An easy way to add a new twist to your workout is to incorporate some combination moves, where you combine two or more exercises into each rep. Combination exercises will help you build muscle, lose fat, and improve fitness. These exercises are great when you're short on time, in a fat loss phase, or want to add variety to your workout.
Combo exercises don't require the skill of complexes, which is great for older and less experienced lifters and perfect if you like a challenge. Here we dive into the ins and outs of combo exercises and three combo moves that will have you sweating and smiling in no time.
WHAT ARE COMBINATION EXERCISES?
Combination exercises take two different exercises and pair them together. You do one repetition of the first exercise and one repetition of the second, continuing to alternate between the two movements until your set is complete. Here's a popular example.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF COMBINATION EXERCISE
Combination exercises are excellent when used correctly and used correctly for your goals. But they are only suitable for some and not for certain goals. Here are the pros and cons of performing combination exercises.
- Builds more muscle in less time, which is great when you're short on exercise time.
- Improves your overall conditioning, especially when transitioning from a lower to an upper body exercise.
- This gives you variety in training and a challenge that you will surely enjoy.
- t ideal if your goal is maximum strength since you'll be using submaximal weight for one of your lifts.
- Combining two exercises increases the risk of injury, especially when you are tired.
- It requires learning two movements, and it takes time to learn how to combine them.
COMBINATION EXERCISE CONSIDERATIONS
You can't combine two exercises and call it a combination exercise—there has to be a rhyme and a reason for it to work. Here are a few considerations for performing and choosing your combination exercise.
- Choose exercises with a smooth transition and similar load requirements: When combining two exercises, they should have a smooth transition from one to the next. For example a dumbbell; crouch to push. Avoid combinations of exercises that have different resistance requirements - for example, combining a deadlift with a reverse curl.
- Choose the right resistance: When choosing a resistance for a combination exercise, use the weight of the "weakest" of the two. For example, if you can press 200 pounds and front squat 300 pounds, use 200 pounds for the squat to press exercise.
- Rep Range: Combination exercises, due to their extended time under tension and their tiring nature, keep the rep ranges on the low end, around 6-12 reps, to improve quality.
- Programming suggestions: It is best to program these right at the beginning of your training for better technique and quality when you are fresh. Before beginning your working sets, perform a light warm-up set to groove the movement and establish your working weight.
3 COMBO EXERCISES FOR BETTER STRENGTH AND CONDITION
w that you know more about combo exercises and how and why to program them, here are three excellent combo exercises you can try.