Recently, I was talking with a woman at my local gym who was experiencing intermittent rotator cuff discomfort. When asked what she was doing to strengthen the external rotators, she showed me a great triceps exercise. It made sense to her. The pain, after all, was located on her backside and when performing this exercise she felt that her shoulder blades were moving up and down in such a way as to fix her rotator cuff situation. Hmm….while triceps exercises are primarily an elbow joint muscle movement, the long head of the triceps do assist in certain shoulder joint actions. However, they do not perform the same muscle joint movements as the rotator cuffs. Therefore, while getting awesome triceps conditioning her external rotator cuffs were being denied.
Why should you know the major muscles used for workouts? It’s an important factor in injury prevention as well as providing oneself with effective exercises that work. Knowing which muscles to contract while pressing or pulling will improve your overall strength and endurance.
The illustration above shows most of the major muscles used at one time or another during your resistance training. Note that the illustration is missing some detail (on the posterior side[back side], the hamstrings, upper legs and shaded in brown, are not labeled).
Therefore, with each exercise I post, I will include an illustration(s) of the specific muscles used for each great move you make!