Wellbody October Get Healthy Fast
We’re heading into the winter season and it can be challenging to maintain your fitness with shorter amounts of daylight affecting your commitment to fitness and reduced energy levels. So what are the best ways to train effectively at this time of year?
Compound exercises are a great way of training to maximise your time in the gym or when training at home. Compound exercises work multiple muscle groups at the same time. You can also do compound exercises that combine two exercises into one move to target even more muscles eg forward lunge with overhead press.
It’s also really important to change up your workout routine every few weeks and add a new selection of exercises. This helps you work more muscle groups, stop you getting bored and ensures progress.
Compound exercises aren’t just a more efficient use of your time. They also:
- Burn more calories
- Improving intramuscular coordination
- Help you gain more muscle mass
- Elevate your heart rate
- Improve strength
Here’s some compound exercises for you to try, but don’t forget to do cardio too
If you are doing them for the first time or are unsure about your technique then book an appointment with a fitness professional to avoid injury. These exercises are recommended for people without any medical conditions.
Jumping jack – warm up cardio
Forward lunge to with DB overhead press
Equipment needed: set of dumbbells or filled water bottles.
Muscles targeted: glutes, hamstrings, abs, hips, biceps
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Your arms should be extended down with your palms facing the body.
Step forwards and lower hips and legs into a lunge position.
Anchor your left foot into the ground and bring your right foot forward to return to standing.
Perform an overhead press with both arms at the same time.
Return right leg into lunge position, bringing arms back down and dumbbells parallel to the body.
Repeat 8 to 10 reps on the right leg before switching to the left.
Rest 30 seconds after completing the left side. Complete 2 to 3 sets.
Equipment needed: dumbbells, weight plate or water bottles
Muscles targeted: quadriceps, glutes, and calves
Start with feet slightly wider than hip-width, toes turned slightly out.
Keep your chest up and out, engage your abdominals, and shift your weight back into your heels as you push your hip back.
Lower yourself into a squat until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. Your knees should remain aligned over your second toe.
Keep your chest out and core tight as you push through your heels to stand back up to your starting position. Squeeze your glutes at the top.
Perform 10 to 15 reps. Work up to 3 sets.
Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and turned out slightly.
Crouch until your thighs are parallel to the floor, keeping your back straight.
Hold your dumbbell with both hands next to the outside of your right thigh.
Twist your torso to the side and lift the weight up and across your body with straight arms. As you lift, stand up and turn your torso so you end up facing the dumbbell, which is above your left shoulder. You should be using your core muscles to control the movement.
Return to the starting position, reversing the twist and bringing the weight down as if chopping wood. Don’t rush; it’s all about control.
Aim for three sets of 10-15 reps a side.
If you’re a healthy adult, try and do these exercises three to four days each week. Focus on multiple muscle groups each day. Wait at least 48 hours between strength training sessions to allow muscles to rest.
You can also add cardio days to your weekly workout schedule to get your heart rate up, burn fat, and reduce calories. You can do cardio on the days you are resting from strength training.
If you aren’t sure how to properly perform a compound exercise, ask a trainer or fitness professional at your gym. They can show you the right technique so you avoid injury. Before starting a new exercise routine, see your doctor. They can recommend a safe workout schedule for your fitness level.