Live to Eat Well, Exercise, Be Well in Mind and Body

Layman’s Terms: Major Muscle Groups










Jargon In Jargon Out

I recently made a trip to the local bike shop to get my bicycle tuned up and learn how to clip in and out on a road bike. The bike mechanic on staff, a passionate cyclist, was kind enough to give me a free twenty minute lesson. However, during the entire time he was talking, all I could think was, “What the *&^# are you saying?” Up till this point in my life, I thought I spoke English. As nice as this guy was, I was feeling a little irritated.

Every sport, industry, company, etc. has its own special set of jargon. From the vantage point of an average exerciser, exercise and sport science has particularly heinous amounts of jargon. Given my education and background in communications and classrooms, I learned early the need to speak to my audience, not down to them. As a personal trainer, I consider myself not just a coach, but a teacher. And the easier the material is to understand, the faster the learning curve. The more my personal training client learns, not simply obeys, the more likely he or she will enjoy, pursue, and sustain a lifestyle of physical fitness. So, let’s get to our first lesson…

 Major Muscle Groups

Mr. IncredibleHave you ever seen one of those guys at the gym who forgot he had legs? Don’t be like him; he looks weird. Ladies – all the pointless crunches in the world won’t flatten your abs like a solid full body strength training routine and a healthy diet will.

A well-rounded strength training program will hit all the major muscle groups of the body, not just a few. To keep things as simple as possible, let’s categorize the human body into three parts:


Upper Body: Arms, Shoulders, Chest, and Back

Lower Body: Butt and Legs

Core: Back and Abs

Take a moment and locate your arms, shoulders, chest, back, butt, legs, and abs. These, friends, are where all your major muscles live.

Now find your butt. (Some might be easier to find then others.) Give it a squeeze and tell yourself you’re cute. Really, Amber, was that necessary? Yes.

Pep talks by the self are fundamental to success in anything, particularly in your attempt to strengthen and change your body.

I think that’s enough for today. Come back next Saturday for Part 2 of “Layman’s Terms: Major Muscle Groups”. Have a happy and healthy weekend!


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