The 12 Greatest Compound Workout routines (Residence or Gymnasium)


Two LEGOs doing bodyweight training on a book

It’s time to find the most effective compound workouts for rookies!

Relating to understanding, compound workouts are essentially the most “bang on your buck.” So I’m tremendous excited you need to be taught extra about them!

In our 1-on-1 Online Coach Program, we prioritize compound workouts when constructing exercise routines for our purchasers. We’ll clarify why at present.

Right here’s what we’ll cowl:

Additionally, for those who’re in a rush, we’ve compiled all our energy and weight coaching content material into one helpful information referred to as (appropriately): Power Coaching 101: All the pieces You Must Know

Seize it totally free while you be a part of the Insurrection (that’s us!) beneath:

Alright, cue the music. Let’s do that thang.

What are Compound Workout routines?

These LEGO characters are on a mission to grow some muscle.

Let’s evaluate “compound workouts” to “isolation workouts”:

Entrance squats can be an instance of a compound train, as a result of it engages your total  decrease physique and core, and fairly a little bit of your higher physique too, as you carry out the motion:

Coach Staci performing the barbell front squat

Versus biceps curls, which roughly simply works your bicep:

This would be an example of an isolation exercise.

As we clarify in our Guide to Functional Fitness, each time doable you need to concentrate on compound workouts.


As a result of in on a regular basis life, you don’t use your muscular tissues in isolation!

While you’re putting baggage within the overhead bin, hoisting a bag of pet food from the ground, or hauling your child to mattress, you’re utilizing your muscle teams collectively. 

Similar to you’d with a compound train.

Plus, because you’re utilizing a number of muscle teams directly, you’re taxing your physique extra when coaching. This could present extra environment friendly use of your time in the gym

In different phrases, why do three completely different workouts when you possibly can simply do one?

A classic scene from SNL

Now that we’ve bought that out of the way in which, let’s get to understanding.

The 5 Greatest Compound Workout routines (Body weight)

Actually, you probably shouldn't waste your time with sit-ups.

1) The Push-up

The push-up is the most effective train you would ever do for your self in terms of utilizing your body weight for “push muscular tissues.”

Muscle tissues educated with the push-up:

  • Pectoral 
  • Triceps
  • Deltoids
  • Abs

Right here’s our video on find out how to do a correct push-up:

Simpler Variation: Knee Push-up

Rebel Leader Steve doing knee push-ups

More durable Variation: Decline Push-up

Decline push-ups like this are a great way to progress your bodyweight exercises.

2) The Bodyweight Squat

The squat train serves a twin function – it’s the basis for constructing energy AND helps construct correct mobility. If you will ever do barbell squats, it is advisable work on hitting correct depth with a body weight squat first! 

Muscle tissues educated with the squat:

Simpler Variation: Assisted Body weight Squat

Coach Staci showing you the an assisted bodyweight squat

More durable Variation: Goblet Squat

The goblet squat is a great way to build muscle for women.

Right here’s find out how to do a HEAVY goblet squat (must you need to strive it):

3) The Inverted Bodyweight Row

Till you may get your first pull-up or chin-up, body weight rows are GREAT to begin constructing your pull-muscle energy.

As you get lower, like this, the row will be harder to do. Great way to progress into a pull-up.

Muscle tissues educated with the inverted row:

  • All your again muscular tissues (Latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius)
  • Biceps
  • Forearm muscular tissues (dorsal, ventral)
  • Your grip

Simpler Variation: Incline Inverted Row

A bodyweight row like this is a great "pull" exercise you can while building up strength for pull-ups.

More durable Variation: Elevated Toes Inverted Row

Raising your feet will make rows more challenging.

4) The Pull-up and Chin-up

As soon as you possibly can assist your physique’s weight above the bar, the world turns into your playground. No energy coaching routine ought to be with out pull-up or chin-up work! (Can’t do a pull-up yet? We got you.)

