Compound lifts are the best exercises one can do for maximum strength gains. If your goal is to lose body fat, get lean, get stronger, build lean muscle, or whatever else you'd like to call it, LISTEN UP! Compound lifts are for you. (PSA: you will not get bulky)
Let's start from the beginning. What does 'compound lift' even mean? By definition, compound exercises are ones that work multiple muscle groups at the same time. These exercises utilize movement patterns that involve multiple joints flexing, extending, and/or rotating in unison.
Example: consider a squat, probably the most well-known compound exercise, or exercise in general. In order to squat, your ankles, knees, and hips are involved. They all flex on the way down (the eccentric part of the movement) and extend on the way up (the concentric part of the movement).
List of My Favorite Compound Lifts:
This list is a very condensed list. There are so many variations to each such a barbell vs. dumbbell, front rack vs. back rack, seated vs. standing, flat vs. incline, etc.
Why are these exercises useful?
The more joints that are being acted upon during a single exercise suggest that there is more muscle working at one time. Because you're recruiting several muscle groups at once, your work capacity is higher; you're able to lift more weight, and therefore, gain more strength. Working several muscle groups at once and moving a large load is time efficient because you're getting more out of every lift.
Whether your goal is aesthetic-based, or simply wanting to improve your body strength for everyday life, compound lifting is a very effective tool you should be utilizing.
Read the blog post EFFECTIVE WORKOUT STRUCTURE | How to Design Your Workouts to put your newfound knowledge to good use.