It doesn’t matter if you’re new to strength training or have been doing it for years, it is important to learn how you can get maximum results from your workouts. It’s a smart idea to train multiple muscles at once, especially if you have a busy life.
What Muscle Groups should you Workout Together?
Let’s first look at The American College of Sports Medicine’s basic guidelines for resistance training:
Perform some form of strength training at least twice per week.
Healthy adults should perform at least 8-12 repetitions
To target the major muscle groups, 8-10 exercises are recommended: Chest, back and shoulders; triceps, stomach, quadriceps and hamstrings.
Strength Training for Opposing Muscle Groups
Training opposing muscle groups is one of the most popular ways to lift weights.
These opposing muscles, also known as agonists or antagonists, work together to make many of our movements. Simply put, you’re working both the front- and back parts of one body part at once.
- Exercise Together with Major Muscle Groups
- These are some popular choices for which muscle groups you should work out together.
- The chest and the back
- Hamstrings and quads
- Biceps and Triceps. Shoulders.
- Glutes and Abdominals
- Exercise with your Muscle Groups: Chest & Back
This upper body movement will help you to round out your chest muscles and back muscles. Focus on your front and backside!
Equipment: A medium-to-heavy dumbbell set. When I am working my upper body, I use 12 lb dumbbells. You can use dumbbells weighing between 8 and 15 lb. You can use whatever weight you feel is the most challenging while still being able to do the workout.
Instructions for Workout: This upper-body workout is in a circuit format. Each exercise should be completed for 45 seconds. Then, take a 15 second break. This 15 second rest is for you to take your breath in and get ready for the next move.
1. Chest Fly
Place dumbbells on your chest and lie on your back, knees bent.
Slowly open your arms to the sides by bending at the elbow. As you pull the weights up, squeeze your chest. Continue doing this until you have completed the required number of reps.
2. Renegade Row
Start by laying down in a plank, with dumbbells in your hands and arms extended. Toes should be pointed out. If you’re unable to do a full plank, you can kneel.
Keep the dumbbell in your right hand. Slowly return the dumbbell to the ground and then repeat the process with the left dumbbell.
This will make your chest, shoulders and triceps ablaze and increase your heart rate.
The ultimate strength move, the push-up, is the most important. The push-up is a powerful exercise that targets multiple muscle groups in one.
Start in a plank position, with your hands under your shoulders and your legs extended behind you. Keep your body straight to keep the spine straight.
Bend your elbows slightly to the back and lower your body until it touches the ground. Your gaze should be straight ahead of your body and fingertips.
Exhale and tighten your stomach. Then, push yourself up into a plank position. This is just one repetition.
4. Reverse grip Double Arm Rows
Begin by putting your legs together. Next, sit down and engage your abdominals in a slight squat. Keep your arms straight in front of you, holding dumbbells at hip level with your palms facing the ceiling.
Gently hug the side with your elbows, extending past your hips. This will allow you to feel your lats and triceps engage.
5. Chest Press
Place your feet on the ground and place your knees on the floor. The dumbbells should be placed at shoulder height.
Keep your arms extended outwards towards your chest. Slowly lower your arms to return to the starting position.
6. Overhead Pull
This will target the shoulders and triceps muscle group. This is how to do an overhead pull.
Place your feet on the ground and place your knees on the floor. To start, extend your arms above the chest. Engage your abdominals.
Keep dumbbells below your head, keeping your arms straight and elbows bent. Next, keep your abdominals tight and raise dumbbells to the top. You should keep your low back firm against the ground throughout.
Exercise with Multiple Muscle Groups: Quads & Hamstring
1. Basic Squat
Standing tall, with your feet hip-distance apart, is a good position. All your hips, knees and toes should be in front.
As if you were going to recline in a chair, bend your knees and extend the back of your buttocks. Keep your knees in line with your heels and your weight in your heels.
Get up again and keep going.
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, then place dumbbells in front of your thighs.
Keep your abs tight and flat as you bend your knees slightly to lower the dumbbells towards floor.
To lift your back, squeeze your glutes.
3. Alternating Lunges (6 reps per side)
Standing tall, with your feet hip-distance apart.
Step forward, and then lower your body towards the floor. At the bottom of your lunge, both legs should be bent at 90 degrees. Push the front leg up and raise it back to the start. Then, do the same with the other leg.
4. Single-Leg Hamstring Bridge (Left Side)
Place your feet flat on a mat under your knees. One leg should be extended towards the ceiling.
Glute squeeze and raise hips onto a bridge by pressing glutes. For the desired number of reps, lower and lift your hips. Then, repeat the exercise on the other side.
5. Pistol Squat
Standing with your feet hip-distance apart, extend one leg in front of you.
For balance, bring your hands to your hips or to the front of you body. Begin by squatting with your heel on the ground. Then, slowly raise your legs using your glutes and hamstring muscles. Continue doing this for as many reps as you like, then switch sides.