If you are tired of looking at muscle group workout charts to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts, then you are at the right place. Ready to sculpt your dream body? Check out the best exercises for muscle groups awaiting their big reveal. Get pumping and turn heads!
Have you ever wondered what a gym-goer needs to do for the perfect physique? The answer lies in understanding how muscle groups respond best to specific exercises.
From bulky bench presses and push-ups that hit your chest right down to pull-ups and lateral pulldowns, which focus heavily on back development. There's something out there for everybody looking to get ripped!
You can maximize your workout efficiency and gain the most out of each session by targeting key muscle groups with the top exercises. Make sure every exercise counts! To build the ultimate physique, look no further than a classic chest pump with a barbell, dumbbell presses, dips, and cable flies.
Now you can lay some groundwork for power by targeting your back muscles with barbell rows, pull-ups, lateral pull-downs, or cable row variations. Get swole on those guns using bicep curls, triceps pushdowns, and overhead extensions, or isolate each muscle head with cables!
Let's gear up the glutes section by hip thrusting, squatting down into lunges, and bridging up gloriousness. Last, there is also something for your shoulder muscles in the coming sections. So, read more to witness a list of exercises for each muscle with pictures.
Related Article: Bodyweight Vs. Weightlifting: Which is Better for Muscle Building?
Group 1: Chest
Muscles can be mysterious: They seem to do something for everything, but what about the chest? The chest muscles go from your sternum up your upper arm. So when doing those push-ups and bench presses in the gym, you're working a muscle group that helps close your arms diagonally across your body!
Here are a couple more exercises to help you achieve that dream muscular chest.
High-to-Low Cable Fly
Ready to give your chest muscles the ultimate workout?
How to Do It?
- Begin by standing tall with a cable machine in front of you. Make sure the pulley is set to the highest position.
- Grab the cable attachment with both hands, palms facing each other, arms extended in front of you, and with a slight bend in your elbows.
- Pause for a moment at the bottom and then slowly return your arms to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Low Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Going for the standard flat barbell bench press is only sometimes ideal for targeting those pecs. Since optimal bench pressing form involves arching your back, a low-incline or decline setup is better suited for accessing both the sternal and clavicular pectoralis—-so forget about that old-school workout idea!
Another winning move if you want to hit chest muscles? Lay off the bars and grab some dumbbells instead: this allows you to tailor hand & elbow placement to achieve maximum definition without jolting your shoulders too much.
How to Do It?
- Start by setting an adjustable bench to a low incline (15-30 degrees). Make sure the back of the bench is secured to the rack.
- Place the dumbbells on either side of the bench, and sit on the bench. Place your feet flat on the floor and grasp the dumbbells.
- Push the dumbbells up, keeping your hands close to your body and your elbows close to your sides.
- Once you reach the top of the lift, slowly lower the dumbbell back down to the starting position. Repeat the motion for the desired amount of reps.
Group 2: Back
Who does not want that coveted V-shaped back? You don't need just to put in the hard work - you have to be smart about it too! Your lat muscles will make or break your goal, so give them extra love and attention with targeted moves for maximum effect. A study supports that pull-ups are an incredibly efficient way to pack on back muscles.
Boosting up those bulky muscles will give you strength, power, and agility to take on any activity life throws at you—from lifting weights or playing sports, it's the ultimate base for performance gains! Plus don't forget about how much better your posture is gonna look (not that anyone would ever notice).
This compound exercise works for multiple muscle groups simultaneously, like the lats, traps & rhomboids—as a triple whammy! Pull-ups build strength, improve posture, and help you get your whole body workout done quicker than ever. Get ready to hit those gains in no time with this tried and tested classic exercise!
How to Do It?
- Start by gripping a normal bar with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Pull your body towards the bar until your chin is above the bar, and then slowly lower yourself back down.
- You can add weight to your body or do more repetitions to make the exercise more challenging.
Group 3: Quads
Quads, the muscles at the front of your thighs, are a telltale sign that you have achieved considerable leg strength. Notable figures such as athletes and bodybuilders often flaunt their bulging quads thanks to intensive lower-body training regimens—but these powerful muscles don't just look good on paper: they give an extra oomph for activities like sprinting, high jumping, and squatting too!
