Guide to the best full body compound exercises for women (Image via Pexels/Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery)

5 Best Full Body Compound Exercises for Women

Shuvangi Sen Chaudhury

Understanding the best full body compound exercises can help you improve your strength. The reason being - compound movements target more than one muscle group.

An example of a compound movement is a barbell bench press or a barbell row. These exercises focus on large muscle groups, such as chest or lats, and also work on smaller muscle groups, such as triceps or biceps.


Best full body compound exercises for women

If you’re focusing on improving strength and muscle endurance while burning calories, your focus should be on compound movements.

While all compound movements have their benefits, you may want to focus on exercises that can help you work with more than two muscle groups. Here are five of the best full body compound exercises that you need to know to improve your strength and muscle endurance.


1) Squat to Overhead Press with Rotation

For this exercise, stand straight with two dumbbells. Hold the dumbbells on your shoulders.

Do a squat while you come up; press the dumbbells upwards, and twist your hips towards the sides at the top of the motion. This exercise works on your quads (squats), shoulders (overhead press) and sides (rotation). This squat exercise focuses on both the upper and lower body.


2) Dumbbell Deadlift to Row

Another movement that can be considered one of the best full body compound movements is the deadlift. This exercise in itself works on the upper body and lower back. If you add a row to it, you’ll be working on your lats as well.

What you need to do is: Stand straight with two dumbbells to do a deadlift. Once you’ve completed one deadlift, bend forward again to do a dumbbell row.

If you wish to increase the pressure on your muscles, do the row once you’ve lowered the dumbbells towards the ground for the deadlift. This movement basically means the deadlift envelopes the dumbbell row.


3) Oblique Curl to Press

Another useful full body compound exercise is the curl to press. It focuses on your biceps and shoulders. However, it focuses on your arms as well as obliques. You can do this movement while you’re standing or sitting on one knee.

All you need to do is hold a dumbbell in one hand, and keep the other extended or on your hips for stability. Bend on the side you’re holding the dumbbell on, and do a side bend for your obliques. Once you’ve come to the neutral position, do a bicep curl for the bicep muscles followed by a press for the shoulders.

Begin this exercise with a light dumbbell, and move to heavier dumbbells as your strength improves.

An advanced version of the exercise involves holding dumbbells in both hands and doing one rep on each side for at least ten reps.

4) Plank Dumbbell Drag

This exercise focuses on your core muscles and shoulders. Go into a shoulder plank position, and keep a dumbbell between your arms. While maintaining the position with engaged core muscles, drag the dumbbell from the middle towards the left with your left hand.


Support your body with your left hand while your right hand drags the dumbbell towards the left side. Your hips should remain stable and not move around.

5) Devil’s Press

One of the best full body compound exercises is the Devil’s Press. You’ll need a pair of dumbbells for this exercise.

Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly more. Bend forward with your back straight, and swing the dumbbells backwards. With a swift motion, swing them forward; place them on your shoulders, and push your body upwards with a squat. This part of the movement works on your lower back and quads.

While you’re pushing your body upwards with a squat, extend your arms towards the ceiling to do an overhead dumbbell press, which works on your shoulders. Next, lower the dumbbells on your shoulders, and slowly lower them to your sides while controlling the negative. That works on your bicep muscles.

Once the dumbbells are on your side, lower them all the way till your shins, and do a dumbbell row, which works on your lat muscles.


After the row, lower the dumbbell all the way to the ground; step outwards, and do a push up. This part of the exercise works on your chest and triceps. Following the push-up, step inwards, and move back to the starting position.

This exercise works on your quads, shoulders, biceps, triceps, lats and chest.

Edited by Bhargav
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