Does the Order of Your Workout Matter?

Does the order of your workout matter?

The quick answer is that it can, depending on your goals.


Maintaining a well-rounded fitness routine is essential to increasing physical strength and improving overall health. Whether you’re just starting out or an experienced lifter, the order of your workout can make a difference in how much you get out of a session. Even within the same exercise, lifting correctly requires specific techniques for different muscle groups.

Understanding the basics of exercise order can help you maximize each workout and achieve your desired results. This guide will explain why it’s important to be aware of which muscles you’re targeting first, second and last, as well as provide tips on creating an effective workout routine from start to finish.

Benefits of Ordering Exercises

When you plan your workout, the order of exercises can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your workout. Depending on the type of workout and what you are trying to accomplish, certain exercises should be done first and others should be done last. Knowing the correct order for your exercises can help you get the most out of your workout. Let’s take a look at the benefits of ordering exercises.

Improved Efficiency

When it comes to ordering exercises in your workout, turning your plan into a circuit is one of the most efficient methods. A circuit is when you move from one exercise to another with minimal rest in between sets, maintaining a steady and continuous flow. This approach will allow you to get more done in less time than if you were to take regular rest breaks. Plus, by decreasing the amount of time between sets of each exercise, you can achieve a higher heart rate, which can lead to improved calorie burn and better results overall. Additionally, since each exercise should incorporate some form of active recovery – such as alternating opposite arm/leg exercises or using opposing muscle groups – your major muscle groups will have more time for rest without lengthening the total recovery period. By effectively managing rest times and utilizing active recovery techniques within your circuit training routine, you’ll be able to squeeze the most out of any workout!

Improved Performance

When it comes to improving performance, the order of your exercises could be key. Research suggests that by performing compound exercises earlier in the workout and training efficiently, you can induce more muscle fatigue throughout the session. This strategy forces a progressive overloading of the muscles, which allows for increased gains in strength and muscle mass over time. Moreover, training by doing more complex and challenging exercises first helps maintain a greater focus on core movements. This can translate into improved technique, which can lead to better performance-related outcomes overall.

Additionally, within each exercise grouping or part of your workout, there might be an optimal order or sequence to do them in order to achieve best results. For example, ordering your exercises based on risk versus reward (i.e., save the more difficult or higher-risk move for last) or building intensity (i.e., starting with light weight and gradually increasing as you go) can help improve your performance results from each tailored program..

Reduced Injury Risk

When it comes to maximizing efficiencies and safety, the order of exercises matters in exercise programming. Creating an efficient and effective workout plan requires an understanding of how to group exercises in an order that optimizes for muscle development, injury prevention, energy conservation and improved performance.

When weight lifting or performing strength training exercises, it is important to work from larger muscle groups to smaller muscles groups. For example, when targeting the chest, start off with compound movements such as the bench press or dumbbell presses. By doing so you can focus on engaging your larger muscles before hitting the smaller ones – leading to better results with less strain on tendons and ligaments and reducing the risk of injury from doing too much before your body is ready.

Another important factor to consider when ordering exercises is minimizing fatigue while maintaining maximum effort across sets. Start off with multi-joint exercises like squats, deadlifts and presses as these require more energy expenditure than single-joint moves such as bicep curls and lateral raises. Utilizing this technique allows you to complete more sets at a higher intensity level overall which leads to increased performance gains when compared with beginning with single joint exercises first.

By understanding how exercise order impacts performance outcomes, practitioners can make adjustments that result in greater muscle development while reducing injury risk associated with overtraining certain musculature. Ultimately this results in athletes being able to push their bodies harder for longer periods of time resulting in improved performance gains under physical duress.

Different Workout Orders

If you’re new to weightlifting, it can be difficult to know what the best order is to do your exercises. While the order of your workout may not make a huge difference, understanding the different types of workout orders can be beneficial to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your workout. In this article, we’ll take a look at different workout orders, their advantages and disadvantages, and how you can use them for your fitness goals.

Push-Pull Workouts

Push-pull workouts are a type of workout routine that alternates between pushing and pulling exercises. This type of block-style training is beneficial because it places less stress on the body since it allows you to give one muscle group a break while your other muscle group works. Push-pull workouts consist of two types of exercises: compound lifts (also known as multi-joint exercises) that involve both pushing and pulling movements, such as bench presses and deadlifts, and single-joint exercises focused on specific muscles.

With a push-pull workout, you’ll combine one active pushing exercise with one active pulling exercise for each set and alternate between them until all sets are complete. For example, you might do five sets of barbell bench presses followed by five sets of barbell bent over rows. This would constitute a total set count for the chest and back muscles, 10 total sets in this case. You can also divide your push-pull workout into upper body or lower body days as another training option which uses compound lifts such as squats or lunges along with chest press variations and rows to further target different muscle groups in each session.

When it comes to creating effective push-pull programs for different goals, the order matters not only for safety reasons but for maximal results—you’ll want to order the exercises from most major muscles worked to least major muscles worked in order to improve gains. Movements like overhead pressing should be done at the beginning when you are freshest since proper form is paramount when conducting this type of exercise while single joint movements such as leg curls or tricep kickbacks can come later in the workout when fatigue has set in during subsequent maneuvers.

