Compound and Combination Exercises for the Whole Body
Kettlebell Squat Press
Kettlebell squat presses work shoulders, legs, glutes, and abs. They demand strength and cardio conditioning. Squat with the kettlebells resting in the front squat position. Come down until your thighs are parallel to the ground or to a depth that feels comfortable. Contract your abs and glutes hard at the bottom of the squat and start presses overhead as you are coming out of the squat. Breathing in on the way down and exhaling as you come up.
Turkish Get-Ups or TGU
Turkish Get-Ups are a great whole body exercise that focus on the shoulder, abs, legs, and glutes. The movement is a combination of a crunch, lunge, and isometric shoulder press hold.
Bent-Over Rows on One Leg
The bent-over row, a standard lats and rhomboid exercise, can be made more challenging and turned into more of a compound exercises by performing it on one leg. By doing this, abs and obliques are more engaged as well as calves and tibialis anterior.
Shoulder Presses with Resisted V-Sit Holds
This creative exercise works the shoulders with the added benefit of extra abdominal stimulation. Your training partner slightly pulls on a strength band that goes around your chest. This keeps your abdominals intensely engaged while trying to press. It also encourages you to avoid leaning back while pressing. Many people do this and it turns a shoulder press into an incline chest press.
The kettlebell anyhow is a combination exercise that includes a curl, windmill, and shoulder press. It works shoulders, biceps, and obliques. Like most combination exercises, this one demands cardiovascular conditioning. Anyhow require a lot of practice and coordination so be sure start with light weight.
Kettlebell Bottoms Up Squat Press
This is a whole body exercise (especially legs, glutes, shoulders, and abs) that requires core strength, shoulder stability, and grip strength. Keep a tight grip and core engaged throughout this movement. Squat to parallel or to a depth that feels natural/comfortable. Try to press overhead and not have the kettlebells too far in front. Inhale as you are squatting down and exhale as you are coming out of the squat.
This is a whole body strength/cardio exercise that focuses on posterior chain strength endurance. It is a very good leg, glute, and ab exercise. The kettlebell should not bang against your forearm at your swing the bell over your head. Think of the movement as putting your arm inside a sweater. Inhale on the way down and exhale as you swing the weight up overhead.
Sandbag Clean and Squat
This is a great full body exercise that targets core (upper back/traps, shoulders, abs, legs, glutes). Using a sandbag makes standard lifts more difficult due to the shifting of weight and awkwardness.
Step-Up with Deadlifts
Here is a combo of a step-up with a single leg deadlift which targets glutes, quads, and hamstrings. There is also a demand for abs, obliques, and lower back strength. During the deadlift, try to pin back your shoulders. Keep your lower back as neutral as possible and do not round too much. Also keep your neck in a close to neutral position – do not tilt your head up. Have a slight knee bent but do not turn your deadlifts into squats. Resetting after each set and bracing the abs will help to protect your lower back.
Kettlebell Snatch and Windmill Combo
This combination compound lift/movement works the posterior chain, shoulders, and obliques. It also demands cardio conditioning. The motion is like putting your arm into a sweater (a great tip from Steve Cotter), otherwise the kettlebell will bang into your forearm. The snatch takes quite a long time to perfect so it is good to start light. Exhale as you swing the kettlebell overhead. As you move into the windmill inhale and point your hip out to the side. Inhale while going down into the windmill, exhale when coming up.
Burpee (Squat Thrust) with Pull-Ups
Burpees with pull-ups are a challenging combination exercise that requires total body strength and cardio. Ideally, you would want a high bar that you have to jump and reach for – the one I am using in this video is too low. Add this one to your HIIT workouts. You can also try combining push-ups or clean and press to your boring old burpees.
Walking Lunges with Press
Walking lunges with presses are a whole body combination exercise that demands lower and upper body strength and cardio conditioning. This exercise works quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs, and shoulders. Press as you are coming up from each stepping lunge. Inhale as you are coming down and exhale on the way up.
Walking Lunges with Side Raises
This is another walking lunge combo that works quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs, and medial deltoids. Lift your arms out to the side with minimal elbow bend as you are coming out of each lunge. Inhale as you are coming down and exhale on the way up.
Walking Lunges with Curls
This walking lunge combo works quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs, and biceps. Curl as you are coming out of each lunge.
Clean and Press (from the Floor)
Clean and press from the floor is a great whole body exercise that combines a deadlift with a press. It is a great compound strength movement that also demands cardio conditioning. This movement targets the whole posterior chain – hamstrings, glutes, lower back, trapezius, and rear deltoids. It also works the anterior and medial deltoids. You can use slightly bent knees for the deadlift portion of the lift. Keep your spine neutral. Keep your abs and glutes tight throughout this movement. Make a long exhalation as you deadlift and press overhead, inhale on the way down.
Renegade rows are a combination/compound exercise that targets chest, back (lats and rhomboids), shoulders, abs, and obliques. It is a standard pushup with a row at the top of the movement. Keep your spine in a fairly neutral position throughout the movement. Also make sure you are bracing your core and minimally twisting your torso. Beginners should start this exercise with a wider base of support, keeping your legs wide (outside shoulder width). At the top of the pushup, row the dumbbell to your hip in an arc fashion instead of straight up to your chest. Exhaling as you pushup and row and inhaling as you lower your body.
Step-ups with Curls
Step-ups with arm curls are a combination exercise that demand both strength and cardio. They work the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and biceps. As you step up try not to use the back leg to push off. Step up and curl at the top. Keep your core braced for balance. Exhale as you step and inhale as you come down.
Step-ups with Shoulder Press
Step-ups with shoulder presses are a combination exercise that demand both strength and cardio. They work the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and shoulders. As you step up try not to use the back leg to push off. Step up and perform a shoulder at the top. Keep your core braced for balance. Exhale as you step and inhale as you come down.
Step-ups with Lateral Raises/Side Raises
Step-ups with lateral raises/side raises are a combination exercise that demand both strength and cardio. They work the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and middle shoulders. As you step up try not to use the back leg to push off. Step up and perform a lateral raise/side raise at the top. Keep your core braced for balance. Exhale as you step and inhale as you come down.
Bulgarian Squats with Shoulder Presses, Side Raises, and Curls
These challenging Bulgarian squat combinations are whole body movements that build strength, improve cardio, and improve balance. As you are coming out of the squat perform a shoulder press, side raise, or bicep curl. Before attempting these combinations, become very comfortable performing standard Bulgarian squats. See cues/descriptions on how to perform them. View my legs and glutes exercise video section.
Clean, Squat, and Press with Dumbbells
This is a great whole body strength exercise that targets legs, glutes, abs, and shoulders. It also demands cardio conditioning. "Clean" the dumbbell up to shoulder height by performing an upright row. Use your legs to help get the weight up to shoulder height if you are using heavier weights. Contract your abs and glutes and inhale. Go down into a squat. Come out of the squat and press while exhaling.
More Compound Exercise Videos Coming September 2018!