Bodyweight compound exercises are one of the most used tools for bodyweight strengthening. These exercises allow you to use your own body weight as resistance to build strength and muscle. There are several compound exercises that you can do with just your body weight.
These exercises are great for beginners and even for those who are already experienced with bodyweight training. These exercises allow you to build strength, increase muscle mass and burn fat.
Below are the top five bodyweight compound exercises you must incorporate into your program for greater strength and muscle definition.
1. Pull Ups
The pull up is a bodyweight compound exercise that is considered to be one of the most effective exercises when it comes to building upper body strength. The pull up helps build strength in the muscles of the upper back, the biceps, and even the forearms. It is good to include compound exercises in your workout plan because they allow your tendons and ligaments to get strong as well as your muscles.
Here is how you do pull ups;
- Grab the bar with your palms facing away from you and your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended.
- Bend your knees and cross your feet behind you.
- Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
- Lower yourself back to the starting position.
Pull ups are also a very convenient exercise since you do not need any special training equipment. All you need is enough room to hang from a bar. Furthermore, pull ups are a very effective strength exercise for the muscles of the back and arms because they place more emphasis on utilizing these muscles as opposed to many other exercises that work the arms almost exclusively. Pull ups build strength in the tendons of the elbow by holding the weight of your body away from arm’s length.
2. Push Ups
Push ups are a great exercise tool because you can do them anywhere. Push ups also help to build up chest, triceps, and abdominal or ab muscle groups. The benefit of push ups as a bodyweight compound exercise is that it allows strengthening of your muscles without using any equipment like weights or bench press machine.
To do push ups;
- Position your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor in front of you.
- Extend your legs behind you so that your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Keeping your core engaged, lower your body towards the floor until your chest is just a few inches above the ground.
- Push back up to the starting position.
Push ups are a basic bodyweight exercise that can be elevated with other advanced bodyweight training techniques like wall push ups and weighted push ups. You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by widening your arm span or narrowing your stance. The pectoral muscles, known as the chest muscles, are worked when you do push ups. The triceps and abdominal or ab muscles are also strengthened.
Squats as a bodyweight compound exercise are one of the most effective exercises for strengthening the muscles in the thighs, hips, and glutes. It is also commonly used as a way to improve posture and stabilize the back. It is performed in many different ways using your body weight.
Here is how you do the exercise:
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly lower your body down as if you were going to sit in a chair.
- Keep your back straight and your knees over your ankles.
- Once your thighs are parallel to the ground, pause for a moment and then press back up to the starting position.
Squats are effective compound exercises that will improve your strength and overall fitness. The muscles worked during a squat are the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, and soleus in the legs; the core muscle – abdominals; and the erector spinae and the trapezius in your back.
Burpees are compound exercises that include several muscle groups in your body. These muscles and the body parts include the chest, shoulders, quadriceps, hamstrings, abdomen, hip flexors, and calves. While burpees serve as an intense exercise for your body, it also helps to improve your mental strength because you need great focus and willpower to complete it correctly.
To do burpees;
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides.
- Lower your body into a squat position, then place your hands on the ground in front of you.
- Kick your feet back so that you are in a push-up position.
- Perform a push-up, then quickly return your feet to the squat position.
- From the squat position, jump up into the air as high as you can.
- Land back in the squat position and repeat the entire movement.
Burpees are simple exercises to execute. However, they can be a great workout if you aim to improve your stamina and endurance levels. Regular practice of burpees can help you improve your overall strength as well. Burpees are a great exercise to train the muscle groups in your body and improve cardiovascular functions. If you are looking for an effective yet challenging workout, then make burpees part of your exercises and achieve the best results in a short period.
Dips are a good compound exercise as they trigger major muscle growth by targeting the pectoralis major muscle towards your chest, and the triceps brachii towards the back of your arm. You can perform dips anywhere with minimal equipment.
Here is how you do this exercise;
- Start by holding yourself up on two parallel bars that are about shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your elbows to lower your body until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
- Push back up to the starting position.
Dips represent one of the best exercises when it comes to working out your chest and triceps. They are easy to do, making them a preferred exercise for most people, and there is a wide variety of ways for you to get the same results. Adding them to your routine could help boost your muscle gain in a positive way.
Bodyweight compound exercises are important for developing strength and muscle. Utilize these five bodyweight compound exercises as your primary lifts, and you will progress faster through your goal of getting stronger. Although bodyweight compound exercises on their own will not make you a huge weight lifter, they are one of the most important tools. Play around with the variations to find what works best for you.