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Muscle Groups and Exercises

When weight training, it is good to work all of your muscles. This helps ensure that you have evenness in strength, which will lower risk of injusry and pain. The following charts provides you with an understanding of the different muscle groups (upper body and lower body) and the relevant weight training exercises you can do to work the muscles in each group. There are basic exercises that strengthen all of the muscles within a group, as well as ‘isolation exercises’ which target specific muscles within the muscle group. Click on the pictures of the muscle groups to access exercise videos for that particular muscle.

Upper Body

Muscle Group Free Weights and Resistance Bands Machine Exercises
Abdominals


Basic Exercises:

  • Crunches
  • Leg raises
  • Knee ins
  • V-ups
  • Bicycle Crunches

Isolation Exercises:

  • Lower Back Raises
Basic Exercises:

  • Ab Rollers

Isolation Exercises:

  • Lower Back Extension
  • Side Twist Machine
Back
Basic Exercises:

  • One-arm row
  • Two-arm row
  • Bent-over row
  • Pullover
  • Pull-up
  • Neutral grip pull-up (Chin-up)

Isolation Exercises:

  • Lower Back Raises
Basic Exercises:

  • Straight-arm pull-down
  • Low-pulley row
  • Wide grip pull-down
  • Close-grip pull-down
  • Seated low-pulley row
  • Assisted pull-up
  • Assisted chin-up

Isolation Exercises:

  • Lower Back Extension
Chest
Basic Exercises:

  • Incline press
  • Flat press
  • Decline press
  • Push Up
  • Chest Dip

Isolation Exercises:

  • Flat fly
  • Incline fly
  • Decline fly
Isolation Exercises:

  • Incline cable crossover
  • Decline cable crossover
Shoulders
Basic Exercises:

  • Shoulder / Military Press
  • Upright Row

Isolation Exercises:

  • Lateral Raise
  • Bent-over lateral raise
  • Front raise
  • Bent-arm bent-over row
  • Rotator Cuff
Basic Exercises:

  • Military press

Isolation Exercises:

  • Seated rear delt machine
Biceps
Basic Exercises:

  • Basic curl
  • Preacher curl
  • Incline curl
  • Hammer curl
  • Reverse curl
  • EZ Bar curl

Isolation Exercises:

  • Concentration / Isolation Curl
Basic Exercises:

  • High cable curl
  • Cable curl
Triceps
Basic Exercises:

  • Lying tricep extension
  • Overhead tricep extension
  • Triceps dip
  • Close-grip bench and dumbbell press
  • Bench dip

Isolation Exercises:

  • Triceps kickback
  • Fixed bar bodyweight tricep extension
Basic Exercises:

  • Assisted tricep dip
  • Overhead cable tricep extension

Isolation Exercises:

  • Triceps pushdown

Lower Body

Muscle Group Free Weights and Resistance Bands Machine Exercises
Thighs and Buttocks

Basic Exercises:

  • Front squat
  • Ballet Squat
  • Front lunges
  • Back lunges
  • Walking lunges
Basic Exercises:

  • Leg press
  • Hack squat

Isolation Exercises:

  • Leg extension
  • Adductor machine
  • Abductor machine
  • Butt blaster
Hamstrings

Basic Exercises:

  • Stiff-legged deadlift
  • Lunges
Basic Exercises:

  • Leg press

Isolation Exercises:

  • Lying leg curl
  • Standing leg curl
  • Seated leg curl
Calves / Tibia

Basic Exercises:

  • One leg calf raises
  • Two leg calf raises
  • Multi-directional calf raises
  • Standing tibia raises
Basic Exercises:

  • Seated calf raises
  • Donkey calf raises

Isolation Exercises:

  • Seated multi-directional calf raises
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