Weight Loss – Compound Movements = Weight Loss

We know nutrition is crucial when trying to lose weight.  We also know that exercise is an important complement to a nutritional program.  So what is the best kind of exercise to do to lose weight?   Most people think of cardio when it comes to weight loss but studies have shown that strength and resistance training actually is more effective for losing weight.  But what kind of strength exercise to do with all that is out there?  One answer is compound movement exercises.  These can be done without weights but if you add weights then you really kick-up the results.   The principal is to use a multitude of muscle groups all at once.  As opposed to just working a specific muscle group (bicep curls would be an example of a specific muscle weight exercise)  Not that there is anything wrong with sculpting a specific muscle group.  But compound exercises use many muscles at the same time thus expending more energy which is a better way to burn fat.  And if you think that you need cardio to lose weight doing compound movements are very cardiovascular heavy exercises.

So adding these type of exercises to a workout program you are getting a number of benefits all at once.  This also makes your time spent in the gym much more efficient.   Here are a few good ones to start.

Burpees – Start standing straight up with your hands by your sides.  Squat straight down and put your hands on the ground (the closer you can put them near your feet the better)  Then with your hands flat on the ground kick your legs back.  Both legs together are best but if you are new you can do it one leg at a time and build to both.  Then jump your legs back to the squatting position and stand (if you feel strong jump with your hands over-head when you come up)  If this is not challenging enough for you add hand weights through the whole exercise.

Squats with a two-arm dumbbell shoulder-press – Start standing feet shoulder width apart with a dumbbell in each hand.  Squat down with the weights moving towards your feet.  Stand up and press the weights overhead.  If this is easy then you can increase the amount of weight you use or the number of reps you do.

Wide stance squats with a one arm dumbbell swing – Start in a wide stance, feet about two shoulder lengths apart, holding one dumbbell between your legs and do a low squat.  Explode coming up trying to keep your back as vertical as you can and swing the dumbbell straight over-head.  Do 10 to 12 reps with each arm.  If this is to easy again you can increase the amount of weight of the dumbbell or the number of reps you do with each arm.

Last is the Clean and Press with a straight-bar – Start with a straight bar and put it on the floor in front of you at your feet.  Have your feet shoulder width apart then squat down and grab the bar have your hands a little wider than your shoulders.  In one motion stand straight and bring the bar to your upper chest in a bit of a pull and catch motion.  Your wrists should be relaxed so you can drop the bar onto your upper-chest.  Then pause with the bar on your chest and with a little bit of a knee bend and an arm extension thrust the bar overhead towards the ceiling this is your finish point.  To repeat let the bar loosely fall down to your waist, pause, and then squat again and repeat the motion.  If just using the bar is to easy then add weight plates to the bar.  You should be able to do at least 8, if you can’t get 8 reps then the weight is probably a little too heavy.

So try some of these compound exercises or add your own and you should see good weight loss results, without doing lots and lots of cardio.

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