Not everyone is a fan of compound exercises. But the truth is that compound lifts are one of the most effective ways to target different muscle groups. What’s more, some of the biggest muscles in your body are activated during compound lifts: legs, glutes, and back. And you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to do them — since they engage so many muscles at the same time, they get your heart rate up quickly and efficiently while burning fat faster and increasing muscle mass.
What are compound exercises?
A compound exercise is a physical activity that involves more than one joint and muscle group. An example of a compound exercise is a squat, which uses the hips, knees, and ankles to move the weight.
Another example is a bench press, which uses the chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles. Compound exercises are generally considered to be more effective than isolation exercises because they work more muscles and joints at the same time.
The benefits of compound pull exercises
With new muscle building studies coming out every day, it can be hard to figure out how you can improve your training. You want the biggest muscles possible, and you want them as fast as humanly possible. The universe of bodybuilding knowledge expands daily, it’s hard to say what is right and what is wrong anymore. But when you look at study after study on the benefits of compound lifts (compound movements), athletes lean towards these lifts. This is because they work!
Here is a list of 3 reasons why compound pull exercises should be incorporated into your workout routine.
- Compound exercises are more efficient because they work multiple muscle groups at once. This means you can get more work done in less time.
- They are more effective at building muscle mass because they stimulate more muscle fibers than isolated exercises.
- Finally, they are more functional because they are more similar to the movements that we use in everyday life. This makes them more likely to improve our overall fitness and mobility.
5 best compound pull exercises
The deadlift is one of the best exercises for building strength and muscle. There are tons of variations, but to start with you’ll want to stick with the basic deadlift. The deadlift is an exercise that mainly targets your back muscles (traps in particular), but it can also help build strong abdominal muscles. It’s a compound movement which means that it works more than one muscle group at a time.It’s even more effective when you add weight to it, but let’s first talk about how to do the deadlift correctly.
How to do the basic deadlift
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart with a weight in your hand.
- Keep your back flat, and hinge at your hips to lower the weight towards the floor.
- The key is to keep your back flat and your eyes looking forward the entire time.
- Once the weight is close to the floor, drive your hips forward to lift the weight back to the starting position.
- Keep your back flat and your eyes looking forward the entire time.
- Pause for a second in the starting position, then lower the weight back to the floor.
2. Lat Pull Down
A lat pull down is one of the most effective exercises you can do when it comes to building a bigger back. You see, unlike other exercises, the lat pull down allows you to use heavier weight and really attack your lats from all angles. But wait, there’s more! Like many exercises there are different variations. By adding one simple movement, you can change your lat pull down exercise and finally blast through that plateau.
How to do a lat pull down:
- Choose the weight you will be using.
- Sit down in the machine and place your feet under the foot pedals.
- Reach up and grasp the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping your back straight, pull the bar down to the middle of your chest.
- Pause for a second, and then slowly return the bar to the starting position.
3. Barbell Bent-over Row
The barbell bent-over row is an exercise that trains primarily your back muscles. Other important muscle groups of the body are engaged as stabilizers, like your legs when you’re performing it, because without a steady base of support, an exercise is not a good one. The barbell bent-over row targets the back muscles in an effective and efficient way while minimizing the involvement of secondary muscle groups. To do a barbell bent-over row, position a barbell on the floor in front of you. Step forward with one leg, and bend over and grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back flat, pull the barbell up to your stomach. Pause, and then slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.
Pull ups are a great way to target your back, strengthen your upper body and improve overall upper body strength. Pull-ups are also one of the few exercises that can be done almost anywhere, since you require minimal equipment. The movement involves hanging from a bar and lifting the body (with the assistance of the arms) until the chin is over the bar.
5. Chin ups
Chin ups are an excellent exercise that targets the lats, biceps, forearms and front of your shoulders. Basically your entire upper body! One of the best things about chin ups is you can do them anywhere and they cost practically nothing to perform. This makes them a super valuable and effective exercise.
How to do perfect chin ups:
- Grip the pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you and your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Hang from the bar with your arms straight and your feet off the ground.
- Keep your core engaged and your legs slightly bent.
- Pull your body up to the bar until your chin is above the bar.
- Slowly lower your body back to the starting position.
We hope that this article has given you some great exercises to use at your next workout. We definitely recommend performing these exercises super sets with dumbbell rows, or a similar lat exercise of your choice. The most crucial part of a compound exercise is the negative movement, which involves good form and control to facilitate maximum muscle growth. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and try altering the rep ranges and adding weight over time as you develop strength and familiarity with these compound pulling movements. After all, the human body is an endlessly changing organism!