Bodybuilding Major Muscle Groups

There are several major muscle groups in the human body. The human body contains many hundreds of individual muscles and these are collected into muscle groups. Here we will look at the major groups of muscles that you will develop while training in bodybuilding.


Your biceps, also known as your ‘guns’ (how cool is that?) are the muscles most involved in the pulling power generated by your arms alone. Located on the anterior side of the upper arm, they are also one of the most sought after muscle groups and if you get a high peak on your biceps you’ll be able to easily demonstrate your strength by pulling back your sleeve and tensing or directing folk to the beech.


The triceps are on the posterior side of the arm beneath the biceps and are involved in any pushing movement using the arms. A good tricep should look like a ‘horseshoe’ in terms of its shape when your arm is straightened. Many trainees neglect their triceps in favour of working longer on their biceps but this is a mistake seeing as your arms should actually be two thirds made up of your triceps. If you want bigger looking arms, the secret is to train your triceps.

Forearm Flexors

The forearm flexors are another often neglected muscle group to the detriment of those not training them. They will help you in most other exercises, give you a stronger grip and are also often the only visible muscle group when you’re dressed.

(Anterior and Posterior) Deltoids

The deltoids are the shoulder muscles and are involved in upward and downward pushing and pulling movements. Strong shoulders will give you an imposing silhouette and make your arms look more developed.


Your pectoral muscles, or pecs, are the two large plates of muscle on your chest. Working these is good for any pushing or crushing motion and will make your upper body seem more powerful in general.


Your traps are two muscles on your back that you can see on either side of your neck. They are again useful for pushing movements.

Latissimus Dorsi

Your lats are the muscles underneath your armpits (giving them their other name ‘wings’) that combined with a narrow waist and broad shoulders result in a ‘v-shape’ silhouette. They are useful for pulling movements.


The abs are the muscles that every guy wants. Actually a single sheet of muscle that’s divided into six segments (or occasionally eight dependant on your genetics). To get visible abs you simply need to cut down your body fat, while strong abs will give you good core stability and a stable base that’ll help you in every other movement.


Obliques however are the secret to a good mid section. Found either side of the abs they can make you look greatly more defined and detailed in that area (check out Stallone in Rocky 4 for a great set of obliques). They are involved in all twisting movements.


The serratus muscles are like the obliques but slightly higher up by the chest along the ribs. They are often known as the ‘boxers’ muscle’ due to their involvement in generating the power for a punch.

Hip Flexors

These are involved in bending the knee forward.


For moving the hips outward, located on the inside of the leg.


The opposite of the adductors. Think about it…

Gluteus Maximus

Gluteus Maximus is the technical term for your behind. Strong glutes = buns of steel.


Your quads are the large muscles on the anterior side of your upper leg and will make them look more muscular and defined on . They are used in kicking movements. FYI, bodybuilders’ legs are sometimes referred to as ‘wheels’ another very cool name.


The ‘biceps’ of your legs, though they’re on the back as your knees face the opposite direction from your elbows. Useful for bending your leg up behind you and key in running. It’s important to stretch them as footballers and other athletes often experience pulled hamstrings.


The ball of muscle at the back of your lower leg. Used to control your ankle and extend your toes so crucial for jumping.

And so many more

While these are the major muscles groups that you’re likely to see cropping up on bodybuilding forums and the like, there are in fact thousands of muscles in the human body and you need to train all of them equally and in proportion if you’re going to succeed in bodybuilding. There are also a variety of divisions within these muscles groups too – the gluteus maximus is actually just one part of the gluteal muscles while your pecs can be divided into inner and outer and upper and lower. Once you’re an advanced bodybuilder you will need to start targeting these divisions individually too.

Strength training at home has so many benefits for both your training and overall lifestyle. For fitness beginners training at home gives you the space and time you need to focus on mastering your exercise form and building your confidence. Strength training can help you to burn more energy at rest, as well as improving your muscular strength and endurance. It can even help you to increase and maintain bone density.