Compound exercises are those that train multiple muscle groups at the same time. They are more effective than isolation exercises at building strength and size because they require more effort, and therefore they recruit more muscle fibers. In addition, compound exercises are better for developing coordination, balance and agility.
Compound arm exercises look to target more than one muscle group at the same time. Doing multiple muscle movements with one exercise can save you time in the gym, and make you more efficient. These kinds of workouts also help build functional strength.
Some compound arm exercises are easier than others. So when looking at these, always remember that there should be no pain or serious pressure. This should be about conditioning and helping your muscles grow. Here are 5 compound exercises you can add to your workout routine;
1. Chin Ups
Chin ups are a compound arm exercise that engages the biceps, latissimus dorsi, teres major, and posterior deltoid muscles. Their focus on the muscles of your forearms, biceps, and traps will allow you to develop your upper body so that every muscle is chiseled to perfection.
Here is how you do chin ups;
- Grab the bar with an overhand grip, your hands should be about shoulder-width apart.
- Hang from the bar with your arms fully extended and your feet off the ground.
- Bend your knees and cross your ankles.
- Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar.
- Lower yourself back to the starting position.
Chin ups are a fundamental exercise that should be included in a bodybuilder’s routine. By engaging the latissimus dorsi and the biceps, you’ll build up your upper back while working out your arms. You can use a variety of grips to exercise different parts of these muscles, allowing you to get the most out of each set. They’re also a great exercise for developing your forearms, which will be important as you work on building up your biceps.
2. Close Grip Barbell Bench Press
The close grip barbell bench press belongs to the category of compound arm exercises, meaning that it works in more than one muscle group. It targets the entire anterior portion of your upper body, including your pectorals, shoulders, and triceps. When performed correctly, this movement also strengthens the core muscles significantly. If a person is suffering from an injury or if their body structure makes them prone to injuries, they should avoid this exercise. To prevent potential damage to the wrist, hand, forearm, and elbow joints during this exercise, you need to maintain the correct form at all times.
To do proper close grip barbell bench press;
- Lie down on a bench with a barbell in your hands, using a grip that is narrower than shoulder width.
- Lower the barbell to your chest, tucking your elbows close to your body.
- Push the barbell up, extending your arms and locking your elbows at the top.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
A close grip barbell bench press is performed the same way as the regular bench press, except that the grip is brought in closer to the chest. These additional inches effectively make the exercise more difficult for your shoulders and triceps and less strenuous for your chest. With some variations, you can engage your quads to a certain extent with this exercise if you choose to lie on your back on an incline bench.
3. Diamond Push Ups
Diamond Push-ups are a great compound exercise that targets several muscle groups including the chest, triceps, and shoulders. It is a serious toning exercise that develops pectoral strength, allowing you to see your chest muscles contract under your skin. Diamond push-ups are commonly used to develop an aesthetic physique, but can also be used to improve strength and endurance.
Here is how you do this exercise;
- Get into a pushup position, but place your hands close together so that your index fingers and thumbs touching to form a diamond shape.
- Keeping your core engaged, lower your body until your chest nearly touches the ground.
- Push back up to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
The beauty of the diamond push-up is that it works multiple muscle groups in your upper body, paired with a stricter range of motion than traditional push-ups, you can expect to see your pecs and triceps get an intense workout. Diamond Push-ups are also effective for targeting weak areas in your shoulders and triceps. By creating a more stable base, you can use your shoulder muscles to their full capacity.
4. Underhand Grip Barbell Row
The underhand grip barbell row is a compound arm movement that works the muscles of the back, shoulders, and biceps. It’s an effective exercise for building stronger biceps and thicker forearms. It also helps strengthen the lower back and improve posture.
Here is how you perform this exercise;
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Grab a barbell with an underhand grip, and hold it at arm’s length in front of your thighs.
- Bend at your hips and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor.
- Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, row the barbell up to your lower chest.
- Pause, and then slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.
If you’re looking for a way to add variety to your training, or if you’re an experienced lifter looking for a new exercise, the underhand grip barbell row is an easy and effective choice. Put it into your strength training program to help blast away those stubborn arm and back muscles.
5. Underhand Grip Lat Pulldown
The underhand grip lat pulldown can be a fantastic compound arm workout. This compound exercise works several major muscles in the upper body including the latissimus dorsi, biceps, pectoralis major, posterior deltoids and rhomboids. The exercise produces increased muscle hypertrophy throughout the entire latissimus dorsi muscle and its various lineages.
To do an underhand grip lat pulldown;
- Sit down on a lat pulldown machine with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Grasp the lat pulldown bar with an underhand grip, palms facing towards you.
- Pull the bar down to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your sides.
- Return the bar to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
The underhand grip lat pulldown is an exercise that works multiple muscle groups in the back. This conventional lat pulldown can be performed by novice and advanced lifters alike, however, it is always important to use proper form to prevent injury and develop muscle mass effectively. This compound exercise can help to build a strong and sculpted back, which will improve athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury. Start off slow with a light weight until you learn the proper weightlifting technique.
Building muscle is simple, you just have to push yourself. Make sure that you’re always trying to work out harder than the last time. Concentrating on compound arm exercises can help you build the strength that you need while also working more than one muscle group at the same time. The more muscle groups you can work at once, the shorter and more efficient your workouts can be. In addition to this, compound arm exercises will also help strengthen your arms in ways that are functional, making them even stronger as you go throughout your day.