Whether you are just getting started on your fitness journey or you've been in the groove for a while, it's really important to be educated on how you can get the most out of your workouts. For those living especially busy lifestyles, it makes sense to train multiple muscle groups in one session rather than one muscle at a time. That said -- what are the major muscle groups, and what's the best way to train them together?
We'll tell you.
Muscle Groups 101: What You Need To Know
A "muscle group" is exactly what it sounds like -- a group of muscles situated close together on your body that perform similar movements.
Typically, there are three types of muscles -- cardiac, skeletal, and smooth. Cardiac muscles control your ticker, while the smooth muscles are actively in involuntary actions such as constricting veins. When you work out, you target skeletal muscles, which happen to make up over 40 percent of your body weight.
Many fitness gurus often consider these to be the major muscle groups in your body:
These muscle groups can then be divided into the following specific categories:
- Biceps -- in front of your upper arms.
- Latissimus Dorsi (lats) -- under your armpits.
- Trapezius (traps) -- top of your shoulders.
- Forearms -- the lower part of your arms.
- Triceps -- back of your upper arms.
- Glutes -- in your butt and hips.
- Hamstrings -- back of your upper leg.
- Calves -- found in your lower legs.
Are There Any Benefits To Combining Muscle Groups?
The biggest benefit of combining muscle groups may be that it'll cut your workout time in half. If you're only working with a little bit of time to exercise, you will work more muscles and build more strength by combining muscle groups.
But, that's not all -- other benefits include:
They Burn More Calories
Combining muscle groups can increase your heart rate, which means you'll be adding a dash of cardio to your resistance training workout, ultimately increasing calorie burn.
They Add Intensity
Involving more muscle groups at the same time will allow you to lift heavier weight to build more strength.
They Reduce Your Risk Of Injury
Combining muscle groups can help you to avoid muscular imbalances, lessening your chances of getting hurt, whether you're playing sports, exercising, or just performing everyday activities.
They Build Core Strength
Did you know that core-strengthening exercises are most effective when using multi-joint movements that include abdominals, lower and middle back, chest, and shoulders? A strong core helps to improve posture, balance, and coordination.
Best Muscle Group Combos
Now that you know what the major muscle groups are and what some of the benefits look like when training them together, let's explore the best muscle group combos.
Chest, Shoulders, And Triceps
The chest and triceps work together effortlessly in most pushing motions that originate from your shoulders, so combining the three is a great choice. By keeping all three of these muscles activated in your workout, the possibility for growth is undeniable.
While the bench will see greater muscle hypertrophy in your chest than your triceps, it's important to recognize that both the shoulders and triceps still benefit from bench exercises as opposed to just one muscle group or just one singular muscle or body part, as well as other smaller muscle groups incorporated in your fitness program for the best results.
With the shoulders acting as a bridge to your triceps and chest, increasing size and mobility are the key to keeping your upper body strong, stable, and injury-free!
Back, Biceps, And Abs
This perfect muscle group pairing is effective because the biceps help your back with many different exercises. For most back exercises, the arms and biceps offer a secondary movement of some sort of pulling motion in many ways -- whether it be a rowing motion or one of pulling up or down, your biceps are essential for building strong back muscles.
While it's true your biceps also activate the shoulders -- which you would have included on a different day of training -- it's crucial to just maintain your form and know your limits to not overwork them or other major muscle groups.
Working your abdominals along with your biceps and back offers stability and can help to prevent injury. So adding great core exercises to this training day is simply a must!
Hamstrings, Quads, Calves, And Glutes
Training these all-important muscle groups may seem pretty obvious, but it's vital to keep working your legs. Your hamstrings, quads, calves, and glutes work as one to perform these compound motions -- so it's really no surprise this combo works to your maximum benefit with workouts! Your hamstrings, calves, and glutes help with knee and hip movements, and your glutes offer added support to the hamstrings to flex your knees or extend your hip.
Strong legs provide you with a strong back and core, but also balance and stability to improve your form in a wide variety of exercises. And as you already know, poor form can lead to a whole slew of totally preventable issues -- so strengthening these leg muscles is of the utmost importance!
A Final Word
While there are many different ways to work out these muscle groups, resistance proves to be extremely beneficial -- especially when you only want to hit your biceps and not your triceps. Or your back and not your shoulders. And so on. Adding a smart resistance training system like GEAR 1 by HYGEAR makes it easy to get a great workout by targeting multiple muscle groups at once. And the best part? You can use GEAR 1 in the office, on vacation, or at home, and as your strength improves, you can increase the resistance you work out against in order to avoid the dreaded plateau.
GEAR 1 is an innovative total workout system that comes with two high-performance bands with adjusters and smart sensors to track your workout data, two ergonomic handles, a set of ankle or wrist straps, a door anchor, an object anchor, and a carrying bag -- everything you need to perform tons of compound exercises from the comfort of your very own home.
Whether your goal is to build endurance, shed stubborn belly fat, or increase muscle mass -- HYGEAR can get you there.
Check out HYGEAR today and start reaching your fitness goals tomorrow!