Life is busy. Fitting in a daily workout may feel impossible, but you can still effectively workout when pressed for time by using compound movements. A compound, or multijoint, exercise uses two or more primary joints to target multiple muscles simultaneously thus producing a substantial training result. Think about the difference between doing a standing dumbbell bicep curl (yawn!) verses doing a squat to bicep curl (way more bang for your buck!).
As a yoga instructor and certified personal trainer, I love to combine yoga poses with weight lifting exercises for a fun and efficient twist on compound movements to activate your core, upper body, and lower body.
Grab some dumbbells (3 – 8 lbs. should do it) and try these moves. Do 10-12 reps of each on the right side and then repeat starting from the top on the left side.
Click here to watch a quick video of all of the below compound exercises!
Squat with Tricep Kickbacks
- Stand with your feet hip-width distance.
- Hold your weights with palms facing together and squeeze your elbows behind you.
- Inhale: Squat low.
- Exhale: Stand up and kick your weights back by squeezing your shoulder blades.
- Tip: Move slowly with control to avoid swinging the weights back and forth.
Crescent Lunge with Reverse Grip Bicep Rows
- Come to a Crescent Lunge with your right foot forward and left foot back. Make sure your right knee stacks directly over your right ankle.
- Hold your weights with palms facing up.
- Inhale: Bend your back knee to hover off the ground and extend your arms out in front of your chest.
- Exhale: Extend your back leg and row your elbows straight back by squeezing your shoulder blades.
- Tip: Keep your right (front) knee bent the entire time and focus on only bending and extending your back leg.
Warrior II with Half-Lat Pulls
- Start in Warrior II with your right leg forward. Bend your right knee to stack directly over your ankle and ground your back, left heel.
- Extend your arms out to the sides and face your palms forward.
- Inhale: Stay in the Warrior II position.
- Exhale: Straighten your right leg to stand and squeeze your shoulder blades to pull your elbows behind you.
- Tip: When your arms extend, maintain a slight bend to your elbows and keep the weights in line with your shoulders.
Horse Squats with Cross Body Punches
- Get into Horse with your feet wider than your shoulders and angle your toes out.
- Press your weights together at your chest.
- Inhale: Squat lower.
- Exhale: Stand and pivot to the ball of your right foot to punch your right weight across your body to the left.
- Inhale: Squat in center.
- Exhale: Stand and pivot to the ball of your left foot to punch your left weight across your body to the right.
- Tip: Bend your knees in the direction of your toes in the squat and be sure to pivot to the ball of your foot before taking the punch.