Compound movements are the lifts that allow us to incorporate the most muscles possible, thereby giving us the opportunity to move the most weight possible. By working multiple muscles at a time we’re able to get more bang for our buck by doing fewer exercises but also by allowing us to take advantage of the heavier weights we are able to lift.
To find the best compound exercises we don’t need to look any further than the tried and true staples. The bench press, overhead press, barbell row, weighted chin up, squat and deadlift.
These movements will allow you to move some serious weight and have you adding more and more weight to the bar with almost each and every workout. Just these few exercises will also train almost every muscle in your body, almost.
Make no mistake, these compound movements will definitely increase your strength, more so than perhaps any other, and they will make up the foundation of any serious training program, but they can also leave you lacking in many other areas.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t educate you on the areas of your training that you are overlooking by being singularly focused on just strength. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE fan of strength, in fact I’ve seen first hand how taking a genetically gifted athlete and doing nothing but making them stronger will help them rise to new heights.
Fact is, most of us are not genetically gifted athletes, we more often than not are sitting at a computer all day at work and being severely under stimulated physically outside of what we do in the gym. For these two reasons alone you need to make sure that strength is a foundational part of your training, but not the only part of your training. Never make yourself one dimensional.
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