There are more than 600 muscles in the human body. Muscles are considered the only tissue in the body that has the ability to contract and move the other body parts. About 40% of your body weight is made up of muscle tissues. Basically, these muscles are used for locomotion, first and foremost, but also for achieving complex and impressive moves. Because of their usage and movement, exercise programs that involve the martial arts can be very beneficial for individuals looking to stay fit and improve muscle tone and coordination.It is vital to know the major muscle groups especially in improving your body. Knowing the right kind of exercise in every muscle group has a powerful impact. You must focus on each muscle group and here are a few reasons why:
- It prevents injuries
- Improves posture
- Prevents muscle imbalances
- Refrain from aches and pains
- Get stronger and faster performance
- Builds muscle faster
#1 - The Chest MusclesThe main muscle group of the chest is the pectorals. A well-developed chest is very important because it will add major size to your inner upper body. The chest is a very visible part of the upper body, that can add weight and force to all your martial arts moves.Pectorals The pectorals or pecs are the large chest muscles. They are full of thick muscle fibers and add size to the upper body. The chest is divided into two parts, pectoralis major, and pectoralis minor. They provide support when you hold objects in front of your body and they are activated when you reach across your body. The pecs are activated in many everyday movements, mainly at the shoulder joint. For instance, when you grab a seat belt or comb your hair on the opposite side. Another is a basic task like reaching into your back pants pocket or to tuck in your shirt.
#2 - The Back MusclesThe back is the most complex major muscular structure in the entire body. It is a perfect combination of multiple muscles working in harmony and complementing each other in various physical activities. The back rises from the buttocks and stretches to the neck and shoulders. There are essentially five muscle groups present in the back. They are: Latissimus Dorsi It is a large, flat muscle on the back that stretches to the sides, behind the arm, and is partly covered by the trapezius on the back near the midline. It is sometimes called 'lats' or the 'wings''. The lats facilitate the body in pulling movements and compliment the arms in pursuing various physical activities like pulling something into your body, or when you take something down from a shelf above your head. Also, they are heavily involved in many swimming movements. Rhomboid The rhomboids are located in the upper back. They are underneath the trap muscles and not visible from outside. They originate from the spinal cord and merge into the scapular bone. These muscles can't be seen but they play a vital role in strengthening the scapulae and all the back movements. Trapezius Also known as, the traps, that are located between the shoulders and the neck. The traps can further be classified into three divisions- the upper traps, middle traps, and the lower traps, with the lower traps extending as low as the lower back. The traps control the scapulae or the shoulder blades and play an important role in shrugging and neck movements. They are used to tilt and turn the head and neck and shrug the shoulders. They also provide support when you lift items over your head. Teres Muscle This muscle lies underneath the 'lats'. It works with the lats as well as the rotator cuffs. Exercises like single arm lat pulldowns and pullovers target this muscle directly. Compound exercises like deadlifts, shoulder presses, and rows also target this muscle. Erector spinae The erector spinae or spinal erectors is a set of muscles that straighten and rotate the back. They are actually deep muscles that help to extend the spine and are key in posture. They are also important when bending forward, and sideways.
#3 - The Arm and Shoulder MusclesBiceps This muscle is found in the front of the upper arm. The biceps help control the motion of both the shoulder and elbow joints. At the elbow, the biceps are essential in lifting, and at the shoulder, they help with moving the arms sideways, forward and upwards. Basically, this muscle helps bend or curl the arm toward your body. Triceps The triceps are muscles in the back of the upper arm. These muscles help stabilize the shoulder joint and allow the elbow joint to be straightened. The triceps are utilized in passing and shooting a basketball, and help with finite movements such as in writing, drawing or even push and pull. Deltoids The deltoids, or delts, are known as the shoulder muscles. This muscle group is used on all side of body lifting motions. They provide support when you carry things and help keep carried items away from the motion path of the thighs. The deltoid muscle consists of 3 parts: anterior deltoid, medial deltoid, and posterior deltoid.
#4 - The Abdominal MusclesEvery bodybuilder's favorite muscles are the abdominals. The abdominals assist in the breathing process and protect inner organs.They are key in twisting motions, such as a golf swing or looking behind yourself. They also play a key part in bending over motions, and in maintaining good posture, and are a key focus in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) training, as well. Obliques The muscle group on the sides of the abdominals are the obliques. Movement of these muscles may result in several actions, but they are best known for their lateral flexion and rotation of the trunk known as a side bend. The obliques help support the spine from the front. They are also vital in keeping a good posture. Other important abdominal muscles include:
- Gluteus medius: One of three gluteal muscles, the gluteus medius connects the ilium to the top of the femur. It controls the level of the hips and allows the thighs to rotate.
- Gluteus maximus: The largest and outermost muscle of the buttock, the gluteus maximus attaches to several places in the pelvis and thigh. It allows you to extend your upper leg, spread it, and turn it outward.
- Serratus anterior: A group of muscles connected to the rib cage, which help stabilize the shoulder.
- Psoas major: These muscles connect the lower part of the spine to the ilium and the femur and aids in flexing the hips.