Anatomy 101: What Do Workouts Do For You?

Our muscles are incredible mechanisms which carry us through each + every day ++ through every workout. We put them through so much work, but do we actually know which muscles we’re working? Below is a compilation of info designed to give you a better *inside look* at the muscles you’re using + strengthening through different exercises.


#1] Triceps [Triceps Brachii]

#2] Biceps + Forearm Muscles [Biceps Brachii, Brachialis, + Brachioradialis]

Our arm muscles provide us the ability to do many day-to-day tasks + strengthening them helps us do these tasks with greater ease. Additionally, building muscle now can benefit our future selves. Aging comes with the loss of muscle mass, but strengthening our muscles when we’re young can help preserve some of this mass, making daily tasks easier for our future selves. So if you’re dreading arm day, know your 40-year-old self will thank you for it later ; ).


#1] Shoulders [Anterior, Medial, + Posterior Deltoids]

#2] Traps [Trapezius]

We engage our back + shoulder muscles numerous times throughout the day as these muscles provide us support during weight-bearing activities. Strengthening them can aid in preventing injuries, especially during physical activities such as playing sports or exercising. Strong back muscles also provide stability + strong shoulder muscles ease arm movements.


#1] Rear Abdominal Muscle [Quadratus Lumborum]

#2] Obliques [Obliquus Externus + Internus]

  • Function– provide support to the abdominal wall, aid forced exhalation, + abduct [move away from the middle of your body] + rotate torso
  • Exercises– crunches, side planks, planks, deadlifts

Our core muscles provide many benefits to our bodies like stability, balance, + protection of our spine. We engage them in several activities throughout the day such as lifting a package or sitting in class. Strong core muscles can improve our posture + may reduce our likelihood of back pain.


#1] Glutes [Gluteus Maximus]

#3] Hamstrings [Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus + Bicep Femoris]

#4] Quadriceps [Vastus Intermedius, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis + Rectus Femoris]

  • Function– extend knee
  • Exercises– barbell squats, squats, lunges, leg extensions

Our legs carry us through each + every day, providing us with support ++ balance. Our knees actually bear most of our body weight + enable us to do activities we love [like running!]. Keeping our leg muscles strong can help us slow the effects aging has on our muscles + help prevent injuries to our knees + hips.

. . .

For illustrations + more info about each muscle click here ++ if you want to learn more about which exercises use what muscles, check out Pat Manocchia’s book “Anatomy of Exercise.”

We hope this provided you with a better understanding of the impact your workouts have on your muscles + the impact your muscles have on you!

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