Compound Exercises for an Effective Workout in Less Time

Compound exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, chest press, shoulder press, pull-ups, kettlebell swings, have numerous advantages: You burn more calories throughout your workout, because more muscles are working. They allow you to get a full-body workout in less time. For the most time-efficient workouts, compound lifts are recommended because a mere 8-10 compound exercises can stimulate all the major muscles in the body at once. Compound lifts create the greatest change in body composition in the shortest time, and have the added benefit of helping to develop the body proportionately!


Bulgarian Split Squat to Bicep Curl
This exercise combo is all about the booty and arms (aka glutes and biceps).
HOW TO DO IT: Place one foot on a stable bench or platform behind you. Step the opposite leg far out in front of you so that when you squat down you create a 90-degree angle with your front knee. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and keep your core tight as you squat. Squeeze the glutes and drive up, performing a bicep curl at the top of the split squat. Switch legs and repeat.

Step-Up to Overhead Press

The first part of this exercise targets the lower body, while the second part strengthens your upper body -- and the entire exercise challenges your core. HOW TO DO IT: Using a stable step or bench, start with one foot on the bench so that your knee is at a 90-degree angle. With a dumbbell in each hand in the front-rack position, step up onto the bench. At the top of the step-up, press the dumbbells overhead. Lower back down and repeat on the opposite leg.


Bench Press to Leg Raise

Skip the bench of the traditional bench press and perform this exercise on the floor. HOW TO DO IT: Lie on the floor with dumbbells or barbell in hand. Start with the dumbbells/barbell a few inches off your chest, then press up to the sky. As the weight is at the top, raise your legs up till your legs and arms are parallel to each other (and perpendicular to the floor).



Push-Up to Row

Also known as the renegade row, this move is an upper-body toner. HOW TO DO IT: Start in the push-up position with a dumbbell in each hand. Spread your feet apart to gain more control and balance over your body. Lower down into the bottom of a push-up and raise back up to the starting position. At the top of your push-up, row the right arm back so that your hand is close to your armpit while keeping it close to your side. Your elbow should be pointed straight up to the ceiling. Lower down and repeat on the other side. With each push-up, change the arm you’re rowing with.



Hang Power Clean to Front Squat

These last two moves require a bit of weightlifting skill and practice, so perfect your form first before adding weight. HOW TO DO IT: Start in the hang position with the barbell in front of you (unloaded if you’re a beginner). Your starting position is similar to that of a deadlift, but with both palms facing your body. Hold the bar just above your knees and feel your hamstrings engage. Then drive the hips (as though you were jumping) and shrug so that the bar goes straight up the front of your body. Since this is a power clean, you should drop to a quarter-squat position to receive the bar, whipping the elbows in front of you to start your front squat. With the bar resting across your collarbone, lower down into a front squat. As you drive up, think of screwing your feet outward into the ground to fully engage your glutes.


 Shoulder Tap to Push-Up

With this exercise, you’ll really need to focus on keeping your entire core stable and not rolling to one side or the other as you tap each shoulder. HOW TO DO IT: Start in the plank position with your hands on the floor and shoulders over your wrists. Spread your feet apart several inches to gain better balance. While keeping your core stable, raise the right hand to tap the left shoulder and lower your hand back down. Then tap the left hand to the right shoulder and lower it back down. After you have tapped both shoulders, drop down into a push-up, getting your chest as close to the floor as possible while keeping your back straight, then press back up to the starting position.


What Do You Think?

Have you done any of these moves before? Which ones do you plan on trying out? What are some of your other favorite compound movements? Let us see how you use compound movements in your workouts by tagging us @strivvefit or #strivve!



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