How to improve your strength on compound exercises
Compound exercises are movements that use multiple joints at the same time to perform the exercise. These include squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press and rows. These exercises are essential for building strength and muscle mass, and should be included in any workout program. However, improving your strength on compound exercises can be challenging, especially if you're not using the right techniques. In this blog we will discuss how you can make slight changes to improve your compound lifts in the gym.
Nail down your form
Form is essential when it comes to compound exercises. Proper form ensures that you're engaging the right muscles and reducing the risk of injury. Before adding weight to your lifts, make sure you've mastered the proper technique. Use a mirror, record yourself, or ask a trainer to watch and give feedback. YouTube and TikTok are great ways to learn about how to perfect form too as there are many fitness influencers and trainers who create educational videos to help you get the most out of your training.
Focus on progressive overload
Progressive overload means gradually increasing the weight you lift over time. It's a fundamental principle of strength training and one of the best ways to improve your strength on compound exercises. You want to try and beat what you did in your last training session in one way or another, this could be weight, tempo, reps etc. Even if you are adding a 2% weight increase, you are still progressing and strength will build up overtime.
Let's use the Bench Press for example. If you can't increase the weight anymore, controlling the tempo of the movement can be a way of progressing. Try adding a 3 second tempo on the way down and then explode up, this is a way to improve strength and explosiveness for the future.
Vary your rep ranges
Varying your rep ranges can help you build strength and muscle mass. Lower rep ranges (1-5 reps) with heavier weights are better for building strength, while higher rep ranges (8-12 reps) with lighter weights are better for hypertrophy. Switching up your rep ranges every few weeks can help prevent plateaus and keep your workouts challenging. When thinking of your rep ranges always have progressive overload in the back of your mind as it is the most important factor for improving strength and size.
Structuring your workout to help you get to your goal in mind in massively important. If you are looking to improve your compound lifts then you should look to perform these movements first to prevent any fatigue. If you were to do a whole session then perform the bench press and the end of your session, your arms are likely to be fatigue and you won't be able to press as much as you would've done at the start of the workout. Some good advice would be to do a light warmup and dynamic stretches before you start to push yourself to the max with your compound lifts.
Rest is another factor that you need to consider when structuring your workouts. Having 3-4 minutes rest between sets on your bigger lifts will make it so you are able to perform each set to the best of your ability without fatigue getting in the way.
Supplements can be used as a tool to help increase your strength in the gym. The main supplement that you want to look at using to increase strength is Creatine. Creatine is the most researched supplement and it has been found to improve strength and power output. Get yours from the Warrior website today to take your training to the next level. Warrior Cyclic is another supplement that you can drink intra-workout to make sure that each set is performed to the best of your ability.
Assist with other movements
Assistance exercises can help you improve your strength on compound exercises by targeting weaker muscles. For example, if you're struggling with your squat, you might want to incorporate exercises that target your glutes and hamstrings, such as hip thrusts or Romanian deadlifts. These exercises can help improve your overall strength and make your compound lifts more efficient.
There are other exercises that you can add to compliment main compound movements. If we go back to the example of the bench press, adding a floor or pin press to your workout routine should help you to see an increase in your standard bench pressing. The floor press improves your middle to top point of the bench press and the pin press helps to improve your explosiveness off your chest. Do some research or ask your coach about implementing these into your workout routine to see if they could be beneficial for you.
By simply training all your other muscle groups through isolation movements, this will also help to see strength increases throughout your compound lifts. For example, if you are building your triceps, you are likely to see an increase in performance when it comes to press movement.
Improving your strength on compound exercises takes time and dedication. By using proper form, progressive overload, varying your rep ranges, using supplements and incorporating assistance exercises, you can improve your strength and take your workouts to the next level. Remember to be patient and consistent, and the results will come.