Fitness Trail: Three excellent compound exercises |

Fitness Trail: Three excellent compound exercises

Compound exercises should be an integral part of the majority of exercise programs. This is due to the fact that the entire body is involved in these movement patterns. Therefore, the upper and lower body are usually working together, the heart rate will elevate due to the total body aspect of a compound exercise, expending significantly more calories than isolation patterns, and these movements patterns tend to simulate the functional segments of our daily round which is an invaluable contribution to your complete fitness level.

This week three excellent compound exercises will be featured. These exercises are designed to be performed in sequence, two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions, two to three times per week on non-consecutive days. All you need is a moderate kettlebell (i.e. 10-40 pounds) and a set of heavy dumbbells (i.e. 20-100 pounds) and a plyo box or step to perform this sequence. *Always begin by mastering the foundational movement pattern before adding external load. Once mastered, then begin with the lighter end of the load spectrum confirming that the movement pattern is not altered due to the addition of load. Progression includes achieving momentary muscle failure in the final two repetitions of each set, then when you no longer achieve momentary muscle failure, you may be ready to progress to the next external load increment increase by approximately 2.5 percent. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Dead Lift/Rows – choose two heavy dumbbells that you know you are capable of performing a bent over row with; standing with the legs approximately shoulder distance apart and the arms suspended by your sides, hinge from the hips, keeping the knees relaxed, back table top, lowering to approximately 90 degrees of hip flexion, then engaging the lats (wide part of the back), perform a row up/down, then drive through your heels and stand completely erect. *Compound exercise – Trains the glutes/hamstrings/lats/deltoids/biceps and nose to toes core.

Alternating Squats w/biceps curls – plyo box – choose a set of moderate/heavy d/b and stand on top of the lowest plyo box with both feet. Holding the d/b, squat to the R side and then as you place that foot back on top of the box, perform a biceps curl, then repeat to the L. This is a slow/controlled squat and curl. Remember, roll through the foot, toe/ball/heel, sit the hips back into the squat and then drive through the top foot to bring the body back on top of the box. *Compound exercise – Trains the quadriceps/hamstrings/glutes/biceps and nose to toes core.

Stationary Lunges w/OH press – k/bell – standing in a staggered, front to back position, holding one moderate k/bell in both hands at chest height, shoulders/hips/knees/toes all facing the same direction and the back heel elevated throughout the exercise, lower the body into a lunge position with the front and trailing leg moving into a 90-degree knee flexed position, front knee always tracking over the front heel, then as you press back into a fully extended position on both legs, press the k/bell over the head into an overhead press. As you lower back down into the lunge draw the k/bell down back to chest height. Repeat on the opposite side. *Compound exercise – trains the quadriceps/hamstrings/glutes/deltoids and nose to toes core.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at, her email at and her Facebook page at Mountain Life Fitness.

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