There are over 600 muscles in our bodies, fortunately we don’t have to do 600 different exercises to strengthen each of these muscles.

There are two kinds of muscles, voluntary and involuntary. Our voluntary muscles are the ones that only work when we consciously choose to make them work. These are the ones that are directly affected by weight training. However, improving the health of these muscles contributes greatly to the improvement of the involuntary muscles. For example, the heart and lungs are involuntary but they can get a great workout from weight training. Particularly high rep weight training.

There are specific exercises to strengthen the heart and lungs and these are commonly known as cardiovascular exercises. Cardio, meaning the heart, and vascular which is, related to blood vessels. When we exercise our circulation is increased and all of the organs in our bodies become healthier, because the new good blood is going in, and the old bad blood is going out. Below is a list of the different major muscle groups that are most applicable to strength training for home workout routines. It’s important to have exercises in your routine that workout each of these muscles.

The Legs

These are the four muscles located at the front of the thigh. There individual names are the Vastus Medialis, the Vastus Lateralis, the Rectus Femoris and the Vastus Intermedius. These are what I call the pushing muscles of the lower body.

These muscles are located at the back of the thigh. They are the Semimembranosus and the Semitendinosus, and the Biceps Femoris. These are what I call the pulling muscles of the lower body.

These are the muscles of the buttocks. They are the Gluteus Maximus, the Gluteus Medius and the Gluteus Minimus muscle. These are some of the strongest muscles in the entire body. They assist in most leg exercises.

There are two calf muscles. They are the Soleus and the Gastrocnemius. These muscles are located on the back of the lower leg.

The Abdomen

Rectus Abdominis:
This muscle is located in the center and front of the body, and comes into play with every major and most minor movements.

This muscles are on either side of the center of the body and have nearly as much participation in movement as the Rectus Abdominis.

The Back

Spinal Erectors:
This is a grouping of several muscles and tendons that run along the spine in the center part of the back.

Latissimus Dorsi:
The large muscles that lie on either side of the back. They extend from the small of the back up to the shoulders.

The Shoulders

This muscle looks like a triangle and extends from down between the shoulder blades and up the neck.

This is the muscle that we usually refer to as the shoulder muscle. It has three different parts or “heads.” It starts at the scapulae and clavicle and extends and inserts into the upper arm.

The Chest

This consists of two muscles. The Pectoralis Major, and the Pectoralis Minor. These muscles are used the most in exercises like Pushups, Bench Presses, and Flyes.

Serratus Anterior:
This muscle originates at the top of the ribcage and side of the chest.

The Arms

This muscle has two heads. It’s main function’s are to flex the elbow and to supinate the forearm.

This muscle has three heads. This muscle’s main function is to extend the elbow joint, which is otherwise known as straightening the arm.

The forearms consist of several different muscles. Because there are a variety of different movements that the forearm can do there are several exercises that can be done to exercise these muscles.