How to Train Big and Small Muscle Groups

How to Train Big and Small Muscle Groups

Let the gains begin…

There’s a lot of questions that come to mind when it comes to achieving maximum fitness results. It can be confusing as to what muscle groups to train, but all in all, there’s no correct way to combine specific muscle groups. There are some methods that work well for others and others that work better and that’s perfectly normal. What matters most is what works for your body, training style, and goals. If you need some inspiration for some muscle group workouts in the gym, here’s what you should definitely know!

Target those Muscles!

Know the difference

It’s always best to train your bigger muscle groups first before working out the smaller muscles because macro-muscles are responsible for major movement and strength that help activate the micro-muscles. Your bigger muscle groups are your hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, back, and chest. Your smaller muscle groups consist of shoulders, triceps, biceps and calves.

Compound exercise vs. Isolation exercise

If your goal is to build muscle and get stronger, knowing the difference between compound and isolation exercises is great to know regarding what exercises to implement into your workout routine.

To start, compound exercises is what trains and involves multiple joints and muscles. Common compound exercises are bench presses, squats, deadlifts, and dips, only to name a few. The benefits of compound exercises is to help maximize strength in your bigger muscle groups, burn more calories, and they improve coordination, flexibility, and balance, which prepares the body for isolation exercises.

Isolation exercises, on the other hand, is where tone, definition, and size of muscles come into play. Isolation exercises trains one major muscle groups on its own rather than multiple at one time (compound exercise). Any exercises involving extending, curling, or raising targets a specific muscle. For example, leg extensions, biceps curls, chest flyes, and calf raises, are few of the isolation exercises that target smaller muscle groups.

Plan a schedule

Preparing your workouts and what muscle groups to train on specific days works immensely. Find out what schedule works best for you and adjust your training frequency if needed. You could work on your bigger muscle groups on split days and train smaller groups in between. Read on for examples.

Split muscle groups

There is no right way to combine and split muscle groups. Whatever schedule works for you and whatever goals you plan on achieving is all up to you. If you only have 3 days a week to train, here’s an example on how you can split muscle groups.

Example 1:

Day one: Chest, shoulders, triceps
Day two: Back and biceps
Day three: Legs

If you want to allot 5 days of training, here’s another example on how you could split them:

Day one: Chest and shoulders
Day two: Calves and glutes
Day three: Back
Day four: Triceps and biceps
Day five: Quads and hamstrings

Try alternating upper and lower body muscle groups to give them rest and recover time in between training days.