Compound exercises are a great way to work multiple muscle groups and build more strength and power. But when it comes to personalizing these movements to different fitness levels and health conditions, how do you go about it? Here’s a guide to modifying compound exercises for people of all ages and abilities.
Before you start modifying compound exercises, it’s important to be aware of your own physical abilities and limitations. If you have any medical conditions or history of injuries, consult with your doctor or physical therapist to ensure that these movements are safe and appropriate for you.
Using Progression and Regression
Compound exercises can be progressed or regressed fairly easily to match your fitness levels and health. Progressions involve increasing the difficulty of the movements while regressions are used to modify the exercise to make them easier.
Things to Consider
There are several factors to consider when modifying compound exercises. These include: type of exercise (bodyweight, free weight, cable, etc.); intensity (fast or slow reps, more or less weight); range of motion (large or small movements); stability (using an anchor or not). All of these aspects can be adjusted to make a compound exercise easier or more challenging.
Examples of Exercises to Modify
Squats – Squats are a great compound exercise to modify. Start by keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your legs deep into the squat and use a comfortable grip on the barbell. To make them easier, you can use a lighter weight, do slow-motion squats or use a resistance band. To make them more challenging, you can use a heavier weight, do deeper squats, or increase the range of motion by raising the arms above the head.
Push-Ups – Push-ups are another excellent compound exercise to modify. Start by placing your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, lower your body and do a push-up. To make them easier, you can lower the intensity by doing a wall push-up, do an elevated push-up while seated on a bench, or place your hands together slightly raised to reduce the leverage. To make them more challenging, you can increase the intensity by using a stability ball, decrease the base of support by moving the feet into a narrow position, or use a bosu ball to increase the instability.
Compound exercises are a great way to work multiple muscle groups and build strength. By understanding the different progressions, regressions and other factors, you can easily modify compound exercises for different fitness levels and health. Just remember to consult with your doctor or physical therapist and start slowly.