If you’re the busy-body kind and think you have no room for a workout regimen in your daily schedule, think again and think compound training. Compound movement, as opposed to isolation (single-joint) training, involves working two or more joints in a single movement to fully stimulate entire muscle groups and multiple muscles.

While most gym-goers prioritize isolation over compound movements (front raises, bent laterals, and side laterals over overhead and incline presses), the smart ones ensure that the latter takes precedence over the former. The world’s strongest and fittest people swear by this rule as a key to their success. It not only saves time but also improves power and endurance, enhances recovery and maximizes efficiency in the gym.

Here are 3 compound movements to get you in superior shape that will make your counterparts go green with envy:

Squat jump into lunge

Target: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves, and Glutes

Set up a barbell on a rack, then slowly lift it off of the rack and onto the back of your neck. The barbell should be of moderate weight that will allow you to confidently jump up without getting injured. Ensure your feet are shoulder-width apart. Jump straight up into the air and land into a squat position. On completion of the squat go straight into a lunge, right leg in front of left, then lunge your left leg in front of your right. This constitutes as 1 rep. Do 12 reps x 8 sets.

Hanging clean into a front squat

Target: Quadriceps, Shoulders, and Calves

Lift the barbell from the rack/ground and ensure the weight isn’t overloaded. Lower yourself into a squat and hold the bar in front of your shins with a shoulder-width, overhand grip. Then shrug your shoulders as you pull the bar straight up and rise onto your toes. As the bar approaches chest height, bend your knees, and swing your elbows forward to catch the bar in your fingers. While keeping your elbows high, lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then push back up, and lower the bar to the starting position. Do 12 reps x 8 sets.

Deadlift into bicep curl

Target: Quadriceps, Shoulders, Calves, Biceps.

deadlift-underhand-gripSquat down and grasp a barbell with a shoulder width or slightly narrower underhand grip. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, your knees slightly bent and your back straight, draw your abs in, and lift the bar by extending hips and knees to full extension. Then curl the bar by bending at the elbows, bringing your wrists to your shoulders, and keeping your elbows in a locked position. Extend your arms and return the bar to the standing position at your thighs. Return to the starting position by bending at the waist and bringing the bar back down to just above the floor. Do 10-12 reps x 6 sets.