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Best Compound Lifts for Full Body Activation

List of compound exercises – When it comes to working out, we all want to get the best out of each session. It's fair to say that the harder you work, the better the results you get.


List Of Compound Exercises



When it comes to training for body composition, whether that's weight loss, muscle building or a combination of both, physique proportion is key. No use having well defined biceps and sculpted calves while also having a bulging gut. You want to be able to balance your outcomes.


Too often we find ourselves engaging in exercises aimed at targeting not just one muscle group, but a single isolated muscle. These isolation exercises may be great for a momentary pump and some limited hypertrophy, but when it comes to functional strength, muscle balance and a well proportioned physique, isolation is hardly the best choice. This is where compound exercises come in.


Compound Exercises List

What is a Compound Exercise?

A compound exercise is physical activity that engages multiple muscle groups in order to effectively achieve the movement goal.


compound exercises list

Any exercise or lift that requires you to shift resistance through more than one plane of movement will inevitably become a compound exercise. The best compound exercises are the ones that require effort and engagement from all major muscle groups in order to complete the task.


Training Your Body vs Training A Muscle

When it comes to exercise, training your body yields much better outcomes than just training individual muscles. That's because, first and foremost, your body is a living unit, composed of many parts which blend together seamlessly, acting in synergy overall.


List Of Compound Exercises


That means no single part of your body can exist or function independently of the whole, so why train it that way?. Sure, there might be need to target certain areas for corrective exercise or rehab, but in a general sense, isolation is an ineffective approach if your goal is functional mobility and a body that looks good.


This article is going to break down some full body, functional compound exercises, most of which you can do at home. But before we do that, make sure you make a stop at the Life Renu Store. We have so much to offer with our range of health supporting supplements. We’re sure you’ll find something just for you. And without further ado, let's get into it, list of compound exercises.


Top 5 List Of Compound Exercises

Bear Crawl

We’re going to start off with a very primal exercise, the bear crawl. Also known as the travelling beast, this is a functional movement exercise that has you engaging in an animalistic movement that looks similar to a slow moving bear.


List Of Compound Exercises



How to do it:

  • Go on all fours
  • Stack your joints (wrists directly in line with shoulders, knees directly in line with hips)
  • Your arms forming a vertical line from hand to shoulder, legs bent at 90 degrees with knees off the floor
  • Back parallel to the ground
  • Walk in a slow, controlled way.
  • Do this for about 50 yards


This is a great way to engage your whole body head to toe as well as challenge your endurance and intensity.



The burpee is a killer cardio dynamic exercise popularised by the crossfit wave of the past decade.


List Of Compound Exercises



This move test your stamina and with that your will power whilst giving you access to all major muscle group


How to Do It:

  • From a standing position, do a small star jump
  • Upon landing go down into a rapid sprawl (a plank position where you drive your hips down to the ground)
  • Shoot up from the spiral and begin from the first step
  • Do this with a preferred rep range (3 x 15) or until failure for a high intensity shocker.



The tried and trusted push-up must be included in order to have a complete look at full body, compound workouts.


List Of Compound Exercises


On the face of it, push ups seem like arm only exercises that target the triceps, delts and chest. The truth is, every inch of your body is screaming when you properly engage this simple but effective exercise.


That's because the rest of you is engaged isometrically (tension without motion) your abs are especially welcoming of this isometric challenge since their main function is holding things in place. You're also actually getting a decent workout in your quads as they also hold fort for the perfect plank position


How to do it:

  • Assume a plank position with hands shoulder width apart
  • Make sure your elbows are facing backwards, hands pointing forwards
  • Lower your body until your chest touches the ground
  • Push up with the arms
  • Repeat
  • Do this over a prefered rep range or until failure
  • A bonus challenge would be to elevate the legs and also add some depth with pushup grips so you can really get a deep pec burn.



Sprints are a great way to condition the legs as well as heart and lungs. This is a good exercise for high intensity training with metabolic optimization in mind.


List Of Compound Exercises


But sprints also target your core and upper body. The amount of asymmetrical momentum produced by rapid, explosive alternating leg movements needs to be counterbalanced. Thats why your upper body activates in order to balance the forces at play.

This is why 100m sprinters look so jacked!


How to do it:

  • Simply run as fast as you can in short bursts (50 to 100 yards)
  • Rest in between to recalibrate your energy systems
  • For added challenge, run up a slight incline.



Squats are a great way to totally condition your core and lower body. This movement simulates a lot of functional activities we go through on a daily basis, just at a higher, more focused intensity.


List Of Compound Exercises


The quat has many variations such as the curtsey squats, pistol (single leg) squat, the lunge and many others. Here we will look at the traditional version.


How to do it:

  • With your feet shoulder width apart, squat doing into a seated “air chair” position
  • Focus on engaging your thigh muscles and core
  • Now rise up back to standing with a focus on clenching your glutes.
  • Repeat as desired or until failure.
  • The most effective way to squat is with weight. Barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells as well as weight vests work well for this.



So there you have it folks, list of compound exercises awesome to get your whole body moving, shaking and growing. You can easily do these at home, or at least close to your house, so the lack of a gym membership won’t hold you back.


Compound exercises not only challenge your muscles, they also challenge your internal system, from your metabolism, circulation all the way to your lungs.


If you have any burning questions not answered in this article, please drop a line in our comments section and we’ll get right back to you.

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