What Are the Major Muscle Groups When Losing Weight?

Exercise multiple muscle groups to get a complete workout and lose weight.
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Losing weight is a process that requires you to work your entire body. Your body stores fat in different areas, so you must exercise various muscles groups to burn that fat and lose weight. By engaging the muscles in your upper body, mid section and legs, you will be able to get rid of fatty tissue throughout your body and replace it with lean, healthy muscle.

How Exercise Burns Fat

You lose weight when you burn more calories than you consume. When you exercise, you are helping your body burn calories; your body must then utilize stored fat for energy, so you reduce body fat. Aerobic activity helps your body burn calories, but it is important to also include weight training for your major muscle groups. According to Mayo Clinic: "As you gain muscle, your body gains a bigger 'engine' to burn calories more efficiently."

So the more your work your muscles, the more efficient your body is at burning fat.

Upper Body

The upper body tends to store fat in the backs of the upper arms, or triceps area, and in the chest. By working the major muscle groups in the upper body, including the triceps, biceps and chest, you can tone these areas and lose weight. Bodyweight exercises like push-ups and triceps dips can help reduce fat in these typical trouble areas. Weight-training exercises such as the biceps curl and triceps overhead press can tone the upper body while giving you more strength and endurance.


Fat storage in the midsection is usually concentrated in the stomach area and sides, resulting in a belly and love handles. To help reduce fat in these areas you must work the abdominal muscles and obliques. Crunches, sit ups and dumbbell side bends can address the abs and obliques. Developing these muscle groups will help you lose weight since, according to Bodybuilding.com, "muscles need more calories to maintain themselves." Midsection fat will be used as energy to maintain these newly developing muscles.

Lower Body

Where your lower half is concerned, fat tends to store itself in the hips, butt and thighs. To combat this, you need to focus on working the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and adductor muscles. Squats with or without dumbbells and leg lifts with or without ankle weights are compound exercises that can address these lower-body muscle groups. Walking or jogging will also help tone these muscle groups while giving you the cardio you need to get rid of that extra layer of fat.

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