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  • Compound Exercises Best for Muscle Building


    By Travis Steffen on Wednesday, June 24, 2009in Workouts & Exercises  

    squatimagesIf you’re looking through muscle building workouts or bodybuilding programs, you’ll most likely notice a combination of isolation and compound exercises.

    Isolation exercises are simply that. They isolate a particular muscle group through the movement of a single joint. Some examples would be the leg extension, where the only joint in motion is the knee, working the quadriceps. Hammer curls isolate the bicep through movement of just the elbow. The lateral raise isolates the deltoids through movement of the shoulder.

    A compound exercise involves the movement of multiple joints and works two or more muscle groups. The barbell squat for example requires movement through the ankles, knees, hips and to some degree the shoulders, working the quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, abdominals and lower back.

    In order to provide complete muscle fiber stimulation, you should include both compound and isolation exercises in your muscle building workout. If strictly muscle growth is your goal, then compound exercises should make up the meat of your workout, using isolation exercises as a ‘compliment’ to the big moves.

    Compound exercises offer the most muscle growth potential since more stress is placed on the body and more muscle fibers are called into action. Compound exercises performed with intensity also fire up the endocrine system, pumping out anabolic hormones like testosterone and growth hormone, both of which are necessary for muscle growth.

    The bread and butter of your bodybuilding/muscle building program should focus on the following exercises:


    Legs: Barbell Squats, Deadlifts , Lunges

    Back:Pull Ups, Lat Pulldowns, Bent Over Rows

    Chest: Push Ups, Chest Dips, Bench Press

    Shoulders: Military Press, Front Raise, Upright Rows

    Arms: Barbell Curls, Tricep Dips, Diamond Push Ups

    snatchimagesThese are the ‘Big Boy’ (or ‘Big Girl’ if you will) moves. Olympic lifts are also great to add in like the Full Snatch or the Clean and Jerk for example.

    Building muscle is hard work and takes time, effort, proper nutrition and patience. Put in a max effort and you’ll see max results!

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    About Travis
    Travis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.
    Want to hear even more of what Travis has to say? Keep in touch with him on Facebook and Twitter!

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