Here are a few of the benefits and potential dangers of compound exercises. Alright, so you've committed to getting into shape and you want to know the fastest most efficient way to get there. The commendable path that you've chosen will lead you directly through the intricate world of compound exercise. What is compound exercise? It is simply an exercise that involves multiple joints or muscle groups in one activity. It often utilizes a wide range of motion, providing a variety of movements in a single exercise. Examples of Popular Compound Exercises: Bench press, Squats, Dead lift, Cleans, Jerks, Crunches, Dips.
Compound exercises are useful because they not only target multiple muscle groups at once, allowing you to lift heavier weight and therefore giving you better and faster results, but they also closely mimic "real world" movements. These are motions that you use in your daily life, which provide an obvious benefit over most isolated muscle exercises, which usually do not have many real world applications. This is the reason many athletes and personal trainers focus almost exclusively on compound exercises. These varied and often complicated movements can build muscle quickly, because they allow you to lift more weight than if you were concentrating on just a single muscle group. They can also save you valuable time, getting you to your fitness goals much more quickly. They build power, mass and coordination at a much higher rate as well.
Here's a quick example. I was a college basketball player and had hit a plateau in my level of strength. No matter what I did I couldn't seem to push past the place I was in and was frustrated to no end! It was affecting my performance, so I desperately began to seek a solution. My coach suggested that I add cleans and jerks to my workout regimen, which already involved squats, bench presses and dead-lifts. The result was an explosion of power that was not only a big surprise, but an invaluable lesson that added a huge boost to my strength, endurance and confidence! That being said, while there are definite advantages to compound exercises, there are certainly a few drawbacks to them as well, especially for the novice trainee. Danger is the first and most important aspect to address because compound movements utilize multiple joints and muscles that can lead to injury if not performed correctly. Due to the complicated movements and the wider range of motion, they require a bit of a learning curve to grasp the proper technique.
When you begin to tackle any compound exercises such as squats, dead lifts, bench presses or cleans, you should always take the time to learn the proper technique by doing the exercise at a lower weight than you think you are able to ensure that you have it down before you add more weight. It is also essential to have a spotter there with you who are familiar with the lift you are performing. A personal trainer is usually the best resource to have with you, at least until you are comfortable with the movements you are attempting, because not only do they know the risks, but can be excellent motivators during these complicated workouts! Another risk is over working a particular muscle group. Because compound exercises work out multiple muscles, it important to have a workout routine that focuses on specific groups without over working or overlooking one muscle group. This is easy for a beginner to fall victim to, so again it is imperative to consult a fitness professional.
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