Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Home Workout

        Health | Exercise

Muscle Groups
You'll want to exercise a wide range of muscle groups.
You'll want to exercise a wide range of muscle groups.
Publications International, Ltd.

If you perform all the home exercises in this program, you will be working muscle groups throughout the body, in addition to the abdominals. Among the muscles that will get a workout:

  • Calf muscle: Located at the back of the lower leg, the calf muscle, or gastrocnemius, helps in bending the leg at the knee and extending the foot.
  • Quadriceps: Located at the front of the thigh, the four muscles that make up the quadriceps are responsible for extending the leg at the knee.
  • Hamstring: Located at the back of the thigh, the three muscles that make up the hamstring extend the leg at the hip and bend the leg at the knee.
  • Hip flexors: Located at the top of the front part of the thigh, these muscles bend the leg at the hip and help to bend the lower spine.
  • Outer thigh: The three muscles located at the side of the hip and leg are known as the abductor muscle group. They are responsible for lifting the leg out to the side.
  • Inner thigh: The muscles located at the inner side of the thigh are called the adductor muscle group. They are responsible for pulling the legs together.
  • Gluteals: The gluteals, or muscles of the buttocks, are responsible for extending and rotating the thigh at the hip and moving the thigh back behind the body.
  • Biceps: Located at the front of the upper arm, the two muscles that make up the biceps are responsible for flexing, or bending, the arm at the elbow.
  • Triceps: Located at the back of the arm, the three muscles that make up the triceps are responsible for extending or straightening, the arm at the elbow.
  • Deltoids: These muscles at the shoulder lift the arm from the shoulder to the front, side, and back.
  • Pectorals: Located at the front of the chest, these muscles are responsible for pulling the arms together from the shoulder joints.

To work these muscles most efficiently, you'll want to warm up before and cool down after exercising. Learn the principles of warming up and cooling down on the next page.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out: