The Beginner’s Guide to Working Individual Muscle Groups

Health experts recommend that adults engage in strength training at least twice a week. Only 30% of US adults meet that requirement. While aerobic exercises like biking and jogging are important, weight training burns calories while increasing strength and decreasing fat.

Are you trying to change your lifestyle and practice more strength training? If so, you’re probably wondering where to start.

You may have heard the best way to approach strength training is by working out specific muscle groups. This can be hard for a beginner, especially if you don’t know the difference between your quads and triceps.

Here’s your guide to the different muscle groups and how to work them.

Main Muscle Groups

There are many muscles in your body. While we can list every muscle, it’s easier to group them by focusing on the main areas of the body to exercise:

  • Back
  • Chest
  • Abdominals
  • Arms
  • Shoulders
  • Legs

If you want to focus on specific muscles, here are the main ones that advanced lifters use as guidance:

  • Quadriceps (front thighs)
  • Hamstrings (back of the legs)
  • Biceps (front upper arm)
  • Glutes (butt and hips)
  • Triceps (back of upper arm)
  • Latissimus dorsi, or lats (under the armpit)
  • Trapezius, or traps (on top of the shoulders)

Working out all of these areas defines muscles and increases strength.

Creating a Workout

When you become a more advanced lifter, you can focus on individual muscle groups. But most beginners find it easier to combine different muscle groups for their workouts. Here are some workout recommendations.

Shoulders and Chest

Shoulders and Chest

It’s easy to include your shoulders and chest in an upper-body workout. Your chest and shoulders also benefit each other — for example, the pecs (or chest muscles) stabilize the shoulders. Plus, you can use many of the same movements and workouts for both the shoulders and chest.

Some great exercises for the shoulders include:

  • Incline bench press
  • Pushups
  • Overhead press
  • Lateral raise
  • Crab walk
  • Standing cable pulley fly
  • Dumbbell shoulder press

For more shoulder workouts, you can view more info here.

Some great exercises for the chest include:

  • Flat bench press
  • Incline push up
  • Decline bench press
  • Incline bench press
  • Pushups



Leg day is essential to a great lower-body workout. For most, leg day encompasses many of the major muscle groups in the legs. These include the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Here’s a good leg day workout:

  • Front squat
  • Back squat
  • Good mornings
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Reverse lunges
  • Walking lunges
  • Lateral lunge
  • Step up

Abs, Back, and Arms

Abs, Back, and Arms

While this may seem like a lot, you can always mix and match these different workouts. Or, you can do only a few workouts for each muscle group until you become more comfortable exercising them individually.

Here are a few ab workouts:

  • Plank
  • Stability balls
  • Crunches

Here are some back workouts:

  • Pull-ups
  • Deadlifts
  • Rows
  • Lat pulldown

For arms, start with tricep extensions and bicep curls. You can always try more moves once your arms gain more strength.

Workout Your Muscle Groups and Get Those Gains

Strength training offers many health benefits, such as increasing muscle mass and preventing muscle loss. If you’re developing a strength training routine, it’s important to know your different muscle groups and how to exercise them. Continue reading our blog for more health advice!