Which Workouts Target Which Muscles?

There are a lot of different workouts out there, and it can be tough to figure out which ones target which muscles. Luckily, we’ve got a handy guide to help you out!

Chest Workouts

Chest workouts are some of the most popular exercises for people who are looking to build muscle and strength. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced bodybuilder, it’s important to know which exercises are best for targeting the chest muscles. In this section, we’ll discuss the different types of chest workouts that you can do and how they can help you reach your fitness goals.


Push-ups are one of the most common exercises for targeting the pectoral muscles. Push-ups primarily work your chest and shoulders, but recruit a variety of additional muscle as well. Push-ups help build strength, endurance, and stability in the arms and upper body. When completed correctly, push-ups can provide a great workout for the chest muscles that helps to increase definition, strength, and size.

When doing push-ups it is important to maintain proper form by keeping you chest pushed out and your back straight throughout the exercise. Other key points include keeping your elbows close to your body while you lower yourself downward; allowing your torso to touch the ground; then pushing it back up until your arms are almost fully extended. It is recommended to perform multiple sets of about 10-15 repetitions for best results.

To add more variation or difficulty to this exercise you can try doing plyometric push-ups that focus on explosiveness from the ground up; or incline push ups off a chair or bench which place more emphasis on movement in the shoulder region versus towards the chest area; or decline push ups which increase intensity by forcing you to lift yourself up against gravity from hand placement below shoulder level.

Chest Presses

Chest presses are an essential exercise for targeting the chest muscles. While there are several variations of the chest press, most involve starting with a weight in your hands, either with dumbbells or a barbell, and pushing straight up from your chest in an even motion. Depending on the level of motion you are using, the exercise can focus more on pushing from your upper chest (shoulder) area or lower (ribcage) area.

For maximum benefit and muscle development it is important to keep proper form while performing chest presses. Your elbows should be near your torso throughout the entire range of motion while keeping your chin tucked and core engaged. A good workout routine should include various forms of chest press including incline/decline versions, pec flyes as well as cable flyes. Doing several variations of this exercise can help to ensure that all areas of the chest get maximally worked out, resulting in greater toning and definition over time.

Chest Flys

Chest Flys, or flye exercises, target the chest muscles and assist you in building a strong upper body. These exercises focus on the pectoralis major muscles, which are located on the front of your chest. Chest flys help promote an even distribution of both strength and muscle size between the two sides of your chest and help increase chest width.

The most common variation of this exercise is the dumbbell flye, which is performed by lying horizontally on a weight bench with a dumbbell in each hand. While keeping your arms slightly bent at the elbow throughout the motion, separate your arms out to your side while raising them up until they reach shoulder level then move them back into their starting point. Doing 3 sets of 10 reps is usually sufficient to effectively target your pectoral muscles’ primary muscle fibers. Other variations include cable flys and barbell flys which can also be added to this workout routine to further challenge the chest muscles and achieve optimum growth.

Back Workouts

Back workouts are an important part of any fitness regime. Working out your back can help increase your strength, posture, and overall physical health. There are many exercises that target the back muscles but not all of them are effective. In this article, we will go through some of the best exercises for targeting the back muscles and how they can help improve your overall physical fitness.


Pull-ups are a popular exercise that target many of the major muscles of the back, shoulders and arms. Pull-ups involve gripping a bar positioned slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with the palms facing away from your body. Keeping your core engaged and your hips slightly raised, pull your chest up to the bar by driving your elbows down into your sides. Focus on keeping your elbows close to the body as you perform each pull-up.

Pull-ups work primarily work the lats (latissimus dorsi), but also help target two other muscles:

1. Traps – The trapezius is responsible for drawing the shoulders back and aiding in posture. Pay attention to engaging this muscle while performing pull-ups to maximize its benefits.

2. Rhomboids – Located between the shoulder blades, this muscle aids in further stabilization during pull-up movements. Engaging it will create greater overall strength throughout pull ups and will improve form when done correctly.

