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Family Sports & Fitness

Muscles That Work Together
Get Fit Together

Training specific muscle groups on the same day can help fight fatigue and soreness and will often improve your results.

Split your workout days to focus on specific upper or lower body routines and make it easier on yourself to track which muscle groups you train each day. This routine is for Upper Body/Chest and Back.

Upper Body
The chest and the back are antagonistic muscle groups meaning they work in opposite directions of each other
Upper body strengthening and stretching leads to correct posture
To get the best chest/back workout, perform one set of chest exercises followed by a set of back exercises

Caution: If you develop strong abs but ignore your back muscles, you increase your risk of back injury

Chest Exercises
Some of the best chest exercises make use of weight lifting equipment
Bench press
Incline bench press
Cable fly

But if you don’t have access to weight lifting equipment:
Do pushups slowly and with low reps
Use narrow, medium and wide stances for full workout

What you’ll improve
Pectoralis Major:  The thick, fan-shaped muscle making up most of the upper chest. Provides the “V” shape when well developed in men
Important for swimming, baseball, softball

Pectoralis Minor: Stretches from upper ribs to front of shoulder
Rounded shoulder posture and forward head posture will cause this muscle to shorten

Improve with stretching exercises
•   Stand in a doorway with your feet apart
•   Place one hand on the wall and turn away slowly
•   You should feel a stretching, burning sensation in the inside upper
    chest area where the muscle is located

Back Exercises
Back workouts can be done with or without equipment too, but be sure to keep your form correct to avoid injury

Equipment-free exercises
Lay on your stomach with your hands flat on the floor next to your shoulders
•   Use your back muscles to lift your head and upper body

Lay on your back underneath a heavy table or desk
•    Reach up, wrap your hands around the edge, and pull yourself up

At the gym
Use free weights, rowing machines, cable pulleys

What you’ll improve
Latissimus Dorsi (Lats): The broad muscle in the middle and lower part of your back that pulls your upper arm do wn, out, and toward the body
Important for swimming the crawl stroke, gymnastics

Trapezius: Runs from the top of your neck, out to your shoulder blade, and then down to the middle of your lower back. Pulls your shoulders up in shrugs and draws shoulder blades back
•   Important for bodybuilding and physique sports as well as dead-lifts and Olympic lifts

Erector spinae muscles: A paired bundle of muscles and tendons that run vertically from your head to your pelvis. These muscles extend and bend the trunk, neck and head sideways and work with your abdominal muscles to help support your torso. Strengthening and stretching are equally important for this muscle group.
•   Ab exercises strengthen these muscles
•   Stretching increases flexibility and improves posture
•   Support the erector spinae muscles with knee-to-chest stretches for spine and glutes
•   Lay on your back with knees bent, pull one knee into the chest and hold
    for 15 seconds
•   Repeat with the other leg and again with both legs at the same time

Teres major and minor muscles: Tiny back muscles that start at your shoulder blades then reach toward your arm bones. These muscles move your upper arm, rotating it outward, draws your arm back toward the middle of your body and extends and rotates your upper arm behind you

Work this group with pull-ups and chin-ups
Important for those engaged in baseball, softball and swimming

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