Single muscle engagement within an exercise program is good for isolating specific muscles. Biceps curls, crunches, hamstring curls, and quad extensions are all exercises that isolate specific muscle groups. There’s a time and a place to incorporate these kinds of exercises. However, what happens when we begin to engage multiple muscle groups within one exercise, creating compound movements?
All the muscles throughout our bodies require oxygen to operate. The more oxygen that is required, the harder the heart has to work. So, it only makes sense that if we are going through a hip drive to row or one arm banded side step, multiple muscle groups will be activated, and the heart will have to work harder versus just a triceps extension.
With that said, compound exercises result in higher heart rates which in turn stimulate our metabolism to higher levels even after we are done working out. Another benefit to compound exercises is that they target multiple muscle groups in a shorter period of time. With our hectic and busy schedules, a quicker workout seems a bit more appealing. In addition to increased heart rate and metabolism, coordination among muscles also increases. A higher level of focus and coordination is required when engaging multiple muscle groups.
The three exercises in this blog are multi-muscle, compound exercises. It is important to take time and think about the motions you are going through when executing these exercises. Focus, and get into the muscle; think about what it is you’re doing and what muscles you’re activating. Increase your heart rate, metabolism, and coordination in a shorter period of time with these compound exercises. Check out this article for a sample workout routine!