Training Secrets

Should I use Compound Exercises?

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Most people end up using compound exercises in their routines at one point or another. Should you? Let’s look at theshould i use compound exercises concept of this type of exercise and try and see whether or not it will be beneficial to you.

In many cases, when you are discussing fitness and health, the answer to any questions depends on who is asking it. People have different goals and as such the same question will have different answers depending on what will be most effective or useful for the person’s particular situation.

Top 4 Reasons You Should

  • You want to get massive – This is the simplest and most direct reason. To build mass you need to lift heavy weights and stress the body. The exercises with which you will be able to move the most weight are always compound exercises. Squats and deadlifts form the core of almost every mass building program. Other exercises that incorporate multi joints such as various presses and rows are considered essential to working muscle groups like the chest, back, legs, and shoulders.
  • Perfect for beginners – Compound exercises are a bit more basic and easier to learn. Specifically the exact movements themselves are a little harder to master because they are multi-joint exercises, but you need to learn fewer compound exercises to completely work the body. Conversely because isolation exercises usually only work the target group you need to learn a lot more of them to effectively train the body. You could just do squats for legs with stiff-legged deadlifts. Or you could do leg extensions, leg presses, leg curls, and lunges to obtain the same amount of work.
  • Time Savers – As noted before, it can take a few exercises to gain the same benefit as one good compound exercise. You can easily create a full body workout that can be completed in 45 minutes using compound exercises. If you switched to isolation exercises you might be in the gym for hours. Many people prefer the option of working the entire body 2 to 3 times per week rather than splitting the body up over 3 to 4 days per week.
  • Athletic training – One aspect of athletic training that might differ from bodybuilding or general fitness is the inclusion of explosive training. The idea is to coax more explosive energy and power from the muscles to mimic what the body needs to excel during athletic competition. As most movements are compound ones and not isolated ones, utilizing compound exercises is essential to gain that power. Exercises like squats, push presses, clean, and the like add a level of explosiveness that can’t be created using other exercises.

The Bottom Line

Compound exercises should be a staple of any good fitness routine no matter what you are training for. The only good reason not to use one is if you have a health issue or are in some way physically unable to do so. The benefits of utilizing greater weight and explosiveness help create a stronger, more athletic body. While isolation exercises serve a purpose, more often they are best used as a compliment to a compound exercise rather than a replacement.

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