Fitness does not only encompass a healthy lifestyle but also the muscle groups associated with your fitness goals. There are many different muscle groups within your body, all of which determine the level of overall health your body is currently at and where it could potentially be in the future. The true definition of fitness can be easily lost in a person’s fitness goals simply due to misinformation or setting the wrong goals. However, fitness doesn’t mean large muscular arms and six-pack abs. Fitness refers to a person’s overall state of physical health.
Overall fitness takes an understanding of each muscle group and how to strengthen and tighten each group to obtain overall fitness. Use this guide to create a relationship with your body muscles to get and maintain your fitness goals.
Upper Body Muscles
Strong chest muscles are key to overall upper body fitness. The Pectoral muscles are the primary muscles of the chest. Focusing on these muscles helps increase strength and overall muscle definition. Exercises that strengthen chest muscles include wide-grip dips and pushups, bench press and chest press with a bar or dumbbells and incline chest press.
A wide and defined back isn’t necessarily a priority for most when setting fitness goals. However, a developed back is key to overall physical fitness. Rhomboid muscles are small back muscles that can be found from the base of your neck and down your back along each side of your spine. These muscles can be strengthened and toned with rear deltoid flys and prone lateral raises.
Other examples of upper back muscles include:
- Deltoid Muscles
- Latissimus Dorsi
- Trapezius Muscles
- Erector Spinae
Lower Back Muscles
Anyone who has injured their lower back will tell you that your lower back is essential for nearly all movement, including sitting. By targeting and strengthening these muscles, you can protect your body and avoid back injury. Exercises that help define these muscles include deadlifts, back extensions, and cable low-rows.
Examples of these muscles include:
- Extensor Muscles
- Flexor Muscles
- Oblique Muscles
Arm and Hand/Finger Muscles
Contrary to the back, toned and defined arm muscles are commonly found at the top of most men’s fitness goals list, as well as many women. However, not many people think of muscles in their fingers as being a targeted muscle group. Without hand/finger muscles, we would be unable to move our hands and fingers and would be unable to grip anything. The benefits of strengthened arm and hand muscles are endless.
Examples of Arm Muscles Include:
Exercise the forearms with dumbbell wrist flexion and dumbbell wrist extension. Biceps can be strengthened with dumbbell curls, barbell curls, and arm curls using resistance bands. Strengthen triceps with push-ups, tricep dips, tricep kickbacks, and tricep pushdown.