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Which Muscle Groups are Best to Workout Together?

  • Category: Sports Medicine
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Jin Choi, D.O.
Which Muscle Groups are Best to Workout Together?

Working out different body parts on different days gives your muscles more time to rest between workouts and helps prevent overtraining. We spoke to HOI’s Sports Medicine physician, Jin Choi, DO to get his expertise on which muscle groups to workout together.

Q: What muscle groups should I workout together?

A: All exercises require the use of multiple muscle groups together. It is rare that a single muscle works in isolation. In general, they can be grouped into six body parts: chest, shoulders, arms, back, abdomen, and legs. They may also be targeted more specifically, such as pectoralis, deltoid, biceps, triceps, etc.

You can group these parts however you would like, but people often like to have days for “push,” “pull,” abdomen, and leg exercises. “Push” exercises include movements that work out pushing muscle groups together, such as chest, shoulder, and triceps, and “pull” exercises include pulling muscle groups, such as biceps and back. Leg exercises will obviously include muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, calves, etc. You can do the abdomen exercises along with any of these other groups, but most people either add it to their back exercise days or leg days.

It is usually a good idea to divide the larger muscle groups, such as legs and back, into different days since they tend to use the most amount of energy and can cause too much stress and exhaustion to the body if you do them in the same day.

Q: Why is it best to target these groups together?

A: By targeting the “push,” “pull,” abdomen, and leg muscle groups together, you can exercise them as efficiently as possible in a synergistic way. You would also be able to give each muscle groups a day or two to rest in between to allow for recovery. Moreover, you can allow yourself to workout harder knowing that you can focus on these muscle groups for that moment and will have a chance to rest until the next time you are due to work them out again.

Q: What are the best exercises for this kind of combined muscle group exercise?

A: There are infinite amounts of exercises you can do out there for these muscle groups and numerous variations of each. For example, “push” exercises can include push-ups, bench press (barbell or dumbbells; flat, incline, and decline), shoulder military press, and triceps extension; “pull” exercises can include bicep curls, rows, deadlifts, and lat pull-downs; abdominal exercises can include sit-ups, crunches, leg raises, mountain climber, and planks; and leg exercises can include squats (front and back), calf raises, lunges, leg extension (quadriceps), and hamstring curls. Each of these exercises and many others have a variety of ways to do them and with different equipment.

Q: What else do you want readers to know about getting an efficient and effective workout?

A: Overall, there are countless ways to exercise different muscle groups as efficiently and effectively as possible. There is a lot of information out there that advises people that they should do this or that, of which some are good and some are not. The most important part is figuring out what works for you, create a plan, stick to the plan, and, at the end of the day, stay healthy and have fun.