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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

Compound Arm Exercises

Bicep Exercises
Exercise
Name
Primary
Muscle(s)
Addl Equip.
Required
Bicep Curl with DeadliftBiceps, Forearms, Legs, Lats, Back, Shoulders Barbell
Chin UpsBiceps, Forearms, Lats, Upper BackPull Up Bar
Gironda Sternum Chin UpsBiceps, Forearms, Lats, Upper BackPull Up Bar
Narrow Parallel Grip Chin UpsBiceps, Deltoids, Forearms, Lats, Upper BackPull Up Bar
Bicep Curl SquatBiceps, Calves, Forearms, Glutes Hamstrings, QuadsDumbbells
Bicep Curl with Overhead Extension on Stability BallBiceps, Forearms, TricepsDumbbells, Stability Ball
Bicep Curl with Step UpBiceps, Calves, Forearms, Glutes Hamstrings, QuadsDumbbells, Bench
Forward Lunge with Bicep CurlBiceps, Calves, Forearms, Glutes, Hamstrings, Hip Abductors, QuadsDumbbells
Lateral Lunge with Bicep Curl Biceps, Calves, Forearms, Glutes, Hamstrings, Hip Abductors, QuadsDumbbells

Check out all of our Bicep Exercises!


Tricep Exercises
Exercise
Name
Primary
Muscle(s)
Addl Equip.
Required
Close Grip Bench PressTriceps, Chest, DeltoidsBarbell, Bench
Decline Close Grip Bench to
Skull Crusher
Triceps, Chest, DeltoidsBarbell, Decline Bench
JM PressTriceps, Chest, DeltoidsBarbell, Bench
Reverse Triceps Bench PressTriceps, Chest, DeltoidsBarbell, Bench
Smith Machine Close Grip
Bench Press
Triceps, Chest, DeltoidsBench, Smith Machine
Bench Tricep DipsTriceps, Chest, Deltoids, Lats, Upper BackTwo Benches
Tricep PushupsTriceps, Chest, DeltoidsN/A
Tricep DipsTriceps, Chest, Deltoids, Lats, Upper BackParallel Bars or Dip Station
Machine Tricep DipsTriceps, Chest, Deltoids, Lats, Upper BackMachine

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 RowUpper Back, Lats, Biceps Barbell
Bent Over RowUpper Back, Lats, Biceps, Shoulders Barbell
Reverse Grip Bent Over RowUpper Back, Lats, Biceps, Shoulders Barbell
Body RowUpper Back, Lats, Biceps Barbell or Smith Machine
Climber Pull UpsLats, Upper Back, Biceps, Shoulders Pull Up Bar
Pull UpsLats, Upper Back, Biceps, Shoulders Pull Up Bar
Close Grip Front Lat Pull DownLats, Upper Back, Biceps, Shoulders Cable
Lat Pull DownLats, Upper Back, Biceps, Shoulders Cable
Reverse Grip Lat Pull DownLats, Upper Back, Biceps, Shoulders Cable
Seated Cable RowUpper Back, Lats, Biceps, Shoulders Cable
V-Bar Lat Pull DownLats, Upper Back, Biceps, Shoulders Cable, V-Bar
Dumbbell RowsUpper Back, Lats, Biceps, Trapezius, Deltoids Dumbbell
Pushups RowUpper Back, Chest, Core, Shoulders, Triceps Dumbbells
Single-Arm Bent Over RowUpper Back, Lats, Biceps, Deltoids, TrapeziusDumbbell
Smith Machine Bent Over RowUpper 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 PressDeltoid, Trapezius, Chest, TricepsBarbell
Barbell Upright RowDeltoid, Trapezius, BicepsBarbell
Standing Overhead PressDeltoid, Trapezius, Chest, TricepsBarbell
Arnold PressDeltoid, Trapezius, Chest, TricepsDumbbells
Cuban PressDeltoid, Trapezius, Chest, TricepsDumbbells
Dumbbell RaisesDeltoid, TrapeziusDumbbells
Dumbbell Shoulder PressDeltoid, Trapezius, Chest, TricepsDumbbells
Dumbbell Upright RowDeltoid, Trapezius, BicepsDumbbell
Iron Cross ExerciseDeltoid, Trapezius, Chest, Legs, Lower Back, Triceps, Dumbbells
One-Arm Upright RowDeltoid, Trapezius, BicepsDumbbell
Machine Shoulder PressDeltoid, Trapezius, Chest, TricepsMachine
Smith Machine Upright RowDeltoid, Trapezius, BicepsSmith Machine

Check out all of our Shoulder Exercises!


