Have you ever wondered if you can work out multiple muscle groups at once?

If yes, then you are at the right place. 

I know how time-consuming individual muscle group focused exercises can be. It takes 2 hours at the gym sometimes where you are trying to work out your chest and shoulders. But what if I told you that you can practice exercises that target multiple muscle groups at once?

Yes, these exercises are called Compound Exercises!

What Are Compound Exercises?

Compound exercises are exercises that work for more than 1 muscle group at a time. It is very different from isolation exercises like your typical bicep curl. In a bicep curl, you only work the bicep muscle group, but in a compound exercise, you can work your back and leg muscles at the same time.

Here are a few Compound exercises and the muscle groups they work:


This exercise focuses on your Thighs, Hamstrings, Lower Back, Traps, and Forearms.

How to perform:

  1. Stand with the barbell on the floor, feet shoulder-width apart, and your toes under the bar.
  2. Squat down while keeping your spine neutral. Your back should remain flat and not curved.
  3. Hold the bar with your hands placed slightly wider than your thighs.
  4. Push through your heels as you start to lift and pull the bar up to your hips while keeping it close to your body.
  5. Hold this position for 2 seconds while squeezing your glutes.
  6. Slowly lower the bar to the ground keeping close to your body.


This exercise focuses on your Thighs, Hamstrings, and Glutes.

How to perform:

  1. Start with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width and your toes turned slightly outwards.
  2. Rest the barbell on your traps while holding on to the bar.
  3. Keep your chest out and push your hips back as you lower into a squat position. (at this point your thighs should be parallel with the floor)
  4. Push through your heels to stand back up to your starting position and squeeze your glutes at the top.

Military Press

This exercise focuses on your Anterior Deltoids, Upper Pectorals, and Triceps.

How to perform:

  1. Start with the barbell set up in the rack at mid-chest level.
  2. Grab the bar with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. 
  3. Stand close to the bar and hold the bar on your neck level while keeping your core engaged and chest out.
  4. Stand with your feet together and push the bar over your head and hold for 2 seconds.
  5. Slowly bring it back down to your neck. 

Bench Press

This exercise focuses on your Chest, Anterior Deltoids, and Triceps.

How to perform:

  1. Set up the bar before lying down on the bench
  2. Lie down on the bench with your back arched a bit and legs placed on either side of the bench
  3. Grab the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width with both hands
  4. Tuck your shoulders back and push the bar off 
  5. Extend your arms while engaging your chest and core
  6. Slowly Bring the bar down keeping your muscle engaged throughout

Bent-over Row

This exercise focuses on your Lats, Traps, Rhomboids, and Lower Back.

How to perform:

  1. Grab a barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
  2. Bend your upper body almost parallel to the floor while keeping your knees slightly bent and your back straight
  3. Hold the bar close to your knees
  4. Pull the bar upwards into the upper part of your chest and hold the position for 2 seconds
  5. Slowly lower the bar to your starting position

All of these exercises are done with weighted barbells as it promotes progressive overload which in turn helps to engage the muscles more actively. 

(NOTE: During all compound exercises the core remains engaged throughout!)

Benefits of Compound Exercises:

  • Help in burning more calories
  • Help in improving intramuscular coordination
  • Help in improving flexibility and strength
  • Help in gaining more muscle mass
  • Stimulate multiple muscle groups in less time
  • Help in improving overall body strength
  • Help in improving balance and coordination
  • Promote cardiovascular health
  • Help in raising testosterone and growth hormone levels

Now that you know what Compound exercises are and how to perform them, Book a session with our best personal trainers and work for those GAINS!

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