A compound exercise is defined as a multi-joint movement. Unlike a bicep curl, which is an isolating exercise, and only works one muscle at a time, a compound exercise works two or more muscle groups. The classic example is a bench press. However, there are compound exercises that seriously raise your heart rate, burn fat, and still strengthen and tone the body.
Compound exercise are great for time efficient workouts. Being able to work more than one muscle at a time cuts down on the overall time of your fitness program. They also tend to work the core from having to balance, change levels, and twist.
Here are a few great compound exercises for weight loss:
1. Side Lunge + Row (works lower body, back, and core)
In a wide stance holding a dumbbell in each hand, turn the toes out, with your body facing forward. Lunge over to one side, keeping the knee over the ankle and behind the toe. As you lunge row the weight back like a one arm row with your opposite arm. Then place that weight on the floor. Repeat on the other side so that both weights are now on the floor. When you lunge back to the first side pick the weight up and row. Go to the other side and do the same. Alternate between pick up, drop off and rows. This one will really make you sweat!
2. Squat, Curl and Raise (Lower body, biceps, shoulders, core)
With one heavy weight held with both hands go into a squat. Remember to keep all of the weight on your heels, and push your bum far back. On the way back up to starting position curl the weight like a bicep curl and as you stand, raise it over your head. Get the weight back down hanging in front of your body before starting the next squat, curl and raise rep.
3. Lunge + Push Up (lower body, chest, triceps, shoulders, core)
The level change in this one is tough! Stand in a wide stance. Point one toe away from your body and go down into a lunge, placing your hands onto the floor. Sweep your forward leg back into a plank position and do a push up. Bring the same working leg back in between your hands and lunge back up to staring position. Change sides.
These exercises go great with cardio intervals, alternated between isolating exercises, or one their own for a quick and challenging workout.
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