Compound Chest Exercises

Exercise
Name
Primary
Muscle(s)
Addl Equip.
Required
Bench Press ExerciseChest, Deltoids, TricepsBarbell, Flat Bench
Decline Bench PressChest, Deltoids, TricepsBarbell, Decline Bench
Incline Bench PressChest, Deltoids, TricepsBarbell, Incline Bench
Wide Grip Bench PressChest, Deltoids, TricepsBarbell, Flat Bench
Wide Grip Decline BenchChest, Deltoids, TricepsBarbell, Decline Bench
Biased PushupsChest, Deltoids, Triceps, Upper BackBosu Ball
Chest DipChest, Deltoids, TricepsParallel Bars or Dip Station
Exercise Ball PushupsChest, Deltoids, Triceps, Upper BackExercise Ball
PushupsChest, Deltoids, Triceps, Upper BackN/A
Plyo PushupsChest, Deltoids, Triceps, Upper BackMedicine Ball
Tricep PushupsChest, Deltoids, Triceps, Upper BackN/A
Wide Chest PushupsChest, Deltoids, Triceps, Upper BackN/A
Decline Dumbbell Bench PressChest, Deltoids, TricepsDumbbells, Decline Bench
Dumbbell Bench PressChest, Deltoids, TricepsDumbbells, Flat Bench
Dumbbell Incline PressChest, Deltoids, TricepsDumbbells, Incline Bench
Hammer Grip Incline PressChest, Deltoids, TricepsDumbbells, Incline Bench
One Arm Bench PressChest, Deltoids, TricepsDumbbells, Flat Bench
Machine Bench PressChest, Deltoids, TricepsMachine
Machine Decline BenchChest, Deltoids, TricepsMachine
Machine Incline BenchChest, Deltoids, TricepsMachine
Smith Machine Bench PressChest, Deltoids, TricepsSmith Machine, Flat Bench
Smith Machine InclineChest, Deltoids, TricepsSmith Machine, Incline Bench

Check out all of our Chest Exercises!

Compound Leg Exercises

Exercise
Name
Primary
Muscle(s)
Addl Equip.
Required
Barbell DeadliftsBack, Forearms, Legs, TrapsBarbell
Barbell Hack SquatForearms, LegsBarbell
Barbell LungeLegsBarbell
Barbell SquatsLegs, Lower BackBarbell
Barbell Squats to BenchLegs, Lower BackBarbell
Bulgarian Split SquatLegs, Lower BackBarbell, Bench
Front SquatLegsBarbell
Front Squat to BenchLegsBarbell, Bench
Jefferson SquatsLegs, Lower BackBarbell
One Arm Side DeadliftsAbs, Legs, Lower Back, TrapsBarbell
Overhead SquatLegs, Lower Back, ShouldersBarbell
Power CleanForearms, Legs, Lower Back, Shoulders Barbell
Reverse Barbell LungeLegsBarbell
Romanian DeadliftBack, Forearms, LegsBarbell
Side LungeLegs, Hip AbductorsBarbell
Side Split SquatsLegs, Hip Abductors, Lower BackBarbell
Single Leg Barbell SquatsLegs, Lower BackBarbell
Speed Squats Legs, Lower BackBarbell
Sumo DeadliftBack, Forearms, Hip Adductors, Legs, TrapsBarbell
Stiff Leg DeadliftBack, LegsBarbell
Step Ups LegsBarbell, Bench
Wide Stance Squats Legs, Lower BackBarbell
Zecher Squats Legs, Lower BackBarbell
Dumbbell DeadliftBack, Forearms, Legs, TrapsDumbbells
Dumbbell Lunge LegsDumbbells, Bench
Dumbbell Squats Legs, Lower BackDumbbells
Dumbbell Squats to Bench Legs, Lower BackDumbbells, Bench
Dumbbell Step Ups LegsDumbbells, Bench
Power CleansForearms, Legs, Lower Back, ShouldersDumbbells
Reverse Dumbbell Lunge LegsDumbbells
Romanian DeadliftsBack, Forearms, LegsDumbbells
Sumo Squats Abs, LegsDumbbells
Walking Lunges LegsDumbbells
Weighted Sissy Squats Legs, Lower BackDumbbells or Weight Plate
Leg Press Exercise LegsMachine
Lying SquatsLegsMachine
Machine Hack Squats LegsMachine
Narrow Stance Hack Squats LegsMachine
Narrow Stance Leg Press LegsMachine
Smith Machine Hack Squats LegsSmith Machine
Smith Machine Romanian DeadliftsBack, Forearms, LegsSmith Machine
Smith Machine Squats Legs, Lower BackSmith 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.


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

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