There are workouts you can do that target your chest, back, shoulders, arms and legs all in one workout. If you're serious about body building or strength training, you will want to target as many muscle groups as possible. There are so many benefits to having muscles, from fat loss to other health benefits like a lowered risk of disease and osteoporosis. Besides, muscle training will give your body those sexy curves, rips and cuts. Regularly working out your chest, back, shoulders, arms and legs will improve your overall strength and athletic ability, which will even make it less tiring to do your everyday tasks and leave you with more energy.
Swimming will work your chest, back, shoulders, arms and legs all at once. Doing the freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly will work all of those muscle groups. All of these strokes will work your lower body's biggest muscle groups, including the glutes, hamstrings and quads. You'll feel your chest and back muscles being worked especially when doing the breaststroke, and the butterfly is sure to tire out your arms and shoulders if the other strokes don't. Swimming gives you a cardio workout too, which is an advantage weight training doesn't have.
Targeting your Chest and Back
To target your chest at the gym, use the various equipment to do barbell bench presses, cable bench presses, cable chest dips, cable chest presses, barbell bench presses, and the lever pectoral deck fly, or a combination of a few of the above exercises. These exercises specifically target your pectoralis major, which includes your entire chest and lower pectoral muscle groups. To work out your back, use a cable to do seated rows, standing rows, kneeling rows and lying rows.
Targeting your Arms and Shoulders
Do military presses and lateral raises to work your shoulders. Do bench presses and bench dips for your triceps. Use dumbbells to do biceps curls. For a challenge, keep your arms out and away from your body when doing biceps curls so your muscles can't depend on your body for support. Sit down holding a barbell with an underhand grip to do wrist curls. Bend forward so that you're holding the barbell just in front of your knees, with your forearms resting on your thighs. Slowly curl your wrists up and back down to target your forearm muscles.
Targeting your Legs
For your legs, you want to do as many different types and variations of squats and lunges as you can. These target your legs' largest muscle groups: the hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes. Deadlifts, hamstring curls and calf raises also work out and strengthen your leg muscles.
Lindsay Haskell enjoys writing about fitness, health, culture and fashion. She is a contributor for "Let's Talk Magazine" and "The Wellesley News." Haskell is completing her B.A. in philosophy at Wellesley College. She's also a fiction writer whose work can be read online.