The Magic of compound movements
No matter what your fitness level is, if you are advanced, professional or a beginner, these exercises will get you closer to your goals!
These exercises have proven their effectiveness throughout the years. They were staples 50 years ago, when Arnold built his physique at Gold’s Gym in the sixties, and remain the foundation of the routines of bodybuilders, fitness models, athletes, or actors till today
They are what we call, the “Golden Five”.
SO, WHAT ARE COMPOUND MOVEMENTS?
Compound movements, are exercises involving multiple joints, therefore different parts of your body and several of your biggest muscles at the same time.
– Your body naturally works as a whole.
– You gain overall strength and therefore size in your biggest muscles.
– By working as a whole, your body corrects the muscle imbalances you could potentially have.
– As you use different main muscles, you burn calories and fat better than with cardio.
– You make your workout shorter and more efficient, thus saving time.
THE COMPOUND MOVEMENTS YOU SHOULD BUILD YOUR WORKOUTS AROUND:
Keep in mind that you can do all these exercises at the Corner4 gym we have on campus!
This is probably the best lift there is. It looks simple, you just lift a barbell from the floor… But to have a proper form, almost every big muscle of your body needs to be properly engaged.
The deadlift is THE exercise that increases your overall strength and size.
It is what will make you evolve from a lower fitness level to a higher.
On the other hand it burns a crazy load of calories.
– Glutes (therefore a great exercise for girls who want a stronger booty)
– Hamstrings and Quads
—>Your entire posterior chain
-Your core (one of the best movements for strong abs)
-Your arms, traps, chest…you name a muscle, it’s probably helping it too..
How to perform a deadlift:
-Keep your feet slightly wider than your shoulder width with your toes pointing a bit outward.
Your hands should grab the bar just outside the legs. Your shoulders need to be just over the bar, and the bar over your feet, close to your body. Lift the bar while maintaining a strong core so your back stays straight with a slight arch. Hips back and chest out. Your arms should be straight at all times, never pulling the bar. Once the bar gets above your knee, start extending your legs and push the hips forward. Stay up straight for two seconds, then put the bar down, pushing the hips back and bending the legs. ALWAYS KEEP THE BACK STRAIGHT, NEVER ROUNDED!
2- Barbell SQUATS
THE exercise to never skip!
If you are a girl, squats are the exercise you should focus on! Increase your squat lifts, and see how your glutes and overall body transform. Focus mainly on improving your barbell squats, and then you can start thinking about other variations like jumping squats, dumbbell squats, etc…
If you are a guy, you should be as proud of your squat gains as of your bench gains!
The squat is a lift that you should try to better, no matter what your level is.
—> Therefore your entire lower body
Back, Traps, Core (one the best exercises for your abs, along with deadlifts)
How to perform a pro barbell Squat:
Place your feet at shoulder width while keeping your toes slightly outward and place the bar on your shoulders. With your core engaged and your chest up, begin to lower your body by pushing the hips back. Stop when your hips are just under the knees. Then use the glutes to raise you up, pushing your hips forward. Keep pressure on your heels throughout the whole movement.
If you want to get this famous V-tapper, doing pull ups is the way to go! This exercise will widen your body and show overall upper-body strength. In addition to that, pull-ups will improve your body posture by strengthening your back muscles.
If you cannot do a pull-up, get stronger on lat pull-downs, assisted pull-ups and negative pull-ups, until you manage to do your first pull-up.
If you can already do pull-ups, try adding weights for a few reps. In addition to making you stronger, this will allow you to increase the number of standard pull-ups you can do.
How to perform it:
– Grab the pull-up bar wider than shoulder width. While contracting your core, your back and expanding your chest, bring your chin at the bar level. To have a better contraction of your lats, think as though you want to tuck your elbows into your back.
The chin-up is a great alternative to the pull-up. Simply take a closer grip with your palms facing you and perform the same movement! It is usually easier and focuses more on your biceps.
4- BENCH PRESS
“How much do you bench bro?” is one of the questions you guys will be asked frequently if you start going to the gym.
Probably the favorite exercise of most male gym-rats, the bench-press is a must-do to improve your chest size and overall upper-body strength.
You can do it with barbells, with dumbbells or on flat, incline or decline benches.
—> most of your upper-body
How to perform the Bench-Press:
– Lie down on the bench with your feet flat on the ground to create a solid base. While your buttocks are ALWAYS in contact with the bench, you want to arch your back a little bit and contract your traps. This allows you to keep your shoulder blades together, putting the stress on your chest and preventing any shoulder injury.
Bring the bar or dumbbell to the chest in a controlled movement, then push.
If you do not have a spotter, it is safer to use dumbbells.
5- OVERHEAD PRESS
This is a great exercise to build strong and popping shoulders. It will work the three heads of the deltoid: interior, medial and posterior.
-Front delt, Medial delt, side delt
What is the proper form of the shoulder press?
-You can do it standing up or sitting on a bench, either way keep your core fully contracted. Lift the bar or the dumbbells, with your elbows.
So there you have it! Compound movements are the main exercises you should be focusing on in the gym. Not only will they make you look good, but also help you perform better outside the gym by creating a good muscle synergy. They also help you drop weight by burning a crazy load of calories and promote hormone health.
This is why you should have a workout routine based around these movements, for example:
1- Chest day- Bench press
2- Leg day- Squats and Deadlift
3- Shoulders day- Overhead press
4- Back day- pull-ups
Please bear in mind that the whole Corner4 team is there to help you in exercising safely. You should always master perfectly the movement before adding more weight.
Never try one of these movements for the first time without asking for help and personal advice from the coaches who are there to help you achieving your goals!