Lat Pulldowns

Lat pulldowns are a great exercise to target the latissimus dorsi muscles of the back, and can also be used as an all-around back workout. They are typically performed with a cable machine, which makes them ideal for anyone looking to get started in weight training. The latissimus dorsi muscles originate from the lower half of the spine, below your shoulder blades and run down either side of your mid-back. When performing lat pulldowns, you want to keep the elbows close to the body and pull down towards your chest. The goal is to emphasize squeezing your shoulder blades together at the end of each repetition for maximum effect on those lats. This exercise can also be done with dumbbells or with resistance bands instead of a cable machine.

Bent-over Rows

Bent-over rows are one of the most popular exercises used for back training. This exercise works all the major muscles of the back, including the lats, rhomboids, teres major and minor, and trapezius. The spine is straight throughout the entire movement to reduce any stress or strain on it. Proper form is essential when doing this exercise – keep your elbows close to your body as you pull and don’t let them drift away from your sides. It’s most effective when done with an overhand grip (palms facing down), using a double overhand grip (both palms facing down) to protect your lower back. When performing bent-over rows, try and keep your core engaged throughout the entire exercise – this will help maintain proper posture while doing this exercise. Additionally, make sure to keep the barbell close to your body as you lift it up – if not, it can cause an excessive range of motion in the shoulders which could eventually lead to injury. Bent-over rows are a great way to strengthen different muscles of your back while also boosting overall strength!

Arm Workouts

Arm workouts can be a great way to improve the strength and tone of your upper body. Certain arm workouts target specific muscles, such as biceps and triceps. Whether you are looking to bulk up or slim down, there is a wide range of workouts that can help you target the muscles in your arms. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best arm workouts.

Bicep Curls

One of the most common arm workouts is bicep curls, a simple and effective way to strengthen and tone your arms and shoulders. Bicep curls involve alternating arms to lift weights and targets the biceps muscles at the front of your upper arm. When done correctly, this exercise helps build strength in your biceps brachii and breaks up fat deposits in the area.

To do a successful bicep curl, stand with two dumbbells in each hand with palms facing up. Your elbows should be tucked close to your body as you lift each dumbbell up towards the shoulder – make sure that you keep your spine straight throughout the movement. Once you reach the top of the curl, squeeze your shoulder blades together for one second before slowly lowering your arms back to their original position. Performing three sets of 8-12 reps on each side is recommended for optimal muscle growth and definition.

Tricep Extensions

Tricep extensions are an effective way to strengthen and tone the triceps muscles located at the back of your upper arm. This exercise works by lengthening and contracting the tricep muscle as it moves through full range of motion. To complete a tricep extension, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other (neutral grip). Bend your elbows slightly and fully extend your arms outward. Slowly lower one arm down as you raise the other one up to meet it at shoulder level. Hold this position for a few seconds before slowly returning to starting position. A variation on this can be done while seated – use one hand to hold onto something stationary while you extend the other one above your head, then switch sides. This exercise can be done at various levels of intensity depending on how heavy you are lifting and how many reps you are performing. Increase reps or weight whenever it gets too easy for maximum benefit!

Hammer Curls

Hammer curls are one of the exercises that target the biceps. They involve using dumbbells held with a neutral grip (palms facing each other). As you perform the curl, keep your elbows tucked close to your sides and your upper arms stationary. Hammer curls are particularly effective for targeting the inner head of the biceps muscles, but also recruit both heads as well as the forearms to a degree.

To get even more out of hammer curls, it is important to pay attention to form throughout the exercise. Make sure your core is engaged and that your back stays straight throughout each rep. Also, it is a good idea to squeeze at the top of each rep for about two seconds before slowly lowering back down. Doing so increases time under tension, which helps stimulate growth and development in target muscles overtime.

Leg Workouts

Leg workouts involve exercises that target the muscles in your legs, such as your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. These types of exercises can help to improve your overall strength and stamina, as well as tone and sculpt your lower body. In this section, we’ll look at some of the best leg workouts you can do to target all the muscles in your legs.


