Now that the holiday weekend has officially ended, I thought some of you might like a new workout to try. Well, I actually don’t have a workout for you today. I have a variety of different exercises that you can incorporate into your workouts when short on time. Make the most of your time (and your workout) with the use of compound exercises.
What are compound exercises? They are any exercise that utilizes more than one part of the body during the movement. In fact, many of the major exercises you should incorporate into your training are compound exercises. Things like squats, lunges, push-ups, and pull-ups all include movements that target multiple areas of the body. For today’s post, I want to take things a bit further.
Instead of simply doing some lunges and squats and then some shoulder presses and bicep curls, let’s combine them for some extra oomph to the workout. While I do train shoulders, biceps, and triceps with exercises specific to those body parts, I also recognize that they typically feature an isolation movement. In other words, they don’t work much else than the single targeted area of the exercise. That has it’s purpose; however, when I only have thirty minutes for a workout, I don’t want to spend that time on solely my arms and shoulders. Enter compound exercises for the upper and lower body together.
Below, find a list of exercises featuring compound movements coupling a lower body exercise with an exercise for the shoulders, biceps, or triceps. Pick a few to add to a workout with other traditional compound exercises or pick 2-3 from each section to group together for a workout in itself. Mix it up by choosing new exercises your next workout to keep your workouts fun and challenging to your body.
Lower Body + Shoulders
- Side Lunge With Front Raise
- Push Press
- Curtsy Lunge with Lateral Raise
- Standing Leg Extension With Shoulder Press
- Wide Squat with Diagonal Raise
Lower Body + Biceps
- Ball Squat with Curl (palms facing in for the grip)
- Lunge Pulse Stepback with Curl
- Reverse Lunge + High Curl – Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms extended at shoulder height ahead of you, palms facing up to the ceiling. Complete a reverse lunge. As you lunge back, pull your arms back while curling the dumbbells toward your shoulders.
- Side Lunge With Bicep Curl
Lower Body + Triceps
- Forward Lunge into Triceps Extension
- Glute Bridge with Triceps Extension
- Deep Lunge with Kickback – Hold a dumbbell in your right hand. Step the right leg back into a lunge. Hold your lunge as deep as possible with good form. Bend slightly forward at the hips. Place the left hand on your left thigh for stability. Perform a triceps kickback with your right hand for desired reps. Repeat on the left side for one full set.
- Burpees into Triceps Push-Up – Keep a narrow grip with hands directly below shoulders during a burpee and complete a triceps push-up at the bottom of the burpee movement.
A few things to consider: These exercises work well for basic conditioning and/or muscular endurance but will not be the most effective when trying to make strength gains.I recommend these moves as a complement to a training plan. You will need to pick a weight based on what your upper body can handle for your desired reps, which will likely end up a lighter weight than you can typically handle for leg exercises.
*I am a certified personal trainer, but each individual has different needs and physical requirements. Please use the information provided here with caution and adapt to YOUR body and fitness level. Always consult a physician before beginning any new fitness or exercise program.
Your Turn: Do you have a favorite move that works both the upper and lower body that you don’t see mentioned here? Or are one of these moves a favorite? See something new to try?