Are There Any REAL Benefits of Compound Exercises?
The benefits of compound exercises are overwhelming. A compound exercise is a multi-joint exercise in which ALL the muscles of the targeted muscle are called upon to perform the movement. An example of a compound exercise is the squat. It targets all the muscles in the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, lower back, and the core. Compound exercises are the core muscle-building exercises.
Breaking Down the Benefits of Compound Exercises
Surprisingly, many people in the gym training hard are unaware of the benefits of compound exercises. Compound exercises burn a lot of calories, improves intramuscular coordination, elevates the heart rate, improves flexibility, and builds muscle quickly. The benefits can’t be denied. If you fail to do compound exercises in your workout routine, you are doing yourself a great injustice.
Some of the most common compound exercises are squats, lunges, deadlifts, bench press, incline bench press, close-grip bench press, shoulder press, and pull-ups. Ideally, you should start your training with a compound exercise in order to get the most out of your training.
Isolation exercises target only one muscle group and occur at only one joint. Such exercises include the leg extension, leg curl, pec dec, lateral raise, etc. While isolation exercises are great, they should come in after you do your compound exercises. Training in this manner will allow you to target all the muscle fibers fully first, before fatigue sets in.
The Secret to Success
You see, the secret to success in weight training is prioritizing free-weight compound movements. The great thing about compound exercises is that they recruit the most motor units. In turn, generate a larger hormonal and neurological response.
In addition, it’s better to use free-weights over machines when possible. They, also, recruit the most motor units. Doing a bench press with a barbell or dumbbells is more stressful than doing the chest machine. The free weighs result in a more significant neurological response when matched for intensity.
Free-weight compound exercise also allow for a greater range of motion. A muscle is at its full range of motion when it is in its fully stretched or contracted position. More stretch and more contraction means more units recruited. This results in greater muscle development. Granted, not all free-weights allow full range of motion, such as the barbell bench press. However, they typically allow ranges beyond what a machine allows.
In addition, free-weight compound exercises are helpful to prevent injuries. The stronger the stabilizer muscles are, and the more familiar they are with loaded stress at various angles and ranges. This lowers the chance of a pull, strain, or tear when placed in an over-stretched or over-extended position.
How to Maximize Your Gains
It’s not enough to just train. You have to workout in the proper fashion with the right equipment. If you go in and do only isolation exercises, you are doing yourself a great injustice and won’t see much in results.
Learn how to train in the right fashion to get the results you want. If you want to build muscle, you have to do the work the right way. I can help you. Grab my FREE guide on how to maximize muscle gains quickly…
Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
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