Total body exercises (upper and lower body targeted exercises) are one of the most efficient and effective types of training, and when you add compound exercises to the mix, the benefits are even better.
Everyone works out at different paces and schedules depending on you and your lifestyle. Perhaps you have the flexibility to go to the gym every day which would mean you aren’t always going to do a full-body workout and what is called a “split routine” may be your go to. For example, you might work your chest, back and triceps one day; the next is quads and hamstrings; the next is biceps, lats and shoulders; and so on. You do wonder, is it more efficient than a full body routine? The answer is, it depends on your flexibility. Your schedule flexibility, that is. For people who have less time to exercise and hit the gym, a full-body workout is best.
About Compound Movements
Now, let’s talk about compound movements. Compound movements include exercises such as quats, deadlifts, lunges, bench press, dips, lying pullovers, pushups, pullups and beyond. Whether you workout every day or 3 - 4 times per week, you will want to add in compound movements. Why? Because they rock. Ok, there are more reasons. They rock and they are very important, working larger muscle groups plus more groups at once. Helping you to build overall strength more quickly, compound movements lead to more success at picking up heavier weights before you can say “squat.” These movements that your trainer will throw into your routine are dynamic, engage multiple muscle groups at once, allowing you to maximize your gains and achieve your fitness goals. Incorporating compound exercises into your regimen is so important especially if you are aiming to build strength and sculpt your overall physique.
Why Larger Muscles First
If you have gotten with a personal trainer before, you will notice that that they will first put you on the machines that work larger muscles such as your quadriceps (legs), and back (latissimus dorsi or lats, the trapezius, levator scapulae and rhomboids), for example. Toward the end of the workout you might target smaller muscle groups such as your triceps and smaller shoulder muscles doing arm raises. Then the core is last and you are up and out of there after a successful workout. But why do the larger muscle groups first?
Working larger muscle groups first allows you to focus your energy and strength on the larger, more complex movements, before fatiguing your muscles with those smaller, isolation exercises. Starting with larger muscles helps to maximize your overall strength and performance during your workout. You want to save your energy for those larger, more important ones so you get the most out of your workout.
Here are some more reasons to love compound movements and why you should add them to your workout routine asap, whether you are a split routine person or total body:
Easy to Fit In Your Schedule: A full-body workout program that includes compound movements is time efficient and can cut training days down to as low as three days per week. For a split routine, incorporating these movements will make your workout more efficient, too.
Burns More Calories: Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work multiple muscle groups at once equaling more calories burned.
Improves Intermuscular Coordination Plus Mobility, Balance and Flexibility: Compound exercises such as squats, lunges or steps up move the hips in all three planes meaning this can improve how all of the muscles work together to produce and control force.
Provides Cardiovascular Benefits - Cardio helps improve the heart's ability to function as a pump; think, running, cycling and as you suspected, doing exercises that involve a significant amount of muscle tissue, aka compound moves!
Better for Your Core: It’s not always the crunches that work your abs, compound movements naturally work your core, too, as long as you are focusing on them and engaging.
Ready to switch up your routine? Check out our page with amazing, certified and experienced trainers who will incorporate efficient and effective movements into your routine!