The Basic Muscle Groups

The Basic Muscle Groups

The human body has more than six hundred separate muscles, but in learning the fundamentals of bodybuilding we need concern ourselves with only a few of the basic muscle groups.

Usually bodybuilders divide the body up into the following basic categories or basic muscle groups:

  • arms
  • back
  • calves
  • chest
  • forearms
  • shoulders
  • thighs and glutes
  • waist

But to really sculpt and develop each important area of the body, you need subdivide the muscle groups even further:

  • Back - both the width and length of the lattisimus dorsi (the lats), back thickness, middle back muscularity, development of the spinal erectors of the lower back.
  • Shoulders - size and fullness, development of each of the three heads of the deltoids (front, rear, and side), the trapezius
  • Chest - upper and lower pectorals, middle chest thickness, fullness of the rib cage, detail muscles at the side of the torso, the serratus and intercostals.
  • Biceps - upper and lower biceps, overall length, thickness
  • Triceps - development of all three triceps heads, detail and separation, mass and thickness
  • Forearms - extensor and contractor development, brachialis tie-in to the elbow
  • Quadriceps, and glutes - development of all four quadriceps heads, separation of the quad muscles, sweep of the outer thigh, the adductors of the inner thigh
  • Hamstrings - fullness and sweep of the leg biceps, separation between the hamstrings and the quads
  • Abdominals - upper and lower abs, external obliques at the side of the waist
  • Calves - the upper calf muscle (gastrocnemius) and the underlying calf muscle (soleus)

There are many exercises for each individual muscle group. As you go from basic to advanced training, you'll find that the bodybuilding training programs have been divided according to the specific movements for each of the important basic muscle groups.

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