An emerging trend in fitness nowadays is that that we should train for being fit, rather than looks; for performance, rather than staying in the same routine. And while you may think that there is a choice to be made, the truth is, you can have both. Both overall fitness and looks, both performance and health in one fitness routine that comprises these elements.
And that can be achieved by exercises and fitness programs like the 21 day fix workout that, at least according to me, touch the very basics of fitness, and what it means to be fit.
If you haven’t known by now, this may just be the perfect time- ladies and gentleman I present you the compound exercises.
Being a fitness junkie, you probably stumbled across exercises of a compound nature. I’m here to convince you to stick with them for a while longer.
What are Compound Exercises?
Compound exercises are, just as the label suggests, exercises that comprise various types of activity in one exercise, one movement.
Compound exercises distinct from other types of exercise by targeting more muscle groups at once, instead of targeting a single isolated muscle group.
So in order to make a basic comparison, I will throw an example. An isolated muscle group exercise would be the biceps curl, while a squat would represent a compound exercise.
Compound exercises like the 21 day fix are usually performed by using your own body weight to supply the resistance. Therefore, in terms of targeting more muscle groups at once, you are better off working out at home instead of going to the gym and trying to find the machines that will offer you the same range of opportunities to do a nice compound exercise.
Benefits of Compound Exercises
Compound exercises have so numerous benefits, that when I say fitness, I actually mean compound exercises.
Targeting more muscle groups at once has such an effect on your body, that it cannot be compared to isolated muscle exercises even a bit.
So what are the benefits of compound exercises like 21 day fix by Beachbody?
- Allow you to get a full body workout in a shorter time frame. As we are having less time for everything, cutting a three day fitness routine into one hour is always welcomed. And if you now argue that this means less muscle mass, just read ahead to see what are you in fact gaining. Since it isn’t only time economics, it’s much more than that. Albeit this means making a compromise in some aspects (as is tremendous muscle gain), it sure has its own merits.
- Longer workouts without feeling fatigue. This is actually due to the nature of the exercises that don’t stress a single muscle group to the point of exhaustion, and to the fact that your testosterone levels are rising alongside with the levels of endorphin. Also, when compared to the isolated exercises, compound exercises are something the body is used to do, something it is familiar with. In short, they come as a natural stimulus for the body muscular structure, as well as cardio and respiratory systems.
- More calories burned in one session. This is quite understandable due to the fact that you are targeting more muscle groups at once. Also by doing so your cardio system is taking some of the load, when compared to doing isolated exercises where it’s still far from dormant, but not even close to the levels as in compound exercises. Your body neural system also feels the effort put into doing these exercises, and detects a lack of balance. So in order to help you restore the balance it activates more muscle fibers than usual, and practically your whole body is put under an exercise. As opposed to lying on a bench, when the body feels that you don’t need additional balance, and activates only the muscles involved into that exercise.
- Stimulate real world activities. At least it doesn’t get boring. Kidding. The reason though, why this is so beneficial to you is that it promotes functionality and performance more than anything else.
- Activate the cardiovascular and respiratory systems more. At least when compared to doing isolated muscle group exercises. All those muscles working at once, your body needing additional balance, it requires the cardio system to also be a huge part of the workout. Similar to this, your body needs more oxygen, so your respiratory system is also part of the workout.
- Improve joint stability, and also decrease the risk of injury. The movements themselves are making you more flexible, and when combined with the muscle and strength exercise features of compound exercises, your joints and the muscles around them now become less prone to injury since they are more stable, more flexible.
- Improve coordination time, balance, agility, speed, reaction time etc. You see, doing those movements and adding resistance with your own body, you are now more aware of every muscle in it, you feel how the body reacts and responds quickly, you control every movement more than before, get used to coordinating more muscle groups at once, and this itself leads to the things mentioned above. No wonder athletes incorporate gym only as a minor part of their training plan.
- Improve positive hormones rate. Activating more muscle groups at once, means more triggers switched in your body. Testosterone is produced more, same as growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1. These hormones help you to build lean muscle faster, while burning more fat than before. Endorphin levels also notice a spike, and this in turn makes you more relaxed, in better mood, happier.
As you see, there is more than just one reason why you should consider compound exercises to be a part of your fitness program. Apart from being more fun, that is.
Here are some exercises that are considered to be the best compound exercises you can make:
- Cycling sit-ups
There are also many others that if I give you the name you will most likely be confused, or recognize it under a different name instead.
Compound Exercises May Help you Reach the “next level in fitness”
Since fitness is evolving by the day, we are all in fact searching for the perfect fitness routine, the perfect workout program.
There is no such thing as perfect if you ask me. You can only try incorporating as much of the good stuff as you can. And compound exercises are definitely such.
I think that compound exercises, when combined with intense cardio may bring us one step closer to achieving the “next level” in fitness presented by the 21 day fix workout. You can read more about 21 day fix in this 21 day fix review.
For me this, in a way, creates the complete picture of fitness.
Compound exercises give you the resistance training, they train you for strength, endurance, stamina, power. You also get balance, flexibility, coordination, agility, speed. Now imagine what you can do if you put some intense cardio in there too. Sounds promising huh?
There are many alternatives to achieving this, and you can search in the lines of different sports, fitness routines created by a professional trainer, workout programs having all this covered.
- As for sports, you can try swimming, basketball, track, triathlon, and not that many others. Here you have a lot of intense cardio, sudden acceleration, and bursts of speed and performance, as well as resistance and strength exercise like activities.
- When it comes to workout programs, luckily there are couple on the market, out of which P90X and the Insanity workout and 21 day Fix are among the best. I tried and completed the Insanity, and I was more than satisfied. Incorporating various compound exercises, more than intense cardio, and making your own body to supply heavy resistance, this exercise and workout program is something I will recommend to everyone out there who lacks the challenge in anything else that he has tried.
- You can also hire a professional trainer, and work with him in order to get where you want in fitness. You can explain to him what kind of exercises you want, or just explain your expectations and what you are hoping to get. Working with a professional is always a fun and huge opportunity for you to reach improvement in fitness. Not only this but having a personal trainer working with you, you are getting a lot of motivation as well as do things the right way. Sometimes you can do an exercise one hundred times using slightly wrong form, and the effects may be equivalent to doing it right for twenty times. Here a personal trainer makes all the difference.
No matter the fitness routine, or the workout program you are doing, or whether you are working with a hired professional or not, compound exercises are always going to be a huge opportunity for improvement in all aspects of fitness, should you decide to comprise them into your workout schedule.