New to Working Out? A Trainer Recommends These 5 Exercises to See Results Faster
When it comes to working out, it's easy to get overwhelmed with all the different training philosophies, especially if you're a beginner. But there's one truth experts tend to agree on: compound exercises will get you quicker, longer-lasting results than almost anything else. "Compound movements are exercises that target multiple muscle groups at the same time," Kendall Wood, MS, CSCS, an NASM-certified personal trainer and coauthor of Core Fitness Solution, told POPSUGAR. What does this mean for you? It's simple, really: by engaging more muscles at once, compound movements simultaneously build more muscle and burn more fat. Here are compound exercises he recommends for any fitness level, so you can see for yourself.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your spine straight, and your shoulders back.
- Bend at the knees, being careful to keep your back straight and your head facing forward, until your hands reach the weighted bar on the ground in front of you.
- Wrap your hands around the bar with your palms facing your legs and your knuckles pointed toward the floor. Your hands should be resting outside of your shins at this point.
- Hinge at your hips and straighten your legs, keeping your abs engaged as you stand upright, until you're holding the bar in front of your thighs.
- Keep your back straight and your head facing forward as you return the bar to the ground.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your shoulders back. Hold your hands out in front of your chest for balance. (You can interlace your fingers if you prefer.)
- Bend your knees, lowering your hips toward the ground until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Remember to keep your weight back in your heels.
- Return to standing, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart; keep your arms at your sides or in front of your chest, as shown.
- Step forward with your right leg and lunge, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Keep your back straight (no leaning, hunching, or rounding your shoulders).
- Return to the starting position and perform the same movement on the opposite leg.
- To make the exercises more challenging, do it with a kettlebell, a set of dumbbells, or a weighted plate.
- Bend your knees and lean forward so your torso is at a 45-degree angle with the floor, making sure to keep your back and neck straight and your shoulders back. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, extending your arms, as shown.
- Lift the weights toward your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together, finishing the movement with your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Keep your abs tight.
- Lower the dumbbells and repeat.
- Start in a plank position, with your shoulders over above your wrists and your body in a straight line, abs engaged.
- Bend your elbows and slowly lower your body toward the ground, until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for at least two counts.
- Push back up to starting position, keeping your core tight throughout the movement. Don't allow your shoulders to round or your back to hunch.