Lower-Upper Body Workouts

In addition to basic workout guidelines such as rest days, proper form and monitored exercise intensity, it is important to think about the order in which you perform your workouts. Depending on the type of routine you’re doing, different orders can yield various results. Understanding this allows you to get more out of each session and achieve your desired fit physique. One popular split involves separating lower body and upper body exercises into two separate training sessions. These lower-upper body workouts allow for greater muscle recovery between sets and higher overall volume.

For example, starting with lower body exercises provides a high level of activation in large muscle groups (think glutes and quads). This means that for upper body exercises, these muscles have already been pre-fatigued; making it easier for smaller muscle groups (biceps and triceps) to be targeted more efficiently as they aren’t taking on the burden of major movements during the activities prior.

Alternatively, if done in reverse order (upper-lower), the larger muscles are fresh for their sets — which could result in them stealing the spotlight away from the smaller muscle groups due to fatigue. Lower-upper allows for greater variety throughout each week since you can still mix up what days you hit certain muscles even though they are divided into different sets. It’s a great option when trying to achieve size gains as well as total body strength without sacrificing one over the other.

Full-Body Workouts

Full-body workouts involve doing exercises that target all the major muscle groups during each session. This type of workout is designed to develop both strength and endurance while also building muscle.
The order of your exercises is important in a full-body workout routine. It should start with multi-joint exercises, followed by single-joint movements. A well-rounded routine should include an exercise for each main body part—legs, chest, shoulders (deltoids), back (latissimus dorsi) and arms (biceps and triceps). Each exercise should be accompanied by stretching or rest breaks.

Examples of multi-joint exercises are squats and lunges for the legs; rows for the back; push ups for the chest; overhead press for the shoulders; bicep curls and tricep extensions on either a barbell or with dumbbells for your arms; seated cable rows; bent over barbell row; lat pulldown machine exercises; overhead cable extensors and concentration curls to target muscles of the arms, forearms and even upper chest muscles.
Single joint exercises can focus fully on one specific muscle group such as a calf raise, seated calf raise, hip abductor moves, quadriceps extensions, adductor moves or any other specialized movement that works an isolated region of your body like obliques and lats.
When performing full body workouts it is important to always warm up at least 10 minutes before beginning each session in order to warm up your muscles in preparation for exercise. Proper form is essential when performing any type of exercise to ensure safety as well as maximum performance results.

Guidelines for Creating Your Own Workout

Creating your own workout can be an effective way to achieve your fitness goals. It can be difficult to determine the best order for your workout as there are many different factors to consider. Fitness experts have some general guidelines for creating a safe and effective workout. This article will provide tips on the order of exercises and different types of workouts that you can create.

Prioritize Compound Movements

Compound exercises are those that involve multiple joints and muscle groups in a single movement. Whenever possible, make these exercises the priority of your workout plan as they reap the biggest rewards for your time in the gym. Compound movements help you develop strength, power and endurance throughout your body, resulting in improved overall fitness. Some examples of compound movements include squats, deadlifts, lunges, presses and Olympic lifts. Integrating these movements into your workout plan allows you to challenge multiple muscles groups at once which can be an incredibly efficient way to work out. Not only that but it engages larger muscle groups which means more calories burned and more progress made towards your goals!

Alternate Between Muscle Groups

Alternating between muscle groups is an important rule of thumb to follow when you are creating your own workout routine. Working different body parts during each session will allow you to work different muscles and give those muscles time to rest before they are worked again. Working the same areas too frequently can lead to overtraining and impair muscle growth. You should also make sure that you give each muscle group a day or two of rest before working it again so your muscles can recover and grow.

Additionally, alternating between upper and lower body exercises helps your body become conditioned holistically and prevents overuse in one area. It can also help reduce the risk for injury by helping spread the load throughout more muscles, instead of focusing all the stress on just one area. Finally, alternating can help keep your workouts stimulating since you will be doing something different from session to session!

Choose Exercises Appropriate to Your Fitness Level

When creating a workout based on your individual goals and desired intensity, it is important to select exercises that are appropriate for your current physical fitness level. Evaluating your own fitness level will help you make more effective decisions as to the types of workouts that will challenge you without causing excessive strain or risk of injury.

If you are new to exercising, start with low-intensity exercises that help you build a strong base of muscular endurance and stability. This can be accomplished through bodyweight exercises or with light free weights. As you become more fit and able, begin incorporating core-strengthening movements such as planks, leg raises and mountain climbers into your program in order to focus on building strength and power in the midsection.

In addition to picking exercises appropriate for your current fitness level, it is also essential that you focus on good form and technique when executing each exercise. Practicing proper form allows for greater gains from each exercise movement while also preventing potential injury from incorrect performance of a particular exercise. In some cases, light modifications or alternate versions of an exercise can be performed when the standard version becomes too difficult or exhausting; however, proper form should remain a priority even when working at reduced intensity levels in order to maximize benefit from each repetition and insure correct use of correct muscles groups throughout any exercise range-of-motion.


In conclusion, the order of your workout does indeed make a difference to your overall results and should be taken into account when designing a workout routine. High intensity exercises are best done first, followed by moderate and then finishing with an appropriate cool down. Working out in this way helps to ensure that each exercise is performed with maximal energy and effort, helping you reach your goals faster while avoiding injury. Additionally, it is important to remember to warm up prior to beginning any exercise program. Adding a stretching routine both pre-workout and post-workout will help to prevent injuries from occurring due to tight muscles or fatigue from repeated movements. A combination of these components can play into a successful workout routine that will maximize results, allowing for improved performance over time.

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