Working Out Multiple Muscle Groups

May 16, 2014


There are a variety of exercises that allow someone to work two or three muscle groups at the same time. By adopting these exercises and incorporating them into one’s workout routines, the person will consistently get the maximum benefit out of their time in the gym.

The first exercise that will be mentioned is the bench press. This tried and true exercise is one of the best all round workouts for someone’s upper body. The bench press is designed primarily to develop ones pectorals or chest muscles. The bench press does not stop with the chest, though. It also exercises the triceps and the deltoids (shoulder muscles). The triceps are an important muscle group used in any kind of pushing exercise. Pushing the barbell or dumbbells while doing a bench press works the triceps pretty thoroughly. The shoulder muscle group is made up of three muscles or heads. The front deltoids are the ones that are brought into play when doing the bench press. By changing the angle of the bench and doing incline bench presses, the shoulder workout is intensified even more. 

Another exercise that hits more than one muscle group is the dead lift. This is a tremendous exercise that works the upper legs, the back, and the trapezius muscle group, or the traps. There are at least two kinds of dead lifts. The straight leg dead lift specifically targets the muscles on the back of the legs, the hamstrings. In a regular dead lift, the legs are bent as the person bends to grasp the barbell or dumbbells. They then stand erect holding the weight. The legs receive an excellent workout. Most people will also feel the workout in their back and trap muscles as well. This is especially true as the weight that the person is lifting gets heavier. A fourth muscle group that is worked out indirectly during dead lifts are the forearms. The gripping action used to hold the barbell or dumbbells will serve to strengthen and develop the forearms.

A third exercise that works multiple muscle groups is the pull up. The pull up is an excellent exercise that is designed to develop and strengthen the back muscles or the lats. A secondary muscle group that benefits from this exercise are the biceps. The biceps are exercised through pulling or curling motions. Pull ups provide both the back and the biceps with a good workout. The trap muscles will also receive some work through this exercise. If someone is unable to do pull ups, there are a variety of machines that simulate the movement. The pull up is done with the palms facing away. The practitioner can change the grip and have their palms facing them. This exercise is usually referred to as a “chin up.” It works the back and biceps, also. The chin up, however, brings more biceps and less back into the exercise. 

Multiple muscle groups can also be exercised by combining different exercises. For example, if someone wanted to workout their arms, they could do a combined tricep/bicep workout. A set for the triceps would be performed and then they would immediately perform a set for their biceps. One example would be for the practitioner to do a set of rope push downs for their triceps and then immediately perform a set of barbell curls.

If someone wanted to work their chest and back on the same day, they could do a set of bench presses and then immediately perform a set of pullups, or machine pulldowns. This combination would serve to work almost their entire upper body. By combining exercises that work out different muscle groups, the practitioner is going a long way to ensuring that they are getting the most out of every workout.

What are some other exercises that work out more than one muscle group?

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