Whether you’re an experienced lifter or just getting started, compound exercises are a great way to build strength and muscle. They allow you to move multiple joint and muscle groups simultaneously, which means you can lift heavier weight and get better results. This makes them more efficient, and also means your body recruits more muscle fibers, which further boosts your gains.
Compound exercises should be the bread and butter of your training programme. A compound exercises will almost always be more beneficial than an isolation exercise. This is because compound exercises allow you to utilise more muscle fibres as you are applying more force.
For example, when doing a Bench Press, you are utilising the triceps, chest, shoulders, back, abdominals and legs. Compound exercises also place greater tension on your muscles, and stimulate stronger muscle contractions.
Here are five of the best compound upper body exercises.
The push-up is the most basic form of upper body exercise. This compound exercise engages the chest muscles, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles.
This exercise can be done with the hands, feet, or knees on the floor. The push-up is performed by lying face-down on the floor, and placing your hands flat on the floor. Push your body off the floor by pushing your palms and the heels of your hands into the floor. Your body should form a straight line from the shoulders to the ankles. Hold this position for a second, and then return to the starting position.
The bench press is one of the most well-known exercises. Everyone knows how to do it, and most people are familiar with its benefits. It’s not just a great upper-body strengthening move.
The bench press is a compound movement that works many muscles in your arms, chest and shoulders. While it is a great exercise for building strength, size and endurance, there are some alternative exercises that allow you to hit your upper body from a different angle and build slightly different muscles
This exercise can be performed with a barbell or dumbbells. The bar is placed on the chest, and is lowered until it touches the chest. The bar is then lifted, until the arms are extended.
The pull-up is a compound exercise that works your lats, biceps, traps, rhomboids, and forearms. It’s also a movement pattern essential to everyday life and athletic performance. For example, a pull-up requires you to create tension in your back and then use that tension to lift your body weight.
The action of the pull-up is similar to the action of rowing and chin-ups, both of which are used in weight training programs and Crossfit.
This compound movement works your trapezius, rhomboids, errectors, and lats. It also engages your core, glutes, and hamstrings. The row is a great movement for overall back strength and muscle building. It also improves posture, and boosts grip strength.
This exercise can be done using dumbbells, resistance bands, or cable machines. The dumbbell row is performed by grasping the dumbbells with a neutral grip. The arms are extended, and the chest is lifted. The arms are bent at the elbows, and the chest is lowered until the arms are extended. Repeat this motion until failure.
The dip is a compound exercise that works your pectorals, triceps, and shoulders. It also engages your core, glutes, and hamstrings.
This exercise can be done using parallel bars, dip bars, or an elevated bench. The dip is performed by placing your hands on the bars or bench, and lifting your body until your arms are straight. The body is then lowered until the arms are bent, and the exercise is continued.
Personal Trainer Tips
When you perform compound exercises correctly, you will be able to lift heavier weight. This will stimulate muscle growth, improve your strength, and boost your athletic performance. Compound exercises will also place more muscle fibres under tension, so you’ll burn more calories and build more muscle.
When it comes to upper body workouts, compound exercises are just that – compound. They are one of the best ways to build strength and muscle, making them an essential part of your training programme. So, whether you’re a veteran lifter or just getting started, keep these top five compound upper body exercises in mind and reap the rewards of a great upper body workout.