Compound Exercises

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Compound Exercises

Incorporate these Weight Training Exercises into your Muscle Building and Fat Loss Workouts

Welcome to our Compound Exercises main page!

Each exercise comes complete with pictures, instructions, and tips so that you can get the most out of this online training and immediately add to your weight training programs.


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Compound Exercises: Why Should You Use Them?

A compound exercise is an exercise that involves the movement of two or more joints. For example, Chin ups and Pull-ups are compound exercises that work your arms as well as your forearms, lats, and upper back.  During these body weight exercises, you contract at the shoulders as well as the elbows. On the other hand, isolation exercises, an example being concentration curls, only involve the movement of one joint.

The most major benefits of compound exercises are that they:

  • Work large muscle groups thereby burning more calories than isolation exercises
  • Trigger your body’s release of more muscle building testosterone and growth hormone than isolation exercises.
  • Build functional strength applicable to everyday life.


All Compound Exercises by Primary Muscle Group

  • Arm Exercises
  • Back and Shoulder Exercises
  • Chest Exercises
  • Leg Exercises

Compound Arm Exercises

Bicep Exercises
Exercise
Name
Primary
Muscle(s)
Addl Equip.
Required
Bicep Curl with Deadlift Biceps, Forearms, Legs, Lats, Back, Shoulders Barbell
Chin Ups Biceps, Forearms, Lats, Upper Back Pull Up Bar
Gironda Sternum Chin Ups Biceps, Forearms, Lats, Upper Back Pull Up Bar
Narrow Parallel Grip Chin Ups Biceps, Deltoids, Forearms, Lats, Upper Back Pull Up Bar
Bicep Curl Squat Biceps, Calves, Forearms, Glutes Hamstrings, Quads Dumbbells
Bicep Curl with Overhead Extension on Stability Ball Biceps, Forearms, Triceps Dumbbells, Stability Ball
Bicep Curl with Step Up Biceps, Calves, Forearms, Glutes Hamstrings, Quads Dumbbells, Bench
Forward Lunge with Bicep Curl Biceps, Calves, Forearms, Glutes, Hamstrings, Hip Abductors, Quads Dumbbells
Lateral Lunge with Bicep Curl Biceps, Calves, Forearms, Glutes, Hamstrings, Hip Abductors, Quads Dumbbells


Check out all of our Bicep Exercises!


Tricep Exercises
Exercise
Name
Primary
Muscle(s)
Addl Equip.
Required
Close Grip Bench Press Triceps, Chest, Deltoids Barbell, Bench
Decline Close Grip Bench to
Skull Crusher
Triceps, Chest, Deltoids Barbell, Decline Bench
JM Press Triceps, Chest, Deltoids Barbell, Bench
Reverse Triceps Bench Press Triceps, Chest, Deltoids Barbell, Bench
Smith Machine Close Grip
Bench Press
Triceps, Chest, Deltoids Bench, Smith Machine
Bench Tricep Dips Triceps, Chest, Deltoids, Lats, Upper Back Two Benches
Tricep Pushups Triceps, Chest, Deltoids N/A
Tricep Dips Triceps, Chest, Deltoids, Lats, Upper Back Parallel Bars or Dip Station
Machine Tricep Dips Triceps, Chest, Deltoids, Lats, Upper Back Machine

Check out all of our Arm Exercises or skip directly to our Bicep Exercises or Tricep Exercises!

Compound Back and Shoulder Exercises

Back Exercises
Exercise
Name
Primary
Muscle(s)
Addl Equip.
Required
Barbell T-Bar Row Upper Back, Lats, Biceps Barbell
Bent Over Row Upper Back, Lats, Biceps, Shoulders Barbell
Reverse Grip Bent Over Row Upper Back, Lats, Biceps, Shoulders Barbell
Body Row Upper Back, Lats, Biceps Barbell or Smith Machine
Climber Pull Ups Lats, Upper Back, Biceps, Shoulders Pull Up Bar
Pull Ups Lats, Upper Back, Biceps, Shoulders Pull Up Bar
Close Grip Front Lat Pull Down Lats, Upper Back, Biceps, Shoulders Cable
Lat Pull Down Lats, Upper Back, Biceps, Shoulders Cable
Reverse Grip Lat Pull Down Lats, Upper Back, Biceps, Shoulders Cable
Seated Cable Row Upper Back, Lats, Biceps, Shoulders Cable
V-Bar Lat Pull Down Lats, Upper Back, Biceps, Shoulders Cable, V-Bar
Dumbbell Rows Upper Back, Lats, Biceps, Trapezius, Deltoids Dumbbell
Pushups Row Upper Back, Chest, Core, Shoulders, Triceps Dumbbells
Single-Arm Bent Over Row Upper Back, Lats, Biceps, Deltoids, Trapezius Dumbbell
Smith Machine Bent Over Row Upper Back, Lats, Biceps, Trapezius, Deltoids Smith Machine

Check out all of our Back Exercises or link directly to all of our Lat Exercises, Upper Back Exercises, or Lower Back Exercises!


