If there was a faster way to get fitter, most of us will probably take that route. But alas, to get a better body, you have to work hard for it.
How NOT to work hard for it
“Compound exercises are effective because you use more muscles and exert more effort with each rep which makes you burn more calories,” explains Charmie Tomaneng, F.M.S.C., senior coach at 360 Fitness Club in Quezon City.
Aside from helping you shed fat faster, you strengthen your body all over with compound moves because you’re hitting more muscle groups with each rep. These three moves are efficient exercises that you can add to your workouts. Do them regularly and don’t be surprised if you see more muscle in your frame.
1) The move: Dumbbell Squat to Press
Why it’s good: This move hits the legs, the body’s biggest muscle group, which when you utilize more during your workouts also raises your metabolism. You also work your shoulders while your core fires up to maintain balance.
Do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand placed just above your shoulders. Lower yourself by pushing your hips back and bending your knees going as low as you can. Contract your core and keep your back straight at all times. As you stand back up, press the weight above your head and lower it to go back to the starting position.
2) The move: Atomic Push-up
Why it’s good: This bang for your buck move makes push-ups more challenging. With your feet resting on the handles of a suspension trainer, you add a degree of instability to each rep—making your core fire up as you hit your chest and arms. Add to that the reverse crunch in the end and you’ve got a total upper body move.
Do it: Assume the push-up position with your weight resting on your hands, your arms straight and your feet resting on the handles of a suspension trainer. There should be a straight line from your head down to your heels. Lower yourself by bending both elbows until your chest is close to the floor. Push yourself back up and once your arms are straight, drive both your knees towards your chest. Contract your core throughout the move.
3) The move: The Man Maker
Why it’s good: There’s a reason this move has an angas name. It’s the ultimate full body move as you hit both upper and lower body while challenging your core. “When you perform this exercise, you’re teaching multiple muscle groups in your body to coordinate their contractions—making you move more efficiently,” says Tomaneng. But this move isn’t for beginners. It will challenge every bit of muscle in your body and increase your heart rate fast so keep the reps to a minimum first.
Do it: Stand holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Squat down and assume the push-up position by kicking your legs back. There should be straight line from your head to your heels. Perform a push-up by bending both elbows. As you get to the top position, perform a row by pulling the dumbbell on your right hand towards your right side. Put the dumbbell back on the floor, do another push-up, and do the same on your left side. Once you return the weight back to the floor, do another push-up. Once you get to the top position, kick your legs forward and stand up. From here, perform a clean by curling the weight towards your shoulders and catching it with bent knees until you end up in the squat position. From here, stand up and press the weight above your head. That’s a rep. Make sure you keep your back straight, chest out, and your core engaged at all times.
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