Muscle tissues educated with the pull-up:

  • All your again muscular tissues (Latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius)
  • Biceps
  • Latissimus dorsi (Lats)
  • Trapezius (Traps)
  • Abs
  • Your grip

Right here’s find out how to carry out a correct pull-up:

Simpler Variation: Detrimental Pull-ups

Staci jumping up to do a negative pull-up., a great movement until you can bring regular pull-ups into your circuit.

More durable Variation: Weighted Pull-ups

A weighted pull-up is great for progressive overload on your muscles.

5) The Bodyweight Dip

As you begin to get stronger with push-ups and must discover a approach to enhance the problem, contemplate doing dips.

Warning: these are very superior, however are unimaginable strength-building workouts. 

Bodyweight dips are a great exercise to include in an strength training practice.

Muscle tissues educated with the dips:

  • Pectoral 
  • Triceps
  • Deltoids
  • Rhomboid (Again muscular tissues)
  • Abs

Simpler Variation: Assisted Dips

A resistance band is a great way to get started with this bodyweight exercise.

More durable Variation: Weighted Dips

My favorite method for doing weighted dips includes a special belt (shown here).

These 5 compound workouts will propel you into the world of body weight coaching. 

For extra concepts on find out how to prepare with no health club, try The 42 Best Bodyweight Exercises (Work Out Anywhere).

Now, it’s barbell time![1]

The 7 Greatest Compound Workout routines (Barbell)

These LEGOs are working the bench and doing some deadlifts. Nerd Fitness approves.

After getting comfy shifting your individual body weight round, it’s time to begin coaching with barbells!

To up the problem with these compound workouts, merely add extra weight. 

The enjoyable factor about barbells: you possibly can virtually at all times add extra weight (disclaimer: supplied you do it safely). 

Listed below are The Greatest Barbell Compound Workout routines

6) The Barbell Squat

A weighted squat might be the most effective compound train in terms of constructing energy and muscle all through your complete physique. 

The back squat will help you transform into a superhero.

Present me any individual who squats heavy and I’ll present you an amazing physique. This can be a MUST.

Right here’s find out how to carry out the barbell again squat:

Muscle tissues educated with the barbell squat:

7) The Barbell Deadlift

Ah, the deadlift…possibly the most effective train of all time. 

Rebel Leader Steve showing how to do a 420 lb deadlift at the gym.

It’s definitely essentially the most primal: “choose the burden up off the bottom. Carried out.” 

Right here’s find out how to carry out the deadlift:

Muscle tissues educated with the barbell deadlift:

  • Glutes
  • Erectors (Spinal muscle)
  • Hamstrings
  • Just about each muscle in your physique

8) The Barbell Romanian Deadlift

Consider the Romania model as the highest half of a standard deadlift (think about you’re a “consuming fowl” bending over on the waist):

Coach Staci showing the Romanian deadlift

Listed below are step-by-step directions on find out how to carry out the Romanian deadlift:

Muscle tissues educated with the Romanian deadlift:

  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Erectors (Spinal muscle)
  • Rhomboid (Again muscular tissues)

9) The Barbell Overhead Press

This train is straightforward: press a barbell above your head. 

Staci performing the overhead press.

Muscle tissues educated with the overhead press:

  • Pectoral 
  • Triceps
  • Deltoids
  • Rhomboid (Again muscular tissues)
  • Abs

All of the muscular tissues in your chest, shoulders, and arms are engaged so as so that you can raise the burden over your head. As a bonus, it is advisable actually flex and brace your core, which will get these muscular tissues working too.

Listed below are step-by-step directions on find out how to carry out the overhead press:

10) The Barbell Bench Press

To do a bench press, simply lie on a bench and decrease a barbell till it virtually touches your chest. Pause, after which press it again up in direction of the sky. 

As Staci shows here, keep your arms vertical (as much as you can).

Repeat! And get sturdy. 

Listed below are step-by-step directions on find out how to carry out the bench press:

Muscle tissues educated with the benchpress:

  • Pectoral 
  • Triceps
  • Deltoids
  • Rhomboid (Again muscular tissues)
  • Abs
  • Just about each muscle in your upper-body

11) The Barbell Bent-Over Row

To do a bent-over row, bend your torso over and hoist a barbell up.

