Many people who want to get into shape begin trying to do so without all the information, and while they know they want to get bigger muscles, they don’t really have any idea about all the muscles they have or how to target specific ones. It’s for this reason that we often see the rather unfortunate situation in which people focus on only training their biceps and their pecs – actually forgetting that they need to train the rest of their muscles if they hope to get into anything approaching good shape.
So ask yourself this question – do you know what your traps are and how to train them? If the answer is no, then read on. We have a lot of work to do…
The Larger Muscle Groups (of the Upper Body) and How to Train Them
Forearms: Your forearms are made up of your forearm flexors which in turn include the flexor pronator and extensor supinator groups. Your forearms are important both for moving your wrist, and for improving your grip strength. From an aesthetic point of view, they’re one of the few things you get to actually show off when fully dressed.
Biceps: Your biceps are the muscles on the front of your upper arm, and these are the ones that we most commonly flex when we are showing off or pointing which way to the beach. The biceps work to pivot our elbow joint inward, and so the best way to train them is with bicep curls or pulls ups which involve that movement.
Triceps: The triceps are situated directly behind the biceps on the back of the upper arm, and they are used for straightening the arm out which is the opposite movement to the biceps. Anything where you straighten your arm then pivoting at the elbow is going to train them. Don’t neglect these – your arm here should be 2/3rds tricep and only 1/3rd bicep – that’s the secret to decent looking arms.
Deltoids: Your deltoids are your shoulder muscles, which are used both for pushing upwards, and for lifting your arm at the shoulder ball joint. Ways to train the shoulders are with shoulder presses or with lateral and forward raises. These are handled by the four rotator cuff muscles which are the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor. Many people forget shoulders leaving a lame looking imbalance and giving their strength a major chink in its armor.
Traps: The traps or trapezoid muscles take up most of your upper back, but also protrude above the shoulders and lead into the neck giving you that monstrous look. They are what you use for shrugging, but they also play a part in other exercises such as the bench press.
Pecs: The pectoral muscles are the slabs of muscle that cover your chest and give you that superman look. They are involved in all pushing movements and are the main muscles responsible in the bench press (along with the deltoids, traps and triceps).
Lats: Your lats or ‘latissimus dorsi muscle’ cover your back as well and protrude out the side like ‘wings’ (which is often how bodybuilders refer to them). These are what give you that great ‘triangle’ silhouette along with wide shoulders and a narrow waste, and they are involved in pulling motions pulling the arm backwards from behind. Thus rows, pull ups and pull downs all target the lats.
Serratus Muscles: The serratus muscles are the ridge of muscles which are situated along the top 8-9 ribs near the armpits. Their role is to help move the scapula (shoulder blade) around the rib cage – for instance when throwing a punch. When you roll back your shoulders and generally move your shoulder blade, you are training the serratus muscles.
Abs: Your abdominal muscles are of course the muscles that cover your stomach and which make up your six-pack if you’re lucky. These are involved in stabilizing the torso and in helping you to bend over.
Obliques: Your oblique muscles run down the side of the abs on the lower rib cage and below the serratus. They are involved in twisting the torso, so are useful for twisting sit ups and for looking around behind you. They also add nice detailing to the abs.
Erector Spinae: These are the major muscles of the lower back, and the ones used for straightening up after bending over. These are targeted then when you do deadlifts, and also when you salute to the sun. They are often forgotten but are very important for preventing injury.
Pauly Singh writes on elliptical reviews on his blog ellipticalreviews.net to help buyers to know the best elliptical machines available in the market. Buyers can visit his blog to get genuine reveiws on ellipticals.