You may or may not know this but not all exercises are created equal!
While single joint exercises, like a bicep curl have their place in an exercise program, and they do target and isolate muscles they fail to offer other benefits. Some of these other benefits such as mobility, balance, and stability can be achieved through developing secondary muscle groups in multiple joint exercises.
Exercises can vary greatly in level of difficulty, number of targeted muscles and effectiveness based on your goals. Generally speaking, transforming your body with total body exercises using multiple joint exercises is far superior to trying to use single joint moves. These multiple joint exercises are often called compound or complex exercises. The difference is mostly semantics for the beginner or intermediate client. Squats, push ups, lunges, etc, offer you multi joint activation and more calories burned because they engage multiple muscle groups.
A compound movement can be defined as: Any exercise that engages two or more different joints to fully stimulate entire muscle groups and, indeed, multiple muscles. … More major muscle groups can be hit with a smaller number of exercises.
Complex exercises, are one form of these exercises. Some of the multi–joint movements that you can perform include step-ups, lunges, leg presses, dead lifts, push-ups and squats. Step-ups engage the lower body muscles
When I am drafting a program for a client I typically use a lot of multiple joint exercises. The 6 moves below create all over body shaping benefits while improving flexibility, strength and balance. These added benefits are very important to our well-being as we age. Keep in mind that all of these exercises, are also functional movements. This means that when you are learning to squat, you are also helping yourself to be able to get up and down off a chair, or the toilet. Shoulder presses, help with over head movements like reaching for something in your cupboards. Lunges help with balance and mobility/agility, which is so important in our older years. Push ups just make you feel completely bad ass as you do them, but they also are a functional movement. They bring upper body strength for carrying heavy loads and helping us to get up from a sitting position or fall.
Follow the workout provided or add them into your own routine.
Equipment Needed: Bench or chair, set of dumbbells – begin with light dumbbells from 3- 5-10 lb. and work your way up as you become stronger
What to Do: Perform 10-12 reps of each move with 30 seconds of rest in between.
Beginner: 2 sets
Intermediate: 3 sets
Advanced: 4 sets
Move up a level when your current level is no longer challenging!
- Walking Lunges
- Shoulder Press
- Bench Dips
I hope you enjoy these 6 moves and will try them. Enjoy the videos below for some visual help with each move. If you would like to chat more about these or other exercises or a program for yourself, feel free to contact me.
In health and fitness,