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Compound lifts are any strengthening exercise where you’re using more than one muscle group at the same time. There are plenty of benefits to be had from doing them. take a read below to see why they're beneficial and the 3 lifts I'd recommend everybody has in their workout programmes.

• They’re efficient - by working multiple areas at once, you save time. Perfect if you’re trying to squeeze a couple of workouts around a busy work/ life schedule.

• They allow you to lift heavy - by relying on more than one muscle group, you can afford to go heavier with these lifts. Albeit it's important you are still able to maintain correct technique with the desired loads.

• They burn more calories - doing bigger moves that engage more muscle groups while lifting heavier loads, are all things that contribute to burning more calories. And by taking on more weight, you use more of the glycogen stored up in your muscles. Great for using up that pent-up energy.

• They get your heart rate up - done right, strength-based workouts can be just as good at getting your heart rate up as cardio-based ones. This is because you’re using several muscles at the same time and you’re also asking them to work hard. So, to make sure your muscles are kept topped up with enough energy to lift, your heart needs to pump harder.

• They help improve your mobility - compound lifts are often quite technical. And being able to do them correctly, as well as hit all the right muscles, means having a good amount of joint mobility. Hips, shoulders, knees, ankles and wrists all play their part in helping you build muscle. And so, as well as working on your strength, compound exercises also help you focus on improving your mobility.

• They help to improve your coordination - compound lifts often take years to master. Every little detail should be spot on – not only so you can build muscle but also so you can avoid getting injured. So, learning the movements and allowing your muscles to learn as well, is great for helping you focus and improve your coordination.


What they work:

Quads, lower back, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and core.

Why do them:

Squats are most likely going to be the exercise when you can take the most weight. Mainly because the weight is already placed on top of you, but also because you don’t need to arch or move around to complete the exercise.

That’s not to say they’re easy. And getting the technique right when you’re lifting a decent amount of weight at the Squat Rack is all the more reason to be accurate with your form.

But in terms of building muscle mass, squats are vital as they hit so many areas at once.


What they work:

Hamstrings, lower back, glutes, hip flexors and core.

Why do them:

Deadlifts are one of those compound strength exercises that many people are just not sure about. From a young age, many of us are taught that bending while lifting is bad. So, from a beginner’s perspective, they can look like injuries waiting to happen.

However, the correct technique involves keeping your back straight throughout the whole exercise.

It’s true that technique is really important when deadlifting. However, once you have got the form correct, they are more likely to help prevent injuries than create them. They’re incredibly useful for targeting the weaker areas of your posterior chain and they will really help you to make great strides in reaching your strength goals.

The important thing to remember is to get the technique right. Practise with just a barbell and make sure you’re lifting with your glutes and hamstrings, not your upper body.

Just starting out? Trap Bars will help you perfect your form while you’re still learning. They will also help to eliminate the temptation to let your weight fall forward as you lift.

Pull ups

What they work:

Lats, delts, traps, biceps and core.

Why do them:

The term ‘pull ups’ refers to a multitude of exercises that can be done on a Pull Up Bar. The most popular type being chin ups. However, all forms have their benefits so once you have mastered one type, it’s good to keep mixing it up.

Pull ups are one of the best ways to target your back and they’re great for improving your functional fitness levels too. And by having to take your entire bodyweight, they’re ideal for building up your grip strength too which is vital for a full range of lifts.

Help and Advice

If you’re looking for any advice on the above blog or are looking for guidance and motivation through online coaching please drop me an email on to find out more information on how we can help you. Just like we’re helping hundred’s of other individuals become a fitter, healthier version of themselves. Alternatively go to this link to set up a consultation call.

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