Squats are a foundational exercise that should be part of any leg workout routine. Squats target the large muscle group in the legs called the quadriceps and also work the gluteus maximus muscles (the buttocks) as it stabilizes and balances during a squat. To do a basic squat, stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and toes pointed slightly outward. Then, engage your core, press your hips back and down, as if you’re about to sit in a chair. Bend at your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground, keeping your upper body straight. Push up from your heels to return to stand back up again. As with all exercises, form is important; be sure to keep proper posture — back straight and head up — while doing squats. You can add resistance by using weights or by holding objects such as dumbbells or medicine balls while doing squats for an extra challenge!


Lunges are a perfect exercise to target the muscles of your legs and hips. Typically done with both legs, but can be done with one leg at a time. Lunges really focus on strengthening the gluteal muscles, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and hip adductor muscles. To perform a lunge, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and take a step forward with your right leg. Bend both knees to lower your hips until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Maintain an upright torso as you drive off the heel of your right foot to return back to the starting position. Switch legs and repeat with left leg forward. To make it more challenging, hold dumbbells in each hand at your sides or opt for weighted vest or barbell over the shoulders for added resistance. Using proper form and technique is essential when doing any lunging variation — keep an eye on good posture throughout this exercise to engage primarily lower body muscles and avoiding placing stress on other areas such as knees or lower back for injury prevention purposes.

Leg Presses

Leg presses are a great way to work your lower-body muscles and tone your legs. During leg press exercises, you are targeting both the quadriceps (four muscle groups in the front of the thigh) and the hamstrings (three muscle groups in the back of the thigh). This exercise can be performed with either a seated machine or a standing machine.

When using a seated leg press machine, set your feet flat on the platform at shoulder width apart. Your hips should be behind the knees and your feet should remain flat throughout each repetition. Slowly push down on the platform until your legs reach 90 degrees and then activate your glutes to slowly bring yourself back up. When using a standing leg press machine, you can use either close or wide stance depending on which muscle group you are targeting more—a narrow stance works more on quads while wide stance encourages emphasis on hams. Furthermore, maintaining neutral position in spine with chest lifted is essential to ensure healthy posture and effective fluency of movement. It is important to adjust weight load according to fitness level and take breaks when feeling fatigued.

Core Workouts

Core workouts are essential for strength and stability, as the core muscles are responsible for the movement of the spine. When core workouts are done correctly, they can help improve posture and balance, as well as reducing the risk of injury. Additionally, core workouts target the abs and back, which can help strengthen and tone these muscles and leave you feeling more toned and fit. Let’s take a look at some of the core workouts that can help with strength and stability.


The plank exercise is a core strengthening move that works your abdominal muscles, lower back, and other supporting muscles around the torso. It is a great full-body move to incorporate into your routine and offers variation in the intensity of the workout. Planks can also be done with both feet firmly on the ground as well as one foot up (with variations in hand placement), which can build strength more quickly and further target different muscles. To maximize the effect of planks, try to keep your core engaged throughout the movement and keep your body in a straight line from head to toe during the hold. This exercise can help strengthen your core, improve posture, reduce stress on your spine, increase flexibility in your lower back and hips.


Crunches are a popular core exercise that works your abdominal and oblique muscles, which are responsible for posture, balance and stabilization. This exercise can be done with minimal equipment from any location and is considered by many to be the most fundamental ab-strengthening workout. To properly perform crunches, begin in a lying position, knees bent with feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head or in front of your chest, whichever you find more comfortable. With a neutral spine and no strain on the neck muscles, inhale while slowly raising your shoulder blades off the ground, aiming to form an angle of thirty degrees between the torso and the floor. Exhale as you lower back down gradually until near full extension before repeating. Remember to breathe; this will help to keep belly-button level and prevent excessive strain on neck muscles as up-down movement occurs.

Russian Twists

Russian Twists are a core exercise designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles and oblique muscles. It helps build greater core power which leads to an improved range of motion and better posture. To perform this exercise, start by sitting on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands in front of you with palms together, arms slightly bent and leaning back at an angle where your torso is parallel to the floor. Rotate to one side of the body as far as possible without bending forwards, then twist back to center and repeat on the other side. Aim for keeps abdominals tight during each twist motion. Do 8-12 repetitions for 1 set, rest for 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times in total for a good core workout session.

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