An exercise that uses multiple joints and multiple muscles group simultaneously is known as a compound exercise.

For example, When you do a deadlift, you use your lats, glutes, hamstrings, and forearms simultaneously, those exercises that use your multiple muscles and build them at a time are compound exercises.


Compound exercises boost the heart rate, which results in burning more calories, enhancing muscle growth, and shaping our body to the next level.

Benefits of the compound exercises:-

  • Help in weight loss
  • Good for muscle growth
  • Enhance flexibility
  • It improves strength
  • Raise the heart rate

Here are basic but result-oriented compound exercises which help strengthen muscles, build size and improve strength.

Let’s get started,

What is the Difference between Isolation and Compound Exercises

Compound exercises are compound movements, and isolation exercises are single-joint movements. Compound exercises work on multiple muscle groups at a time, while isolation exercises only work on one muscle group.

Compound exercises are also called multi-joint or major exercises because they use more than one joint to perform the movement.

Examples of compound exercises: are squats, lunges, bench presses, and deadlifts.

Isolation exercises are also called single-joint or minor exercises because they only use a single joint to perform the movement.

Examples of isolation exercises: are bicep curls, triceps extensions, calf raises, and abdominal crunches.

Compound Exercise

9 super effective Compound Exercises

1. Dead Lift

The deadlift is the king of lifts, but it’s also an excellent exercise for your leg and back muscles.

For developing muscle mass, make sure to add this compound back exercise to your workout routine.

The deadlift is a prominent exercise for strengthening the back, which can minimize the chances of back injury in the future.

Target area: Lats, lower back, quad, glutes, hamstrings (back of thigh area), forearms

Benefits of deadlift:-

  • Burn fat faster
  • Boost metabolism 
  • Muscles growth
  • Improved cardiovascular ability
  • Build overall strength
  • Improve core strength and stability  
Compound exercise

How to do to?

  1. Stand straight with hip-width apart. 
  2. Slightly bent on your knee towards the bar and push back your butt, your back aligned straight, not rounded.
  3. Hold the bar from the first marked line.
  4. Inhale and lift the bar.
  5. Pull the shoulder behind as much as you can.
  6. Hold for resistance.
  7. Exhale and slowly come to the starting position for another repetition.

Repetitions 12

Sets 4

3. Pull-ups

Pull-ups are also a compound back exercise that works on multiple muscles group at the same time. Pull-ups strengthen the overall upper body.

Pull-ups are entirely different than chin-ups.

In chin-ups, you hold the bar from your palm facing toward you.

In pushups back compound movement, you hold the bar from your palm away from you and in a wide range.

Target area:- Upper back, lower back, triceps, shoulder blade

Variations of pull-ups

  1. Clapping pull-ups
  2. Towel pull-ups
  3. One hand pull-up
  4. Weighted pull-ups
  5. Close-grip pull-ups 
  6. Wide pull-ups

Benefits of pull-ups:-

  • Improved strength of the back
  • Strengthen shoulder and arms
  • Better physical health
  • Enhanced body strength and fitness  
  • Improved grip
Compound exercise

How to do it?

  1. Grip up the bar from shoulder-width apart, palm facing away from you.
  2. Hang on your hand and bend your knee if touching the floor.
  3. Pull yourself up until your chin makes contact with the bar.
  4. Slowly down your body to the starting position for another repetition. 

Repetitions 10

Sets 2-3

Also Read: Bigger Back Workout

4. Pushups

No equipment is needed for this functional exercise that directly hits the upper body like the chest, triceps, abdominal, and other areas.  

Push-ups can be suitable for a beginner as well as an advanced-level gym-goer.

Every gym-goer often does push-ups before starting their workout. Pushups are the best compound chest workout.

Target muscles: Chest, triceps, abs, back, and shoulder

Variation of push-ups

  • Knee push-up
  • Standard push-ups
  • Diamond push-ups
  • Wide hand push-ups
  • Military push-ups
  • Pike push-ups

Benefits of push-ups:-

  • Easy to go exercise
  • Building upper body strength
  • Strengthens muscles
  • Improved posture
  • Improve cardiovascular ability
  • Prevent back pain

How to do it?

  1. Lie down on the chest side.
  2. Place your hands on the floor slightly wider than your shoulders.
  3. Kick your legs to the back; you balanced with your hand and toes.
  4. Inhale and do down until your elbow makes a 90-degree angle.
  5. Exhale when pushing yourself up to the starting position.

Repetitions 12

Sets 4

Compound Exercises

Also Read: A Complete Guide of Push & Pull Workout

5. Military press

A great compound shoulder exercise for developing the deltoid muscles. Also known by many recognizations like overhead press, shoulder press, and strict press.

