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If you want to make sure your strength training is efficient and you’re giving each bit of your body enough attention, it’s important to know about muscle groups. There are over 650 muscles in the body. There are even muscles inside your ears. We’re assuming you’re not too fussed about training those, so Hussle is here to give you the low down on the major muscle groups you want to be working out.

Compound exercises describe movements that work out more than one muscle group. In comparison, isolated exercises attempt to work out just one muscle on its own. Compound exercises are an efficient way to build strength in the muscles they target without needing to focus too much on additional isolation exercises.

So whilst you’ll probably have heard of more muscles than just the ones below like your traps, lats and obliques; any good compound exercise you do will be targeting these too.


Upper Body



Your deltoids (or delts if you’re fit and hip) are your shoulder muscles. They’re responsible for a large range of movement and are separated into three bands of muscle fibers. Anterior deltoids, lateral deltoids and posterior deltoids.


Otherwise known as your chest. Or your pecs. These muscles connect your front with your arms. There are four muscles in the pectorals, the largest of which is your pectoral major.


Very well known and very well trained. These important muscles are used every time you bend your arm.


Seen as the opposing muscle to the biceps, these are located on the back of the arm and are used every time you straighten it.

 Upper Body Compound Exercises:

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Overhead press
  • Rows


Lower Body



Your quads are located on the front part of your upper leg. They’re a group of four muscles, heavily used in every basic movement like walking, running, jumping and sitting.



Your glutes are the largest muscle in the body. If we’re doing something with our lower body, it’s likely we’re engaging the glutes. In technical terms, glute function includes extension, abduction, external hip rotation and internal hip rotation.


Often known to give people grief, the hamstring muscles are located on the back of the thigh. Seen as the opposing muscle to the quads which support the extension of the knee, your hamstrings support the flexion of the knee.


Just as important as any other part of your leg, the calves are made up of two muscles that support the movements of the ankle and lower knee. 


Whether you train them on upper or lower body days (or even every day), the abs are a large focus for lots of fitness enthusiasts. In terms of function, your abs help you maintain posture, support your trunk, tilt your pelvis, curve your spine and basically hold all your organs in place. So pretty important.

Lower Body Compound Exercises:

  • Deadlifts
  • Squats
  • Bulgarian Split squats
  • Lunges