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List of Exercises for Each Muscle Group With Pictures

bodybuilder exercises muscles from list

Lest anyone ever suggest that muscle building involves little more than mindlessly lifting the heaviest weight manageable for a few sets of low repetitions using your limbs… continue reading.

Bodybuilding not only produces some of the best physiques but recruits some of the most inquisitive minds. Today, anyone engaged in a strength training program can take advantage of thoroughly scientific investigative methods which explore exactly what the best muscle building exercises are.

Amateur and professional athletes alike may find themselves calling into doubt what they previously considered their “ideal” routine as they discover that what is truly ideal is whatever is most appropriate for them at the present moment.

Here’s our linked list of exercises that best target each muscle group.

Chest Muscle Group Exercises

Chest Muscle Group

Upper Chest Exercises

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Middle Chest

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Lower Chest

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Shoulder Muscle Group Exercises

shoulder anatomy pic
Shoulder Muscle Group

Front Shoulder

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Middle Shoulder

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Rear Shoulder

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Back Muscle Group Exercises

back muscle exercise list
Back Muscles Exercise List

Upper Chest Exercises

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Middle Chest

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Lower Chest

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Arms Muscle Exercise List

arm muscle group
Arm Exercises

Upper Chest Exercises

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Middle Chest

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Lower Chest

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Legs Muscle Exercise List

leg muscle exercises
Leg Muscle Group

Upper Chest Exercises

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Middle Chest

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Lower Chest

  • This
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Abs Exercises

Abs Target Muscles

Upper Chest Exercises

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Middle Chest

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Lower Chest

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EMG Studies on Muscle Groups

When muscle-building exercises are selected, the choices made are dependent upon the physiological response induced by a particular movement. Though science has classified resistance training exercises in many ways, one of the most credible and complete classifications involves the use of EMG – Electromyography.

EMG is a technique which records and evaluates the electrical activity produced within specific groups of skeletal muscles. Any movement causes electrical activity, and EMG allows researchers to determine which exercises produce the most activity. In knowing this, an objective measurement can be obtained. When scientific research is applied, any routine’s effectiveness and appeal will be increased.

In Serious Strength Training by Dr Tudor Bompa, Professor Emeritus, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, results were obtained from applying EMG to different muscle groups, and the published findings are summarized below. Exercises are listed from top to bottom, beginning with the highest levels of stimulation to the lowest for each muscle group.

Chest EMG Results

Pectoralis MajoriEMG Max Percentage
Decline Dumbell Bench Press93
Decline Barbell Press89
Pushups Between Benches88
Flat Dumbell Press87
Flat Barbell Press85
Flat Dumbbell Fly84
Pectoralis MinoriEMG Max Percentage
Incline Dumbbell Press91
Incline Barbell Press85
Incline Dumbbell Fly83
Incline Smith Machine Press81

Shoulder EMG List Results

Medial DeltoidsiEMG Max Percentage
Incline Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise66
Standing Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise63
Seated Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise62
Cable Side Lateral Raise47
Posterior DeltoidsiEMG Max Percentage
Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise85
Seated Dumbbell Side Raises83
Standing Cable Bent Lateral Raise77
Anterior DeltoidsiEMG Max Percentage
Seated Front Dumbbell Press79
Standing Front Dumbbell Raise73
Seated Front Barbell Press61

Back EMG Results

Latissimus DorisiEMG Max Percentage
Bent Over Barbell Rows93
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows91
T-Bar Rows89
Lat Pulldowns86
Seated Pulley Rows83

EMG Biceps

Biceps Brachii (long head)iEMG Max Percentage
Barbell Preacher Curls90
Incline Seated Dumbbell Curls88
Standing Barbell Curls (narrow grip)86
Standing Dumbbell Curls84
Dumbbell Concentration Curl80
Barbell Curls (wide grip)63
Standing EZ Bar Curls (wide grip)61

Tricpes

Triceps BrachiiiEMG Max Percentage
Triceps EMG

LEGS

Legs EMG

The figures above show variance in the ability of different exercises to induce motor unit activation. Some exercises differ by only small amounts – others considerably more. Though some individuals may find these differences inconsequential on paper, other athletes may see that by applying these findings to their regime, their muscle building progresses more than they thought possible.