Shoulder Exercises
Exercise
Name
Primary
Muscle(s)
Addl Equip
Required
Seated Military Press Deltoid, Trapezius, Chest, Triceps Barbell
Barbell Upright Row Deltoid, Trapezius, Biceps Barbell
Standing Overhead Press Deltoid, Trapezius, Chest, Triceps Barbell
Arnold Press Deltoid, Trapezius, Chest, Triceps Dumbbells
Cuban Press Deltoid, Trapezius, Chest, Triceps Dumbbells
Dumbbell Raises Deltoid, Trapezius Dumbbells
Dumbbell Shoulder Press Deltoid, Trapezius, Chest, Triceps Dumbbells
Dumbbell Upright Row Deltoid, Trapezius, Biceps Dumbbell
Iron Cross Exercise Deltoid, Trapezius, Chest, Legs, Lower Back, Triceps, Dumbbells
One-Arm Upright Row Deltoid, Trapezius, Biceps Dumbbell
Machine Shoulder Press Deltoid, Trapezius, Chest, Triceps Machine
Smith Machine Upright Row Deltoid, Trapezius, Biceps Smith Machine

Check out all of our Shoulder Exercises!


Compound Chest Exercises

Exercise
Name
Primary
Muscle(s)
Addl Equip.
Required
Bench Press Exercise Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Barbell, Flat Bench
Decline Bench Press Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Barbell, Decline Bench
Incline Bench Press Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Barbell, Incline Bench
Wide Grip Bench Press Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Barbell, Flat Bench
Wide Grip Decline Bench Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Barbell, Decline Bench
Biased Pushups Chest, Deltoids, Triceps, Upper Back Bosu Ball
Chest Dip Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Parallel Bars or Dip Station
Exercise Ball Pushups Chest, Deltoids, Triceps, Upper Back Exercise Ball
Pushups Chest, Deltoids, Triceps, Upper Back N/A
Plyo Pushups Chest, Deltoids, Triceps, Upper Back Medicine Ball
Tricep Pushups Chest, Deltoids, Triceps, Upper Back N/A
Wide Chest Pushups Chest, Deltoids, Triceps, Upper Back N/A
Decline Dumbbell Bench Press Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Dumbbells, Decline Bench
Dumbbell Bench Press Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Dumbbells, Flat Bench
Dumbbell Incline Press Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Dumbbells, Incline Bench
Hammer Grip Incline Press Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Dumbbells, Incline Bench
One Arm Bench Press Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Dumbbells, Flat Bench
Machine Bench Press Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Machine
Machine Decline Bench Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Machine
Machine Incline Bench Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Machine
Smith Machine Bench Press Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Smith Machine, Flat Bench
Smith Machine Incline Chest, Deltoids, Triceps Smith Machine, Incline Bench

Check out all of our Chest Exercises!

Compound Leg Exercises

Exercise
Name
Primary
Muscle(s)
Addl Equip.
Required
Barbell Deadlifts Back, Forearms, Legs, Traps Barbell
Barbell Hack Squat Forearms, Legs Barbell
Barbell Lunge Legs Barbell
Barbell Squats Legs, Lower Back Barbell
Barbell Squats to Bench Legs, Lower Back Barbell
Bulgarian Split Squat Legs, Lower Back Barbell, Bench
Front Squat Legs Barbell
Front Squat to Bench Legs Barbell, Bench
Jefferson Squats Legs, Lower Back Barbell
One Arm Side Deadlifts Abs, Legs, Lower Back, Traps Barbell
Overhead Squat Legs, Lower Back, Shoulders Barbell
Power Clean Forearms, Legs, Lower Back, Shoulders Barbell
Reverse Barbell Lunge Legs Barbell
Romanian Deadlift Back, Forearms, Legs Barbell
Side Lunge Legs, Hip Abductors Barbell
Side Split Squats Legs, Hip Abductors, Lower Back Barbell
Single Leg Barbell Squats Legs, Lower Back Barbell
Speed Squats Legs, Lower Back Barbell
Sumo Deadlift Back, Forearms, Hip Adductors, Legs, Traps Barbell
Stiff Leg Deadlift Back, Legs Barbell
Step Ups Legs Barbell, Bench
Wide Stance Squats Legs, Lower Back Barbell
Zecher Squats Legs, Lower Back Barbell
Dumbbell Deadlift Back, Forearms, Legs, Traps Dumbbells
Dumbbell Lunge Legs Dumbbells, Bench
Dumbbell Squats Legs, Lower Back Dumbbells
Dumbbell Squats to Bench Legs, Lower Back Dumbbells, Bench
Dumbbell Step Ups Legs Dumbbells, Bench
Power Cleans Forearms, Legs, Lower Back, Shoulders Dumbbells
Reverse Dumbbell Lunge Legs Dumbbells
Romanian Deadlifts Back, Forearms, Legs Dumbbells
Sumo Squats Abs, Legs Dumbbells
Walking Lunges Legs Dumbbells
Weighted Sissy Squats Legs, Lower Back Dumbbells or Weight Plate
Leg Press Exercise Legs Machine
Lying Squats Legs Machine
Machine Hack Squats Legs Machine
Narrow Stance Hack Squats Legs Machine
Narrow Stance Leg Press Legs Machine
Smith Machine Hack Squats Legs Smith Machine
Smith Machine Romanian Deadlifts Back, Forearms, Legs Smith Machine
Smith Machine Squats Legs, Lower Back Smith Machine

Check out all of our Leg Exercises or link directly to all of our Calf Exercises, Hamstring Exercises, or Quadriceps Exercises!


Other Popular Pages of Weight Training Exercises

View our Weight Training Exercises main page for to link to all of our exercises sorted by equipment required or muscle trained.  Or, choose one of our popular pages listed below.

  • Fat Burning Exercises
  • Strength Training Exercises
  • Barbell Exercises / Dumbbell Exercises / Body Weight Exercises
  • Muscle Building Workouts and Fat Loss Workouts

You’ve seen the Compound Exercises. Check out the Workout Routines.  Start at our Home Page.

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