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4 Effective Compound Exercises to Get You in Shape

Compound exercises are movements of multiple joint that involve stimulation of different muscle groups simultaneously. A squat, for example, is a compound exercise that works on calves, glutes and quadriceps. They differ from typical isolation exercises where single muscle group is targeted. You can also combine two compound exercises like combination of a lunge with a bicep curl at a time to stimulate more muscles.

The major advantage of compound exercises may be that they are an excellent expenditure of your workout time. If you don’t have much time to exercise you can still build muscle mass, core strength and be in shape by focusing on compound exercises. Other benefits of compound exercises include burning more calories, elevating heart rate, improving intramuscular coordination and improving flexibility.

Read on to these 4 compound exercises to follow an effective full body workout routine.


Push-ups are designed to target multiple muscles groups including pectoral muscles, triceps, anterior deltoids, lower back muscles, glutes and core muscles. To do this, first get down on all fours, position your hands a bit wider than your shoulder, flatten your full body, arms and legs, lower your body until you nearly touches the floor by your chest, pause and finally push yourself to back up. Try to do three sets each with five to ten reps at the beginning, and then gradually increase your repetitions as you build your fitness levels higher over time.

Dumbbell front squats

Hold a pair of dumbbells in the upper front of your shoulders and stand tall and straight. Keeping your chest vertically flat, and begin to bend your hip, knees and ankles as like you are going to sit but without a chair as down as you can maintain a pelvis level. The weight should be evenly distributed on both of your feet and make sure your elbows and toes point straight ahead. Push again into the floor keeping a neutral spine to stand up.

Dumbbell front squats
Dumbbell front squats

Forward Lunges

Stand up straight keeping your feet widen as your hips. Step your right foot about 2-3 feet forward bending 90 degree angle. Your left knee should also bend at 90 degree simultaneously. After few seconds of holding your first lunge, push your right foot backward squeezing the right buttock to return to the initial standing position. Do the same with your left foot. Alternating forward lunges between right and left foot are a great free-hand exercise that you could do whether you are at the gym or in your living room.

High Planks

High plank is one of the best free hand bodyweight compound exercises that stimulate muscle groups throughout your body – including your glutes, core muscles, quads, calves and hamstrings. To perform high plank first get into an all fours or a push-up position keeping your hand slightly wider than your shoulders. Push on your toes on the floor and stabilize your body by squeezing your glutes. From your head to ankle, keep your full body straight and hold the position for half a minute. Gradually increase holding your plank position as long as you get more comfortable with it.


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