Ever wonder what people are talking about when they say they have Quads and Hammies today? What about, “I worked out yesterday and my Lats are so sore.” These are all important muscle names that have been shortened. Because it’s exhausting to use all of the proper names for each individual muscle or muscle group, gym goers have shortened the terms and made them easier to say.

Here’s a list of the major muscle groups and what each one does for your body. We’ll take this list from head to toe!

Delts (Deltoids)

Your shoulders, or Deltoids, are made up of 3 different muscles, and their names are: the Anterior Deltoid, the Medial Deltoid and the Posterior Deltoid. Usually the Anterior is the most noticeable and overworked. However, the Posterior is the most important because if this muscle is strong and functioning properly, you will have happy healthy shoulders and great posture! Key delts exercises: Dumbbell Shoulder Presses & Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Pecs (Pectorals Major and Pectorals Minor)

This is what you consider your chest. Think of your chest as being split into two parts. The muscle name for the top is the Major, and the Minor is underneath. Both are important muscle groups and can be worked from a variety of angles. Key pecs exercises: Pushups & Dumbbell chest presses

Lats (Latissimus Dorsi)

(Not pictured above) These are what everyone refers to when they exercise their backs, but actually they are one large part of their own muscle group. They run from your armpit, wrap around to your mid-spine, down the side of your ribs and attach just above your pelvis. These muscles are worked by movements that involve pulling or rowing. Key lats exercise: Pull Ups & One Arm Rows

Biceps (Biceps Bracchi)

Most people know where your biceps are and how to work them. The names for the muscles that make up what we call Biceps are the Biceps Bracchi Long head and Biceps Bracchi Short Head. You can work each by changing the way your hands are positioned while doing a curling movements. Key biceps exercise: Hammer Curls (long head) & Bar Curls (short head)

Triceps (Triceps Bracchi)

This muscle group is made up of three muscles. The triceps Bracchi Long, Medial, and Lateral heads make up what’s called your horseshoe. These are used for pushing movements such as dips, Pushdowns, and pushups. Key triceps exercise: Bench Dips & Tricep Push Downs

Core/Abs (Abdominous)

The core is layered like an onion.  There are two muscles that show and one that is a little deeper and hidden. There are many more but these are the important ones. Your Rectus Abdominous are what people consider the six pack muscles. They sit on top of the core. External obliques (what we typically consider our love handles) sit on top of our hips and the Transverse abdominous sit underneath the Rectus Abdominous muscles. The Transverse Abdominous wraps everything up and keeps your core solid. Key abs exercises: Planks & Hanging Knee Raises

Quads (Quadriceps)

These are the front of your things or the part of your leg you can see when you look down. The muscles are Vastus Laterals, Rectus Femorus, Vastus Medialis and the Vastus Intermedialus. (Some of the longer and more complicated muscle names!) Training with different leg widths and foot placement will work each of these to a different degree but in general they all fire together. Key quads exercises: Squats & Leg Extensions

Glutes (Gluteus Maximus/Medius)

Your butt, or your glutes, are made up of two muscles: The Gluteus Maximus and the Gluteus Medious. The maximus is basically the meat of your butt and the medius is underneath. Key glutes exercises: Kettlebell Swings & Hip Thrusts

Hammies (Hamstrings)

These are back of your thigh or the part you can’t see looking straight down. Hamstrings are made up of three different muscles. They go from outside to the inside like this: semimembranosus, semitendinosus, and biceps femoris. You can work these with pulling leg motions and curling your heel to your butt. Key hammies exercises:  Deadlifts & Hamstring Curls


2 main muscles here. Gastrocnemius and the soleus. The soleus is below the main meat part of the calf and helps strengthen your jumping and running ability. Key calves exercises: Standing Calf Raises & Seated Calf Raises

Muscle names are long (ya know…)

While we doubt you’ll remember each individual component of every muscle, we hope this helps you remember the main muscle names and how to tone them while you’re at the gym.

Related: An introduction to strength training and 5 strength training exercises for beginners










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