Compound Exercise Workouts – Great for Getting the Results in Less Time…

Do you know what fitness goals you want to achieve, and would love to work out regularly, but just often can’t find enough time in your schedule to fit in a decent training session?

It can be hard for us females to try to do everything we need to achieve in our busy weeks, and I find that compound exercise workouts are the perfect answer for getting in a thorough gym workout in the minimum amount of time.

Exercises are basically broken up into two types; isolation exercises that work just one muscle group and compound exercises that are multi-jointed and work several muscle groups at the same time. Compound exercises also generally target at least one of our major muscles and are therefore a great way to build all over body strength, muscle and endurance. They can raise your heart rate and can even help burn more calories, therefore fat in shorter work out times.

Which Compound Exercises?

These multi-jointed types of exercise basically mimic the movements we carry out in our daily lives such as pushing, pulling, pressing, squatting and lifting. Therefore by doing them not only will we build more muscle, become stronger and leaner but will also be able to carry out normal tasks more efficiently and with less risk of injury.

The most important thing is to make sure you perform each of the exercises is a controlled manner with the correct form. That is you keep your back straight, abs contracted and do the movement slowly without swinging your body. You want to be concentrating on feeling your muscles working as you carry out each movement.

weights for compound exercise workouts

So if you are heading for the gym you want to be looking at doing exercises like squats, dead lifts, bench pressing, pull ups or pull downs and rowing.

You should start by doing 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions and using a weight that you can feel the resistance from the 8th repetition onward.

So, let’s have a look at some of these exercises and how they can help you attain a beautiful strong and proportionately toned body.

barbell and a female

The Squat

This is definitely the king of all exercises as it targets so many different muscles of the body, and there are many different types of variations to it. For us females the squat is definitely one exercise we do not want to miss out as it’s great for hitting the thighs, booty, back and even toning those hard to hit parts of the abs.

Proper form is really important though when performing squats and you should always make sure you keep your back straight, abs contracted and your knees in line with your feet. When you bend down, do so from the hips as though you are going to sit in a chair, I’d first practice doing these with a thick wooden stick or light metal bar so as to get the movement correct. And ladies, make sure you try and get that booty as low to the floor as possible for the maximum benefit to it!

Yes, doing several repetitions of this exercise is hard work and you are likely to make some noise when getting to the end of the set, but believe me they are worth putting the effort in to do…

Bench Press

We all want to work our chest to make the muscles there stronger and more toned and the best exercise for that is definitely the bench press, which also targets several muscles in your arms and shoulders. Again there are several variations to this exercise that can target different areas of the chest and you can do them with a barbell or dumbbells. I’d start off with the flat bench and a couple of light enough dumbbells to be able to practice performing the exercise properly.

one-arm-row

One Arm Dumbbell Row

This is my favourite exercise for really targeting the upper and middle of your back. It is also great for the biceps, forearms and back of your shoulders. Just try and keep the back as straight as possible when lifting the weight, I always use the mirrors to check I’m keeping the correct form with this exercise. Having great toned back muscles also makes your waist look smaller and can also compensate for those of us that are blessed with large hips.

Pull-ups/Pull-downs

This is probably one of the best exercises for creating a beautiful sculptured back, but the problem is most females find it too difficult to perform. We often lack the upper body strength needed and carry most our weight on our lower body therefore making it too hard to pull our body up to start with. Some gyms do have various assistance devices to help you build up your strength to do these, though not all of them. You can start by using the pull-down machine and gradually increase your weight and repetitions on that. Those along with your dumbbell rows will gradually help build up the strength you need to do a pull-up and still give you a gorgeous shapely back in the meantime.
toned female in the weights room

Deadlift

This is another great exercise that is well worth including in your workout, as it hits so many different parts of the body from several different areas of the back, the front and back of the thighs as well as the chest and arms. This exercise is basically just the lifting a heavy weight up from the ground, so is not only one of the best exercises for overall body strength but also pretty useful in our daily lives.

Above are just some of my favourite compound exercises but there are many others you can also perform. Just remember to make sure you spend a few minutes warming up before you start the exercises and warm down properly along with stretching out all the muscles you have used. These stretches are really important for reducing the amount of muscle soreness you’ll have the next day and in speeding up your recovery.

I hope you found this information useful and manage to find the time to get to the gym and do a 30 minute workout with these exercises. If you have any comments or questions please leave them below as I’d love to hear your views.

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6 Responses

  1. Nay says:

    Trying to lose at least 10 pounds for my 20th year high school reunion, a trip to the Bahamas. This website offers some great quick tips. Some listed I can do on my lunch break or during a commercial break while at home . Great job on your recommendations.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Nay,
      Thank you for your comment and I’m pleased you found my recommendations useful.
      As you said these are some great exercises that you can easily find time to fit in to your day.
      Good luck on getting trim for your reunion and hope you have a great time.

  2. lilywong says:

    I have never heard of compound exercise – so this article is really interesting! I like doing squats and planks – planks are compound workouts right? As they involve different parts of the body. But I am very weak in push-ups, don’t seem to have much strength in my arms. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Emma says:

      Hi Lilywong,

      Thank you for your comments and I’m really pleased you found it useful. Planks are a great body-weight exercise to strengthen your core, as they work different parts of the abdominal muscles, back and hips.

      A lot of females find proper push-ups difficult as we generally lack the upper body strength to perform them properly, you can practice doing them on an incline which will be easier and this will help you build up your strength to do the proper ones.

  3. Matt's Mom says:

    This information is perfect timing. Me and my son are going to get back into the gym starting this Saturday. I work with a trainer and my son will be doing the work similar to what you have provided. I am going to take this post and make a workout for him to do while I am busy with doing my own. Perfect, thank you !

    • Emma says:

      Hi Matt’s Mom,

      Thank you for your comment, I’m really pleased that you found the information useful and will be able to use it to devise a workout for your son. Hope you both have a great first training session back in the gym.

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