The military press is weightlifting strength training which is best for building back muscle size and building strength.

Despite building deltoid muscles, it also encouraged muscles of the shoulder, triceps, and core area.

Target muscles: Deltoid muscles, triceps, core, upper chest

Variations of military press

  • Seated press
  • Dumbbell military press
  • Arnold press
  • Smith machine military press

Benefits of the military press:-

  • Increase and strengthen the shoulder muscle
  • Increase and strengthen triceps muscle
  • Strengthen upper chest
  • Build strong core

How to do it?

  1. Hold the barbell from the 1st bar.
  2. Make sure to grip tightly and wrap your thumb around the bar.
  3. Now press the barbell overhead.
  4. Do this 12 times.

Repetition 12

Sets 4

This exercise is super effective and must do with accuracy; else, you may harm yourself.

6. Dips

This exercise is one of the best exercises for developing the overall upper body.

Dips are chest compound exercises that engage many muscles groups in the body

Target area: Triceps, chest, deltoids

Variation of Dips

  1. Bench dips
  2. Parallel bar dips

Benefits of Dips:-

  • Grow muscles in upper-body
  • Enhanced triceps
  • Increase flexibility

How to do it?

  1. Hold the bar parallelly
  2. Slightly lean your body
  3. Now, slowly bend your elbows to lower the body
  4. Align your hand straight and push your body up to the starting position
  5. Do this 12 times

Learn Now: How to Do Dips with Proper Form: The Definitive Guide 

Repetition 12

Sets 4

Related: Best Chest and Triceps Workout

7. Squats

A squat is a popular exercise and the best compound exercise for legs.

If done regularly, it burns body fat and builds lean muscles.

Although your goal is to look good, shredded, or want muscular leg muscles, squats got you covered.

Target area: Front and back thigh, calves, hip flexor

Variation of squats

  1. Barbell front squats
  2. Sumo squats
  3. Dumbbell squats
  4. Barbell back squats
  5. Single leg squats

Benefits of Squats:-

  • Burn calorie
  • Increase strength
  • Build leg muscles 
  • Toned legs
  • Reduce injury
Compound exercise

How to do it?

  1. Stand straight and put your hand on your chest.
  2. Going down with your knee bent.
  3. Keep your spine straight.
  4. Push your buttock behind while sitting down.
  5. Straighten your legs to the starting position with your spine straight.
  6. Do this ten times.
  • Repetition 15
  • Sets 4

Also Read: Plank 5-Minute Workout

8. Lunges

Lunges are one of the most popular compound exercises for the glutes and for the lower body.

Lunges help tone and strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

It is also an excellent way to improve balance and stability in your joints.

Target Area: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, and Calves

Benefits of Lunges

  1. Weight Loss
  2. Improved balance & stability
  3. Strengthen glutes

Repetition: 10-12

Set: 4

Compound exercise

How to do it?

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward.
  • Keep your spine straight and your core engaged.
  • Take one large step with one leg and slowly go down your front knee down and back knee down to a 90-degree angle.
  • Push through your front heel to return to a standing position; repeat on another side.

9. Shoulder Press

The shoulder press is the best compound lift for shoulders.

The shoulder press is a great exercise for your shoulders and upper back. It also trains your core muscles and helps you maintain good posture.

This exercise will help you build more muscle mass, which is essential for increasing strength and preventing injury.

Benefits of Shoulder Press

  1. Build strength of the triceps
  2. Strengthen Shoulder Muscles
  3. Strengthen core muscles
  4. Stabilizer spinal
Compound exercise

How to do it?

  1. Start with sitting on a bench and keep your back straight.
  2. Hold the dumbbells in each hand at shoulder level.
  3. Now, exhale and raise the dumbbells above the head.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position under control.

Repetition: 12

Set: 4

Advantages of compound exercises:-

  • Strengthen your overall body
  • Build lean muscle
  • Burn more calories
  • Increased heart rate
  • Improved posture
  • Improve HGH level
  • Encourage you to lift heavy

Also Read: Foods That Burn Fat Like Crazy

Disadvantages of compound exercises:-

  • You may be injured if not followed the proper form.


There are a ton of compound exercises you can do to gain maximum strength and muscles size:-

  • Bench press
  • Lat pulldown
  • Jump rope

A compound exercise is more beneficial for shredding or lean building, but these exercises need more focus and accuracy.

Those are two critical points for fitness

  • Lifting
  • Good diet

Always go with lightweight until you correct your form. Always seek trainer help while doing any compound exercise. Don’t do ego lifting or rush, and you will not achieve fitness in one day. Great fitness takes time. Focus on proper lifting with the correct form and stick to your diet.

Read the related topics:

Fitness Blogger | Fitness Trainer | Weight Loss Nutritionist

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