltoids and triceps. Negative chin-up: Position a chair, box, or bench so that when you stand on it and grab the bar with an underhand, shoulder-width grip, your arms are bent slightly. Stand holding two heavy dumbbells by your sides with your palms facing in. The lower back and calves may also chip in. Grab a dumbbell in your right hand (palm facing back) and place your left hand on a bench in front of you for support, pushing your hips back and bending your knees slightly (the dumbbell should hang at arm’s length toward the floor). A science type might tell you that other joints move too — the whole “foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone” concept — but, primarily, the movement occurs at your shoulder joints. Keeping your core braced, back flat, and elbow tucked toward your body, pull the dumbbell to the side of your torso. This is the starting position. “So training them to work together is a more effective way to build functional strength.”. A compound exercise engages more than one body part. Likewise, though most bodybuilders think of lunges as a quad and glute exercise, they actually work the hams (and glutes) more than the quads. Mixed-grip chin-up: Use an underhand grip with one hand and an overhand grip with the other. Functional strength exercises, he explains, build real world strength and often resemble everyday movements. By incorporating more than one body part in a team effort with compound exercises, you can push more weight than when you isolate a single muscle. Repeat, this time stepping forward with the left foot. Decline push-up: Instead of placing your feet on the floor, place them on a stable, elevated surface. Incline bench press: Performing this exercise on a bench set to a 30-degree angle emphasizes the upper pecs. Secondary body parts assist and are worked less, sometimes only during part of the movement.