We walk while carrying things. Bend over while reaching. Maneuver stairs while loaded with groceries. All of which are compound moves in that we are working more than one part of out body at once.
Yet in the gym, we tend to grab a weight or jump on a machine and isolate a single muscle or muscle group.
Next time, work out for “real life” by adding compound moves to your regiment–moves that tax one part of the body while another is working through it’s own issues.
For example, doing bent over rows for your triceps? Step into lunge position (put the leg back that is on the same side as the arm you’re working) and move up and down while also pushing the weight back.
Grab a medicine ball and reach towards the ceiling while doing crunches.
Do curls or shoulder moves while balancing on an upside down Bosu ball. It’ll work your legs and core, while training your upper body. Or upright rows while doing push-ups (like Reggie Bush, above)
For the advanced, Olympic lifts, such as the clean and jerk or the snatch, are great compound moves because they work almost everything from your feet/ankles to your arms/shoulders.
And of course there are the power moves, such as the squat and dead lift.
Here are a few more cool compound moves from Bodybuilder.com
All compound moves are really beneficial if you play sports because they also help your balance and your brain–you have to think about what you’re doing more than when you’re just mundanely doing one move.
Just like in life.