man pull up exercise

6 Best Compound Exercises to Build Body Mass

Staying fit is a real-time struggle for everyone. It is hard to find which exercise will suit your body the best in order to build stamina, muscle mass, and performance. Compound exercises can be contrasted to isolation exercises.

Isolation exercises are often helpful to rehabilitate a part of your body or organ because they mainly focus on a single body organ at a time. They are advantageous when you try to re-stabilize a limb or portion of your body after surgery or loss of function. For instance, a typical bicep curl is a classic example of an isolation exercise.

Whereas, compound exercises focus on various muscular organs at the same time. As the name suggests, compound exercises are complex and a combination of two or more isolation exercises. For example, squats are meant to work on glutes, quadriceps, and calve muscles. They are beneficial if a person wants improved muscle strength, better performance, and quality of life. 

What are the Benefits of Compound Exercises?

Before we list down the top 6 compound exercises, let’s just go through some of the incredible benefits that it brings to you.

Flexibility

Compound exercises make your muscle movements smoother and more flexible by improving the stretchability and performance of the muscle parts. 

Smart Time Management

You can achieve miraculous results in less time with these exercises since they focus on boosting various muscle groups at a single time. If you are short on time, try compound exercises now!

Calories

As compared to the isolation exercises, compound exercises burn more calories and help in instant weight loss. 

Muscle Mass and Strength

They burn extra and unwanted fat and aids in strengthening muscles and speeding muscle growth. 

Coordination

Continued relaxation and contraction of various muscles help in focusing on many different organs at the same time, which improves muscle coordination. 

Best Compound Exercises to Build Body Mass and Strength

Deadlift

A deadlift is a sort of compound exercise that primarily targets all your body muscles, especially quadriceps, gluteals, trapezius, hamstrings, and lower back. 

deadlift weight training exercise

Equipment

You will require a barbell for this task. 

Method

  1. Stand upright with your back straight and feet wide apart to the level of your shoulders. 
  2. Grasp the barbell near to your body and start bending down, keeping your back straight and pulling your hips backwards. 
  3. Hold the bar outside the line of your knees and lift it. 
  4. Take a deep breath during the process and lift to the level of your knees by pushing your hips forward and keeping a straight posture. 

Bench Press

This compound exercise mainly focuses on training and strengthening the upper body, chest, pectoralis major, deltoids, and tricep muscles.

Man Performing Dumbbell Presses
Muscular man lies on a bench and does dumbbell presses. Horizontal shot.

Equipment

You will need a barbell or some weights for this exercise.

Method

  1. Lie straight on your back on a weight training bench and hold the barbell. 
  2. Lift the barbell upwards, shifting the weight to your arms and then bring it lower to the level of your chest. 
  3. This is one rep for flat bench press. However, you can either go for inclined and reverse press as well.
  4.  If a barbell isn’t available and you want to do a bench press at your place, you can shift to dumbbells as well.  

Squat

If you are home and don’t have any types of equipment, you can always opt for squats. It is the best kind of compound exercise that works for all muscular groups. 

woman squat exercise

Equipment

None 

Method

  1. Position yourself with your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keep your chest up and start bending down slowly with your knees, pushing hips backwards while inhaling the air inside. 
  3. Bend till your knees are near to your toes. Refrain from tracking it too far as it will cause extra tension and might damage the lower muscles and lower back. 
  4. After that, wait for a few seconds keeping your thighs parallel to the ground. Stay put on the ground and start standing up slowly to the starting point. 

Pull-ups

Pull-ups are a complete combination of advanced upper body exercise that strengthens and improves the muscle tone of your back, shoulder, and biceps. 

man pull up exercise

Equipment

 None except a wall or a bar at a certain length

Method

  1. After warming up yourself, gear up and stand straight near a wall or a bar.
  2. Keep your arms shoulder-width apart and hold the bar with your palms facing the other side.
  3. Lift yourself slowly up from the ground and hang on by stretching out your arms. You can bend your knees if the height of the bar is set low.
  4. Take a deep breath and lift your body till your chin is above the bar level.
  5. Move your shoulders backwards and keep your body engaged during the motion.
  6. Hold the posture for a few seconds and come down slowly until you hang again on the bar. 

Dips

If you want to strengthen your muscle mass, dips are an excellent way to start with. This is a beginner-level compound exercise that targets your chest, back, shoulders, and triceps. 

woman dips exercise

Equipment

Dips bar, a chair, or a bench.

Method 

For each set, firstly, you need to find a bar, chair, or bench.

Chair/Bench: 

  1. Hold the corner of the chair with your palm facing your feet and your arms and legs extended. 
  2. Lift yourself slightly from the edge and slowly lower yourself until your forearms point downwards and your shoulders make a 45 or 90-degree angle. 
  3. Hold for a few seconds and return to the initial position steadily.
  4. In the case of a bar, hold the bar with your palms facing inwards and arms extended. Slowly lower yourself and follow the same steps as mentioned above. 

Overhead Press

It is an excellent upper body exercise targeting your shoulders, biceps, chest, abs, lower back, and elbows. If you are a newbie, try opting for a seated dumbbell shoulder press for more grip and stability. 

overhead press exercise

Equipment

 A barbell or set of dumbbells

Method

  1. Stand straight, look ahead, and brace your muscles. 
  2. Keep your arms shoulder-width apart and grab the dumbbells. 
  3. Hold them on your upper chest to the level of your shoulders while your palms are facing the opposite side. 
  4. Raise the bar over your head and hold it for a few seconds. 
  5. Lower the bar slowly to the initial position. Refrain from adding too much pressure to your lower back or legs. Start with fewer weights and gradually increase it. 

Takeaway

Remember: Fitness is a journey. You have to start somewhere to reach a higher level.

Start with basic exercises for 10-15 mins each day. Add challenges each day by increasing the time simultaneously to attain maximum benefits. This way, you won’t be having severe pain in your body after you are done with the exercises. You will feel refreshed and energetic after each day. 

Tip: Add a knee brace to your routine before you begin exercising.

These six compound exercises have proven to work miraculously for many individuals around the world. They focus on multiple muscular parts simultaneously, which aligns your muscles and joints, speeds up muscle growth, and develops muscle strength. Get ready for the challenge with compound exercises, amigos!  

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