Looking for a way to give your quads the workout they deserve? It's time you build those powerful muscles that will add stability and strength like never before. Not just any muscle-building exercises, but ones tailor-made to get your legs looking strong and defined—after all, it is regarded as one of the most important muscle groups in our body!
Heels-Elevated Dumbbell Squats
Take your squats to the next level with Heels-Elevated Dumbbell Squats! Not only will you pack a punch in targeting and strengthening those quads, but adding dumbbells adds extra resistance that takes this exercise from ordinary to extraordinary. You'll be standing tall; make sure it's on two strong legs thanks to pushing through the balls of your feet - ready, set squat!
How to Do It?
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes slightly elevated on a step or bumper plate.
- Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Maintaining a straight back and keeping your eyes focused ahead of you, squat down as far as you can, pushing your hips back and down.
- As you come up, drive through your heels, squeezing your quads as you stand up.
Group 4: Glutes
Get ready to thrust your way into glute-shaping greatness! The hip thrust exercise is incredibly effective and versatile and tones those largest muscles. In addition, improved balance, greater mobility, and reduced lower back pain are all possible thanks to this trusty workout—plus added benefits such as better performance during squats and deadlifts.
With a potent combination of powerful exercises and proper nutrition, your booty can be ready for its close-up in no time. Squats, lunges & deadlifts build strong glute muscles -or up the ante with hip thrusts, bridges, or step-ups. So why not make the most of today's gym session by getting a boost with good old-fashioned hip thrusting?
Ready to strengthen and shape those buns? Look no further than the hip thrust exercise! A simple yet highly effective motion with your hips will help sculpt strong glutes like a master artist. Whether you add weights or use body weight, this trusty movement is a surefire way to build bigger buttocks.
How to Do It?
- Start sitting on the floor with your back against an adjustable bench.
- Place your feet on the floor, your knees bent, and your feet hip-distance apart. Place a barbell across your hips and keep your feet firmly planted on the floor.
- Push your hips up, squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement, pause for a few seconds, and lower your hips back to the starting position. Repeat the hip thrust for the desired number of repetitions.
Group 5: Hamstrings
Hamstrings are critical for sprinting, leaping, and squatting. Keep those muscle groups in top shape by stretching and regularly strengthening with targeted exercises to promote flexibility while keeping your muscles safe from harm.
Adopting a nordic hip hinge in daily workouts can leave you spellbound. Get ready to turn those hamstrings into a work of art!
We've got just the moves for the best in strength, looks, and injury prevention—not to mention an improved overall athletic performance. Get your workouts rocking with our superior muscle-building exercises for that excellent hamstring makeover you deserve!
Nordic Hip Hinge
A study supports the fact that nordic hip hinge exercises are an effective way to build strength and size in the hamstring muscle group. This exercise works by increasing the range of motion of the hip joint and teaching the body to control the eccentric phase of the movement.
The benefits of this exercise include increased hamstring strength, improved hip mobility, and increased core stability. This exercise can be performed with body weight or with an added weight.
How to Do It?
- Have a partner hold your legs down.
- Kneel with your knees slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Hinge your hips, bending forward until your torso is parallel to the ground.
- Keep your spine neutral and your hips in line with your torso. Hold for a few seconds, then return to the start position.
Group 6: Arms
Pump it up! Arm exercises can help boost strength and muscle definition, giving your guns a toned look. With consistent workouts devoted to arms, you'll experience improved posture and increased overall strength that will carry into daily activities, not to mention reducing the risk of injury in those hard-working muscles.
Bulking up your arms doesn't require a superhuman effort – just some targeted exercises, a healthy diet, and proper rest. Compound movements like the bench press and weight lifting should get you on track to stronger muscles in no time! Don't forget - recovery is vital when aiming for that ultimate arm strength finish line.
Dumbbell Skull Crusher
If you're looking for an exercise that will give you a bicep, tricep, and shoulder burn like no other – the dumbbell skull crusher is your jam.
