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Don’t miss the opportunity to know…


…to know what? To know which muscles are involved when performing a particular exercise. All of us take some time off during a year’s training. And most, if not all of us waste a great opportunity to find out which muscles are worked by some particular exercise.There is a reason for that (I’ll get into that shortly). When we resume training, we do it by getting back into some routine that has worked for us; performing the exercises we know and trust. Yet…go on any forum and ask a simple question like: “what muscles do you feel are working when you do the dumbbell pullovers, your chest or your back?” Or this: “the deadlift rivals the squat in its muscle involvements. Which muscles do you feel working when performing the deadlift?” Let me give you the reason for having some doubts regarding this issue and how we can resolve it if we chose to do so.

Whenever we resume our training after a week of rest, or several weeks on holidays etc. we do so by getting back into performing more than just one particular exercise (am I right?). When we do that, we usually suffer from some DOMS after about 36 hours or so (that’s when it really peaks for most). So we can’t really point the finger and say ah, I’m sore here or there because of exercise A, when other exercises could have been the cause of such muscle tightness there. The way around this is to perform one and only one exercise on your return to the gym, or perform one single exercise once a week when you take several weeks holiday. Now I’m not saying get into it and go all out after a week’s rest no…few high reps of a very moderate weight would be a great indicator of what muscles are involved. Once you’ve done that and felt the soreness in a particular area of your body, you would be in a position to file such findings under the heading of: “pure assessment of muscle fiber involvement.” This finding would be 100% for you, based on experience and not on some anatomy text book, or someone else's experience.

A case in point here and something that I never expected. Military barbell shoulder presses. Look at the anatomy chart of which muscles are supposed to come into play here. We see deltoids, triceps, and upper chest muscles.


But I swear to you, when I did this exercise without any other, I felt all my latissimus dorsi muscle fibers come into play. You may say yes, that’s because they were working overtime (with their counterparts…the anterior core muscles) in stabilising your upper body and in preventing the bar from smashing down on your face or your clavicle area. And that would be true. However it’s not something anyone of us would even consider had we not done that particular exercise alone and separate from all others. To that, I say what more could be waiting when one performs one of the grand daddies of all exercises with its multitude of muscle fibers involvement.The Deadlift….for starters!

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New member
I love learning about muscle groups, ligaments and energy usage by muscles, but dang it, I am not that smart. It takes a lot of reading for that stuff to sink in.