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Compound Exercises For Mass

Aug 8, 2008
If you are serious about becoming a bodybuilder and increasing your muscle mass, you probably want to perform your gym routine in the best and most expedient way possible. Even if you have a world-class well thought out routine, you will find yourself spending an awful lot of time at the gym. So, how can you reduce the time you spend exercising by stimulating several muscle groups at once? The answer is by using compound exercises.

Any exercise which involves the stimulation of multiple joints is classified as compound. Simply put, if you move more joints you move more muscles. Compound exercises target the larger muscle groups, but also use the smaller muscles as synergists. The exercises which only involve the stimulation of one solitary joint are termed isolation exercises. Such exercises only build mass in one specific muscle. Squats exemplify a compound exercise. They provide stimulation for the hips, knees, and ankles. If you perform the squat with additional free weights, you will see gains in your shoulders and arms also.

Many people want to build muscle mass in order to look better. Though it is nice to have an impressive, well-toned physique, it is arguably more important to build strength throughout the body. One of the main advantages of compound movements is that they closely resemble tasks you might perform in the real world, thus creating "real-world" strength. If you push a car, move a cooker, or carry a mattress upstairs, you will use multiple muscles, not just one in isolation. When you are at the gym and only have a limited time to work, it is nice to know you can stimulate almost all muscles using only a few different exercises, and save yourself time and effort.

Having listed all the advantages of using compound exercises, it is important to note that in any routine exercises should be balanced properly. Whilst compound exercises will contribute the most to your workout, isolation exercises are also important. Curls are the perfect example of an exercise that only stimulates one muscle group. Curls are excellent for building mass in the arms, and should not be eliminated from your routine. You should just concentrate on them less than the compound movements.

Another reason for choosing isolation exercises would be if you felt that you lacked strength or mass in one particular area. If your chest was expansive, but your shoulders were looking disproportionate, you might want to focus on them specifically until they were back in balance with the rest of your body. Once all the muscle groups became consistently developed throughout your body, you might revert back to a routine containing mostly compound movement.

Isolation clearly has an important place in bodybuilding, but compound has many significant advantages for anyone interested in quick sustainable muscle gain. The three core compound exercises that you should include in your routine, no matter what your level are squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. Other compound exercises you might want to alternate between are shoulder presses, dumbbell rows, dips, lunges, and pull downs.
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