Favorite compound exercises

Hi 🙂 Happy Wednesday! Hope you’re enjoying the day so far.

I had every intention of blogging last night, but then got sucked into Gravity. If you’ve seen it, you know what happened: I couldn’t look away! Such a great movie, and very intense! It seemed like it was only 40 minutes long because it was so action-packed. Highly recommend it. (Also, George Clooney is in there. Just letting you know. Haha)

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Some adventures from the day:

-trying to figure out a fun way to display Livi’s art projects from school. Please let me know if you have any great ideas! I haven’t consulted the Pinterest wizards yet

-some enchiladas in the oven before teaching:

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I used Jess’ recipe from her new book, and they came out amaaaazing. Excited for leftovers today.

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Ground meat  1 of 1


A big smoothie:

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(vegan chocolate Shakeology, spinach, banana, peanut butter, frozen berries and almond milk)

and two barre classes (barre + hot barre).

For the strength portions of the barre classes I teach, I like to include compound exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time. It’s a great way to get more bang for your buck during workouts, as you’re able to work various muscles simultaneously.

Here are some of my faves:

-Plie squat bicep curl

-Row into a tricep extension

-Plank and rotating plank (side to center, to the other side)

-Pushup to side plank

-Lunge with upright row

-Squat to overhead press

How often do you use compound movements in your workouts? Any faves to share? I’ll put together a compound crusher to add to tomorrow’s post.

Have a wonderful day! <3



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  1. Squat to overhead press (aka thrusters) are such a great move, killer though!

    I like lunges + bicep curls 🙂

  2. I love curtesy lunges and lateral raises, bridge and chest press, side plank and lateral raise and superman and push up combo.

    Enchiladas look awesome!

  3. Do you have any suggestions for workouts when you’re injured and need low impact? I have a stress fracture in my foot again and concerned I will lose strength in my legs. The doctor said I could do floor strength with as long as I’m not on my feet.

    • I hope it’s OK if I throw in my two cents – I would first of all recommend taking very good care of yourself. Multiple stress fractures are a red flag from your body.
      That being said, you could try band exercises, like what Gina posted here: http://fitnessista.com/2014/08/resistance-band-loop-leg-workout/. Side leg lifts, clamshells, and avoiding the ones with feet on ground, but the glute kickbacks could be done on all fours instead of standing. Try “bird dog” on all 4’s. You could work both hips simultaneously by tying a band to the injured leg, standing on non-injured, and doing side and back kicks. There’s Pilates stuff that might be appropriate as well. You could visit with a physical therapist or personal trainer for more suggestions. Good luck!

    • Fitnessista says:

      hey girl,
      the stress fracture is a sign from your body that you’re doing too much. i would take some time off (like 2 weeks) and start back up, doing easily exercises from there
      some ideas:
      the resistance band loop exercise i posted (all of the side stuff should be fine)
      side leg lifts
      leg circles
      core work (on your back: lower and lift your legs, scissors, hundreds)
      many pilates exercises should work
      seated in a chair you can do leg extensions to work your quads
      on all fours: donkey kicks, leg lifts, heel presses towards the ceiling
      hope this helps a little and hope you heal soon

  4. I can’t wait for the compound crusher! I love compound exercises because I’m all about getting the most bang for my buck out of a short workout!

  5. I do supersets especially with csrdio! Such as tuck jumps to jump rope 🙂

  6. I’ve been doing the PopSugar Circuit workouts and they do lots of compound moves! It’s such an efficient way to get in a workout!

  7. I tell myself any and all Zumba classes are the best compound exercises. I’m going to a wedding next weekend and the bride is SURE to play Bailando at the reception and you better believe I plan to break out until full Zumba mode on the dance floor =).

  8. Love a wood chop- a lunge with an arm swing. Awesome move and gets your heart rate up!

  9. I love, love, love compound exercises and have actually been looking for some good workouts! I used to do them all of the time but have fallen out of the habit and wantto start incorporating them again!

    I actually did you summer shape up week 2 workout the other day just for them and it was so much fun!

  10. Young House Love did the cutest cork board display for their daughter’s artwork– here’s the link just in case you want to check it out. 🙂


    Always, Anita

  11. Gravity is on my list of movies to watch! I was a little hesitant because it is so long. Glad to hear you liked it! 🙂

    One thing I have been trying in my workouts, is adding lightweight arms exercises in-between exercises. It is an easy way to fit it in and it allows me to do a lot of volume. I have noticed a big difference in my arm/shoulder strength too.

  12. I love these 2 ideas for children’s art. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/109282728431979313/ and
    I hope the links work.

  13. One time the air conditioning went out in our Pure Barre studio and it was like hot barre but smelled like hot yoga. The end.

  14. Reverse lunges with alternating side and front raises are a favorite also push ups with alt side planks!

    Does reading on the stair master count? Hehe…working my brain muscle 😉

  15. For school art I’ve just been dropping it in a simple scrapbook, but I’ve decided going forward I’ll snap a picture to create a digital scrapbook, then send it to a grandparent to enjoy. We don’t live close to family, so it would give a chance to share his art without just hiding it away. Plus digital files will save space- he’s only 2 and we have quite the collection.

    • Fitnessista says:

      i love that idea!!
      same. liv is only 2, and we have quite the stash building up. i’d love to display it somewhere and then rotate it out as new projects come in

  16. Compound moves are my favorite! I love squats/shoulder presses, sumo squats/upright rows, plank/rows

  17. I love Jillian Michaels videos for the same reason- working more than one muscle group ensures you’re getting the best bang for your buck!

  18. Yes, ma’am/. Compound is the way to go. I do love the Turkish get-up, because it gets nearly every muscle in the body. But for something a little less challenging, I do squat thrusters to a box, in which you sit on the low box, hold dumbbells in front of your shoulders, and when you stand and drive your hips forward, you push the dumbbells up to a full overhead press. It’s a full-body jolt!

  19. Gravity – so intense! I had some serious anxiety watching that movie hahah… it was like my worst nightmare, being trapped alone in space, eek!

    One of my favorite compound movements is an EZ-bar bicep curl, followed by an underhand grip shoulder press. It burrrrrns the biceps and front delts so bad, but in the best way possible.

    Hope you have a great Wednesday evening!

  20. Do you have any recommendations for low impact lower body exercises for people with quadricep tendinitis?

  21. One of my favorites is step-ups with a bicep curl to an overhead press. I also often throw in a static lunge with a tricep kickback. I love compound moves. They save time and often get the heart rate up a little or a lot! Thanks for all of the ideas in the post and in the comments.

  22. I need to try shakeology. I just don’t want to then be invited to 600 more 21-day lose weight challenges.

    PS I am back on the coffee wagon. BUT only one cup a day no mas. :O

  23. I love compound exercises. Do them all the time – I don’t have a ton of time, so I need to get my workouts done in less than an hour 🙂 I love side lunge to overhead press. I ALWAYS feel these the next day!

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