Although you can achieve that balance and core strength using tools like a balance board for core strength, the skull crusher is excellent for defining those upper body muscles and gives core strength, balance, and coordination, too—just don't get crushed in doing it!
However, remember to keep a flat back with elbows close during movement, use the correct weight appropriate to fitness level & neck/head neutral position are essential safety measures. So what about giving this killer move a try?
How to Do It?
- Start lying on a flat bench.
- Hold a pair of neoprene dumbbells in each hand directly above your chest, with your arms fully extended and your palms facing each other.
- From this position, bend your elbows and slowly lower the weights toward your forehead, stopping when your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Hold and then press the weights back up to the starting position.
Group 7: Shoulders
For those looking to take their physique to the next level, well-developed shoulders are a must. Bulkier deltoids offer stability and improved performance when executing motions such as pushing, pulling, and lifting—not precisely easy feats of strength!
Building strong, toned, balanced shoulder muscles requires a routine with the right exercises. From overhead presses and lateral raises to bent-over rows and pulldowns, these moves target your deltoids, trapezius & rotator cuff muscles—improving strength AND mobility!
Lean Away Cable Lateral Raise
Want sculpted and toned shoulders? Then forget traditional lateral raises—the Lean Away Cable Lateral Raise is here to help!
This sneaky exercise works all your shoulder muscles in one go by cleverly recruiting more muscle fibers for a thorough workout. Leaning away from the cable machine while pulling outwards gets you maximum bang for your buck in strengthening those deltoids and trapezius!
How to Do It?
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, parallel to a cable machine.
- Place a handle in one hand, and with the other hand hold the cable machine. From here, lean away from the machine. Keep your elbow slightly bent and pull the handle to your side, leading with your elbow.
- From this position, slowly return to the start position. You can increase the intensity of the exercise by using a heavier weight or increasing the number of reps.
Related Article: Workout Plan to Build Stronger Core & Strength
1. Which exercise targets multiple major muscle groups?
Compound exercises are those that work for multiple muscle groups at once. A squat, for example, is a compound exercise that targets the quadriceps, glutes, and calves. Compound exercises, which combine two exercises into one move, can also target more muscles (for example, a lunge with a bicep curl)
2. What are the top three workouts?
The big three are, as previously stated, the bench press, squat, and deadlift. These are the three lifts used in powerlifting, where powerlifters compare their strength to their competitors using the combined total.
3. What is the most potent workout?
The squat is widely regarded as the king of all exercises. And with good reason. It works some of the body's largest muscles, including the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and core. Strengthening these muscles allows for more fluid movement and helps to prevent injuries.
4. How do you target each muscle group twice?
The trick is to spread the volume over the week rather than doubling it. For example, if you usually do six chest exercises on Monday, do three on Monday and three on Thursday. You end up doing the same amount of work; you just hit the muscle twice in the same week.
You need to build muscle to stay healthy and strong, and by doing the right exercises for each muscle group, you can achieve your fitness goals. Each exercise targets one or more muscle groups and can help you build strength and size. Squats and deadlifts are great for targeting the lower body muscles.
Presses and pull-ups are great for targeting the upper body muscles. Moreover, core exercises such as planks and sit-ups can help to build core strength. So, many different exercises can be used to build muscle in each major muscle group. The best exercise for each group depends on the individual's goals and current fitness level.
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- Wuebben, Joe. “PULL YOUR WEIGHT: Time to Step up--or, More Accurately, Pull up--to Elevate Your Physique.” Joe Weider’s Muscle & Fitness, vol. 79, no. 3, Mar. 2018, pp. 58–59. go.gale.com, https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?p=HRCA&sw=w&issn=07445105&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA530914425&sid=googleScholar&linkaccess=abs.
- O’Brien, Joey, et al. “Reliability of the Hip Extension Lower Exercise as a Measure of Eccentric Hamstring Strength.” Biomechanics, vol. 2, no. 1, Mar. 2022, pp. 1–6. www.mdpi.com, https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics2010001.