Muscle Groups and How to Train Them Together
Resistance training and weight lifting have their benefits. It can improve strength, muscular endurance and overall health. Incorporating some form of resistance training into your workout regime can also help improve bone health. Putting strain on the bones and joints encourages bone cell growth, which can create a denser, stronger structure.
Unless you’re doing a bit of everything (AKA full-body workout), resistance training is often done by combining two muscle groups at one time – particularly if using weights.
There are six major muscle groups to consider when using weights:
🔥 The chest
🔥 The back
🔥 The abs
🔥 The legs
🔥 The arms
🔥 The shoulders
These groups work well in pairs, so sometimes you hear the term ‘chest and back’ or ‘legs and abs’ when people plan their workouts. You can, of course, train a single muscle group in one session, but certain groups work well together and can also prevent overtraining one particular muscle group.
You can also break these categories down into the muscles which make up each group. And you may want to train only one muscle from that group during a workout. For example:
👉 You may work specifically on your biceps for the arm muscle group and not the triceps in one workout.
👉 For the leg muscle group, you may train the quadriceps and not the hamstrings in one workout.
It’s important to remember that rest time is also required for a muscle to gain strength, build mass and function healthily. Therefore, to maximise results, training two muscle groups one day and then moving on to another two groups the next day, and so on, will allow each muscle group time to rest and recover somewhat.
Below is an example of how you can mix your muscle groups depending on how many times you plan to use weights during the week. You can add rest days between and, of course, mix in some cardio if you’re doing a bit of everything, but it is possible to train every day without injury if you’re smart about which areas of the body you focus on.
You can also break down the workouts into entire muscles groups, mixed muscle groups, or a combination of a muscle group and a particular muscle from another group.
3 DAYS a week – the mixed groups
Day 1 – Chest and back
Day 2 – Legs and abs
Day 3 – Arms and shoulders
4 DAYS a week – a combination of group and single muscle (on days 1 and 2)
Day 1 – Chest and triceps
Day 2 – Back and biceps
Day 3 – Legs
Day 4 – Shoulders and abs
5 DAYS a week – the single muscle group
Day 1 – Chest
Day 2 – Legs
Day 3 – Back
Day 4 – Abs
Day 5 – Arms
If you’re interested in using weights but new to it and need to learn the basics, we have a great programme with the fantastic Chloe Redmund. Chloe teaches a variety of exercises for all muscle groups throughout this programme; she breaks down the technique of lifting so that you can learn properly and perform each movement efficiently. With this knowledge you’ll be able to branch off and create your own workout for each muscle group.
For general resistance workouts we also have a number of great programmes to consider:
Tone in 10 Minute – each separate muscle group