If you've been following along at home, it's now time for performing the row with a barbell!

Muscle tissues educated with the bent-over row:

  • All your again muscular tissues (Latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius)
  • Biceps
  • Forearm muscular tissues (dorsal, ventral)
  • Your grip

Listed below are step-by-step directions on find out how to carry out the bent-over row:

12) The Barbell Lunge

To do a weighted lunge, have the bar throughout your higher again and step out along with your proper leg. Decrease your hips till your again leg’s knee virtually touches the bottom. Explode up and again by pushing off along with your entrance leg. Repeat in your different aspect.

A gif of Coach Staci performing a lunge with a barbell.

Muscle tissues educated with the barbell lunge:

  • Quads
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Your core (as you stabilize your self and the burden)

Word: The above could be powerful if gyms are closed round you. If that’s so, right here’s how to build a gym at home (utilizing family tools).

Begin Performing the Greatest Compound Workout routines (Subsequent Steps)

A woman pressing as against a beautiful sky.

Your mission, must you select to just accept it: decide to making an attempt ONE of those compound actions within the subsequent week. Use 20 seconds of courage, recruit a good friend who has lifted or educated earlier than, and take a look at your greatest. 

All of us begin someplace! 

Talking of beginning out…

Have you ever but to do ANY of those compound workouts?

At all times begin out with body weight strikes and ensure your kind is right!

If it’s a barbell motion, use a broomstick (or PVC Pipe). 

You possibly can fake you’re Harry Potter after:

Harry Potter on a broomstick

Relating to actions like squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, bench press, and so forth. – your kind is essential.  Develop good habits with lighter weight and you’ll save your self months of frustration later and can shield you from harm.

When you’re scuffling with sure parts of a motion, don’t get annoyed! Simply perceive that you simply’ll have areas in which you’ll enhance.

After I began, I actually preferred training all the actions at residence as a result of I may watch a video on-line concurrently I used to be watching myself do it in a mirror.

Movie your self and evaluate it to our movies, or publish it to the form check section of the Nerd Fitness Forums.

Nonetheless uncomfortable with the actions after that? Go searching at some native energy and conditioning gyms and see for those who may rent a coach (here’s how to find a good trainer) for one or two periods simply to go over the fundamental actions (or contemplate working with an online coach).

It doesn’t matter what path you’re taking, an important factor you are able to do: START NOW!

If you wanna win a race, you need to start it!

Don’t overthink it. Simply choose a compound train and discover ways to do it. We are able to add extra workouts to your routine down the street.

Need a little bit assist getting going? The proper subsequent step to begin your energy coaching journey!

You bought it. 

Right here’s how Nerd Health can assist you:

#1) If you’d like a coach in your pocket, who can do video kind checks, present suggestions, and alter your exercises based mostly in your progress, try our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program

I’ve had a web based coach since 2015 and it’s modified my life. You possibly can be taught extra by clicking on the field beneath: 

#2) If you’d like a every day immediate for doing compound workouts at residence, try NF Journey. Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra steadily, eat more healthy, and stage up your life (actually).

Plus, you get to construct an superior superhero within the course of!

Attempt your free trial proper right here:

#3) Be part of the Insurrection! We want good individuals such as you in our group, the Nerd Health Insurrection.

Signal-up beneath and obtain our free information Power Coaching 101: All the pieces You Must Know. It consists of step-by-step directions for the Greatest Compound Workout routines coated in at present’s information. 

Alright, sufficient from me. Your flip:

Do you agree with my record of greatest compound workouts?

Am I lacking any?

Any ideas or methods for a beginner simply getting began?

Let me know within the feedback!


PS: Ensure you try the remainder of our Strength Training 101 sequence:


GIF Supply: Weighted Dips, Biceps Curl, Will Ferrell,

Picture Supply: lightfieldstudios ©, Workout, LEGO bench pressLance Cpl. Tayler P. Schwamb, 101, 102, 103

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