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Compound Exercises Offer Multiple Benefits

March 15, 2006 Print This ArticleShare

Author: Michael Greeves

Those who are looking to build muscles, burn fat, acquire optimal function, and improve health factors, compound exercises are the way to go. What are they? Compound exercises are resistance exercises that target more than just a single body part. To perform these exercises multiple joints and muscle groups must be used.

While “isolating” muscle groups during an exercise isn’t bad (i.e., bicep curls), it isn’t an efficient use of your time, your body and your hormonal resources.


Why train just one body part when you can train several in the same amount of time? When training with weight, aim to get the most amount of work done in the least amount of time possible by using exercises that include as many body parts as possible.


But the purpose isn’t only simple time economics. In most real life, sport and work situations, your body is a multi-link system working together to produce forces in very complex ways. It does not often “isolate” body parts. So spend most of your time training your body the way it functions: as a kinetic chain.


While it might be true that the priority of many people is form rather than function (or looks rather than operations), there is another main reason why multi-joint, compound exercises are more beneficial than single-joint, isolated exercises.

Great physical effort (lifting weight) while using multiple muscle groups elicits a much higher level of positive hormones than while training just one muscle group. These hormones include testosterone, insulin-like growth factor 1, and growth hormone. These hormones help build lean muscles, burn fat, and improve your health.

Some Examples of Compound Exercises

The exercises below should be a routine inclusion in your fitness program. They are just a few among the many exercises that Workout-X possesses in its exercise database.

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Pushups
  • Bench Presses
  • Pull-Ups
  • Bent-over Rows
  • Various Presses
  • Cleans
  • Jerks
  • Snatches

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