Compound Movements and an Efficient Workout

One way to build muscle and make your work out more efficient is to use compound movements. What’s a compound movement? A compound movement is an exercise that utilizes two or more joints in performing the movement. Squats are a compound movement because they utilize your ankles, your knees and your hips. Bench presses utilize your wrists, your elbows and your shoulders. Chin ups are the same way, wrists, elbows and shoulders.

Muscles & Joints

Compound movements are efficient in your exercise routine because when they involved more than one joint, they often involve more than one set of muscles. When you are performing exercises involving multiple muscle groups you will burn more calories, burn more fat and build your muscle mass more efficiently.

You can lift more weight with compound muscle movements than you can when you isolate the muscles. Leg presses, for example, I can push 250 to 300 pounds with a leg press no problem. But to try and push that amount or pick up that amount with one isolated set of leg muscles is darn near impossible.

Build a More Efficient Workout

Add a bench press to your workout, you’ll work your deltoids (shoulders), pectorals (chest) and triceps (arms). You will get more bangs for your buck and eliminate the need for isolated muscle workouts. In other words, you can spend five minutes on bench presses rather than 15 minutes on separate exercises isolating each of those muscle groups.

So as you build your workout, be sure to include:

  • Bench presses
  • Leg presses
  • Squats
  • Bicycle sit-ups

These types of exercises can help you to improve your overall exercise success and challenge. It can also make performing your work out a 30 minute activity that maximizes your work out, your time and your results. What other ways do you think a compound movement can benefit your routines?

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.