Better Workout Results in Less Time

In a perfect world, we would all have hours of free time to spend working out. But in the real world, we’re all looking for ways to get the best workout in the shortest time. Compound exercises are the key to accomplishing that. And at Synergy Personal Fitness, each small group training session includes several compound exercises to give you a super effective, total body workout.

A compound exercise works multiple muscle groups and uses two or more joints to complete the movement. Think of exercises like kettlebell swings and squats that require effort from several muscle groups versus isolation exercises like bicep curls or tricep extensions that really focus on just one muscle. While both types of exercise will get you great results, if you’re looking to accomplish more in less time, compound exercises are the way to go. One compound exercise can do the work of multiple isolation exercises at once.

Without getting too complicated, there are two types of compound exercises:  single moves that use multiple muscles like lunges and squats; and two or more moves done in sequence to form a single exercise like a clean and press. Here are a couple of examples of the beauty of these exercises.  

When done correctly a squat will work 6 muscles.  

  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Adductors
  • Hamstrings
  • Erector Spinae (a group of muscles that runs vertically down your back)
  • Rectus Abdominis (your six pack)

When done correctly a clean and press will work a whopping 8 muscles.

  • Deltoids
  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Erector Spinae
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Calves
  • Rectus Abdominis

How’s that for efficient? What’s more is that working all of those muscles together maximizes your calorie burn and will help you get stronger and leaner more quickly. The benefits also extend to strengthening and trimming your core. When doing a compound exercise, your body will naturally engage your core muscles to stabilize you. That means while you’re squatting or doing a deadlift or any other compound exercise, your core gets a boost too.

We’re not suggesting you ditch isolation exercises all together. They are great for tweaking certain areas that you want to pay special attention to. But we are suggesting that in order to maximize your results, about 80% of your strength workout should be dedicated to compound exercises. If you follow these general guidelines, you’re sure to accomplish your fitness goals in no time.


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