How to use exercises to target specific muscles

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Published: July 8, 2021

Working out is very important for maintaining a healthy mind and body. Cardio exercises, for example, boost blood flow, promote fat loss, and expand lung capacity. However, cardio is not the answer to everything. For example, you probably wouldn’t be able to get stronger and larger pecs by running endlessly. Obviously, cardio might help you lose extra fat so your pecs may be more obvious, but you can’t really grow them by doing cardio. Whether it’s because of looks, healthy, or strength, you might want to work on a particular part of the body. When that’s your goal you should use exercises to target specific muscles in that particular area. Naturally, you can’t really target one single muscle, but it’s absolutely possible to stick to one general area. What more, that’s perhaps the best way to ensure the strengthening of a single group of muscles.

How does using exercises to target specific muscles actually work?

It’s absolutely possible to use exercise to target specific muscles. Unfortunately, though, many people fall into a trap of thinking they can lose weight in a particular area by just targeting that area with exercises. To an extent, that’s true. If you’re working out and eating well you’ll be losing weight anyway. However, that doesn’t really work how some people think it does. You can’t just work out your arms to shrink your arms. That means that if you’re set on reducing arm fat, for example, you’ll have to reduce the overall fat content of your body. The best way to do that is through a combination of proper diet, a generally healthy lifestyle, and regular exercise. Cardio is very good for losing fat. But keep in mind that muscle burns more energy than fat does. So growing muscles of a particular area could help speed up the fat loss process.

A man lifting weights.
Targeting a certain group of muscles with exercise can help you become stronger!

What is it best for then?

By now it’s should be apparent that targeting a certain group of muscles with exercises can play a certain role in weight loss. Pretty much no good personal coach Dubai residents love and recommend would advise you to just do cardio if weight loss is your goal. But targeting has another purpose and that is to strengthen and grow a certain group of muscles. That’s pretty much where it shines.

Compound exercises are great, but with those, you’re at risk of offloading weight to your strongest muscles. Especially if you’re new to exercising and your form is not that good. For example, when squatting you may pull most weight with your quads if your glutes are weak. That way you’ll just be working your quads even more. And you can see how problematic that can be if your goal is to strengthen your glutes. In that case, it would be best to opt for an exercise that targets glutes above all, like glute bridges for example.

Cardio: Why? How? When?

A cardio workout has its place in a good routine. Most gym-goers usually incorporate some form of cardio in their routine. If you’re targeting a group of muscles, cardio can be very helpful. Especially if you’re targeting that particular area for aesthetic reasons. But there’s so much more to cardio than just making your body leaner. What you might not know is that cardio helps supply muscles with oxygen. That is very important for waking up your muscles and getting them ready for harder exercises that are to follow. That means that cardio is a great way to prepare your body, after which you can use other exercises to target certain muscles. To conclude, cardio is a great thing to do before a specific workout. Just make sure not to overdo it. You should have enough energy left to make it through all of the other exercises.

A woman running.
Cardio can be very helpful for losing weight!

Knowing what exercises to use to target specific muscles is very important

If you want to target a certain group of muscles you have to know what exercises are best to use. Sure, any exercise that targets a certain part of the body, you’re interested in growing, will work to some extent. However, some exercises are simply better than the rest. Obviously, what exercise will work best also depends on you. Your body, preferences, and fitness level also play a significant role when it comes to working out a particular muscle group. But as a general rule, the best exercises per muscle group are:

  • Arms: Curls, Kickbacks, Pushdowns, Dips, and Overhead presses
  • Chest: Flat and inclined bench presses, Pec deck, and Cable fly
  • Shoulders:
  • Back: Seated or bent-over rows, Pulldowns, Pullups, Shrugs, and Deadlifts
  • Stomach: Crunches, Hanging leg raises, Twists, and Situps
  • Buttocks:  Lunges, Hip abductions, Hip extensions, Deadlifts, Glute bridge, and Hip thrusts
  • Legs: Leg presses, Leg extensions, Leg curls, Lunges, and Calf raises

Working out with someone who knows more is always a great idea

There are plenty of female and male fitness trainers all over Dubai that are very knowledgeable. If you’re unsure of what to do and how to do it when it comes to fitness, it might be best to look for a personal trainer. A trainer’s job is to know how exactly to use exercises to target a specific muscle and what exercises to use to make the training effective and efficient. So if you’re just starting or you’re unsure of yourself, it’s best to hire a professional to help you!

A male personal trainer.
Personal trainers are trained to know how to use exercises to target specific muscles in the best way possible!

When using exercises to target specific muscles, make sure you’re doing it correctly!

If you’re at the point in your fitness journey where you want to use exercises to target specific muscles, you should make sure to only use effective exercises if you wish to see results. Targeting a specific group of muscles is important for strength and it can also be helpful with losing weight. Whether you decide to do it on your own or with a professional, make sure that you’re working out correctly and choosing the best exercises for your body!


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