Compound movements, the importance of a few basis movements

There are various exercises possible. Even within strength training there are many forms and variations of movements. If it is either with machines, barbells, dumbbells or bodyweight exercises. There are actually a few exercises that have a bigger effect. They transfer on other movements and are the focus of the programming with Continuous Improvement Fitness. These are compound movements.

What are Compound Movements

Compound movements are movements that use multiple muscles. These movements are performed with free weights or with bodyweight. Big advantage of these movements is that it also stimulates all stabilizing muscles in order to perform and control these movements. Several compound movements require a bit more technique and skill to perform well, than for instance is needed with isolated movements on machines. Luckily there are ways to focus on technique and use forms of regression to work on the proper technique.

Main compound movements I focus on with CI Fitness, are bench-press, squat and deadlift. The latter two can be performed with dumbbells or a kettlebell in order to focus on the correct posture and technique.

Bench press

A common exercise where people tend to compare results is the bench press. The movement makes use of a big portion of the upper body and is surely an exercise that can (and will) make you stronger.



squatIs often referred to as the king of all compound exercises. At first sight the exercise seems to be very simple, but there is much technique in every phase of the movement. Also flexibility in for instance ankles has an effect on the correct performance of the movement.

The squat movement uses a wide variety of muscles, due to it the movement has also a big effect on the whole body.



Just like the squat, the Deadlift seems to be a simple exercise to “pick up a barbell”. Nonetheless there is much technique involved in every phase of the movement. Of the three exercises mentioned here, it stimulates the most muscle groups.

So comparing to the squat, the deadlift even has a bigger impact on your body and health.

Be aware, the benefits of these movements for your strength and health are depending on a correct performance of the movement. So make sure you perfect your technique before attempting heavy weights!

What can you do next?

In my ebook “The Essentials of Living Healthy”, I have covered a part on our focus on strength training and benefits comparing to “cardio” exercises. You can download a free copy here. Or you can opt for one of the programmes where we will for sure cover compound movements in on of the training programs.

Start now, not tomorrow.

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