Strength training is a big part of staying fit. Increasing strength slows down the effects of aging, makes you look better, and can make many activities in normal life easier to perform. One of the best ways to train strength is to perform compound exercises. Compounds exercises -- as opposed to isolation exercises -- are those in which multiple joints and muscle groups are involved. Examples of compound moves include squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, and deadlifts. These and other compound exercises have a lot to offer. Here are the five key advantages of compound exercises.
1. A more intense workout. Isolation exercises require the use of just a single joint and muscle group. While this targeted form of training has its value, exercises that get more of the body involved are certainly more demanding. This fact is why compound exercises burn plenty of calories and make the heart pump hard.
2. Greater efficiency. Targeting muscle groups one by one is not particularly efficient. By involving more of the body in each particular movement, compound exercises get more done in less time. It's possible to target all of the most important muscle groups in the body in a relatively short workout. Compound workouts are thus especially valuable for people with little time for exercise.
3. Variety. For people into fitness, boredom and loss of motivation are a serious risk. Taking on new challenges is essential to both avoiding burnout and continuing to make progress. Since they involve more than one muscle group, many compound exercises are complicated. This complexity can require greater concentration, especially at first. This added challenge can make compound training more rewarding.
4. Greater functionality. Working out isn't just about looking better or becoming fitter for its own sake. Exercise also makes the movements required by everyday life easier. Compound exercises are especially effective for this purpose since most natural movements involve the use of multiple joints and muscle groups. While isolation exercises are beneficial, they have less practical application in the real world.
5. Better muscular coordination. Isolation exercises train muscle groups to work on their own. In contrast, compound movements require different muscle groups to operate together, improving the coordination between the muscles involved. This intermuscular coordination helps the body operate as it is intended to, since muscle groups are rarely activated individually in a natural environment.
Compound exercises will make a great addition to anyone's normal workout routine. While beneficial for people of all fitness levels, compound moves can be especially valuable for those who have already spent a lot of time performing isolation exercises.