Basic (compound) exercises with a barbell
Despite the fact that in bodybuilding there are a lot of exercises, only a few of them are basic, and all the rest are secondary. In order to effectively train and force the muscles to grow, it is first of all necessary to study the technique of these basic exercises.
The key difference between the compound exercises is that they load all large muscle groups of the body at once – as opposed to isolating exercises that work on only one group of muscles (for example, the biceps). In addition, basic exercises are always performed with the barbell.
Testosterone and compound exercises
Scientific research shows that the more different muscle groups are simultaneously involved in the performance of a certain exercise, the more active this exercise will affect the production of testosterone and other anabolic hormones needed by the body for muscle growth (1).
In other words, if you want to gain muscle mass, you should approach the training of the body in a complex way, and not just “swing your biceps” or “swing your chest.” A beginner who has learned to perform basic exercises correctly can increase the body weight by 5-7 kg in the first months of training.
The most important exercises
When performing multi-joint basic exercises with heavy weight, the entire body of the athlete is subjected to a load. In addition to the muscles of the arms, body, and legs, the respiratory and even central nervous system is included in the work – this is what provides an essential hormonal response.
It should be noted that the greatest efficiency of muscle growth is achieved with severe power training and performing a low number of repetitions of exercises – no more than 5-7 repetitions. In turn, this requires the use of large working weights and the perfect observance of technique.
List of basic and compound exercises
Basic exercises are five multi-joint exercises performed with a barbell: a bench press bench, overhead press, squats with a barbell, barbell rows and a deadlift. These exercises strongly affect the growth of muscles and the increase in the hormonal background of the body.
At the same time, most secondary exercises performed with dumbbells or in machines are variations of basic exercises. For example as a bench press lying down is, in fact, a variation of push-ups.
Deadlift is the number one compound exercise for the muscles of the body. If you only perform it and refuse any others, you will still see the result in the form of a set of mass, because it is the deadlift that involves the maximum number of muscles in the work.
In order to learn how to perform deadlift correctly, it is recommended to start with a minimum balance on the rod and using the stand – lifting the weight “off the ground” disrupts the technique, not allowing to support the hips tightly and the back perfectly straight.
2. Squats with a barbell
Squats with a barbell – the compound exercise for the development of the muscles of the legs, starting from the gluteal muscles and quadriceps of the thigh and ending with the calves. With the correct technique of performing, the spine and abdominal muscles are also included in the work.
3. Barbell Bench Press
To learn the correct technique of squats is recommended in a special frame, allowing you to squat with a lightweight, but with a focus on the full function of the muscles. You must start the movement by pushing the buttocks upward, straightening the knees.
The bench press is the key exercise for the development of the muscles of the chest, triceps and the front part of the deltoid muscles. Depending on the angle of the bench and the width of the of hands on the rod, it is possible to include various parts of the pectoral muscle.
In order to learn how to perform the bench press correctly, you must first learn how to properly press.You can do push-ups, focusing on the movement. Push-ups are the best exercise for a beginner to develop and strengthen chest muscles.
4. Barbell Rows
Barbell Row is the compound exercise for the development of the muscles of the back and giving it a visual width. When properly performed, deltas, pectoral muscles, forearms and numerous other muscle are also included.
First, you pull the weight to the knees, then – almost to the chest. You should feel the tension of the lats muscles of the back.
5. Overhead Press
The standing bar press (also called “army press”) develops the shoulder, deltoid muscles, improves posture and strengthens the muscles of the abdominal. It is this basic exercise that forms a classic sports figure with broad shoulders.
Training the barbell above your head while standing is recommended to start with a dumbbell while standing, paying special attention to the fact that the weight moves only vertically, and the body is static tense. Remember also that a lot of weight can be traumatic for the joints.
Pros of basic exercises
- Muscle growth and simultaneous fat burning. Basic exercises require the body to increase the consumption of nutrients. During the training, glycogen is actively used, and after the training is over, recovery processes that burn fat are started.
- Increased appetite. Due to the acceleration of metabolism, the desire to consume food substantially increases. This plays a particularly important role for the skinny ectomorphs who have problems with muscle mass because of a constant lack of appetite.
- Increased levels of testosterone and libido. Since testosterone is the most important male sex hormone, its high level definitely increases craving. The good news is that the love of joy after strength training helps the muscles grow faster.
- Improved muscular symmetry. Correctly performed compound exercises have a positive effect on the symmetry of muscle development. As a result, not just a pumped up, but athletic and powerful physique is formed.
- Strengthening the connection of the “muscle-brain”. Most beginners can not force their will to strain a certain muscle, which indicates a weak connection between the brain and the muscles. Performing heavy basic exercises can improve this communication, increase the effectiveness of the training.
The compound exercises are most important for the development of the muscle mass are the basic exercises that increase the level of testosterone due to complex effects on the body. Five such exercises are allocated to the basic group: deadlift, squats, bench press, overhead press, and rows.