Are you one of those people who spend so much time at the gym that you might as well have your mail forwarded there? If not, I'm pretty sure you know someone that looks like they spend more time at the gym than the managers.
Now besides the gym mice that run the treadmill for two hours (unnecessarily), there are some people that hog all the dumbbells and set up their little home gym in some part of the facility. In this regard, I'm going to show you some exercises that'll save you precious time in the gym while stimulating the maximum amount of muscle fibers.
Here's what makes the difference -- compound exercises.
Compound exercises move the body through more than one joint movement, while isolation exercises only move the body through a single-joint movement. That would be the difference between the squat (compound exercise) and the leg extension (isolation exercise). Because the squat engages many muscles in the lower body and core, including the quadriceps, the hamstrings, the calves, the glutes, the lower back and the abs, you'll get better results in less time than the leg extension that just works the quadriceps.
Compound exercises stimulate your endocrine system to send out more hormones like testosterone and growth hormones, which will help burn fat and build muscle.
Now I'm not trying to give bicep curls and calf raises a bad rap. Isolation exercises can correct a muscle imbalance or weakness, or have you looking like you give sleeveless shirts a good name. However, if you're juggling many activities like work, school and family, while trying to fit in quality weight-training workouts, multi-joint movements are proven time-efficient muscle builders that deliver more results than single-joint exercises.
These exercises you're about to try come with a perk. They're not only compound exercises, but two compound exercises in one exercise. One of them is actually an isolation exercise mixed with a compound exercise. This will give you a total body blitz routine and a time well spent!
Static lunge and chest press
Using a band or a cable machine, start out with handles in hand and legs in lunge position as seen in picture. Band or cable should be about shoulder height and make sure both knees are making a 90-degree angle. Staying in a static lunge, begin a chest press, pushing hands out until fists line up with your chin, then bringing elbows back to line up with shoulders.
Do about 6-10 reps on each side then switch legs. This would count as one set. Do 2-3 sets. Make sure that the glutes and abs are tight throughout movement.
Squat and row
Using a band or cable machine, start out with handles in hand and go into squat position as seen in picture. Band or cable should be about hip level. Keeping your weight on your heels, chest up and shoulders back, keep your shoulders down as you bring your elbows behind you. Stand up while bringing elbows back squeezing the glutes and the shoulder blades.
Do not curl wrists, and your hands should end up right above your hips. Return arms to extended position and descend back into squat. Repeat for 12-15 reps for 2-3 sets.
Static lunge and shoulder press
With the same idea of the static lunge in the first exercise, make a 90-degree angle with your elbows at shoulder level and desired dumbbells in hands. Staying in lunge position, begin extending arms towards ceiling, lining up the arms with the ears. Bring elbows back down to starting position.
Do 6-10 reps then switch legs. This counts as one set. Complete 2-3 sets.
Squat and curl
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