Muscle Groups That You Should Be Training Together

A good strength-training plan can help you stay lean, build strong bones, and protect you from injury, according to the Mayo Clinic. With all of the different activities you already enjoy, it might be hard to fit a few days of strength training into your busy schedule. Perhaps you hit the weights several times a week, but you don't have a steady routine to get the strength training benefits that you want.

To maximize your time at the gym, you can train certain muscle groups on the same day. According to Healthline, the major muscle groups are chest, back, legs, shoulders, arms, and core. Although avid bodybuilders will divide these into even smaller groups to work out each day, you can work two of these groups per day for three non-consecutive days a week. By doing this, your muscle groups will get adequate rest while you work out the others.

According to Men's Health, working the right combination recruits the most muscle fibers, but the wrong combination can thwart your workout. The larger muscle groups of the chest, legs, and back should be worked on separate days, and these groups should be worked first in your workout. In other words, if you decide to work the chest and arms on Monday, be sure to work the large muscles of the chest first. You'll also want to work your core last, as you'll need a strong core to power you through your movements and prevent injury.

The best three-day strength-training split

According to Men's Health, you can divide your strength training into three days a week. On day one, you can group chest and shoulder exercises. Day two might focus on your legs and core. You can work your back and arms on day three (per Healthline). If you're new to lifting weights, choose at least two exercises per body part, and find a weight that you can lift with the correct form for 12 repetitions. If you can do more repetitions, the weight is too light. As you get stronger, you can add more sets and increase the weights (via Mayo Clinic).

If hitting the bench press intimidates you, you can still complete a strength workout using resistance bands, medicine balls, suspension trainers, and weight machines. You can also use various objects in your house for your workouts, such as towels for resistance, chairs for dips, and soup cans as weights. You might be able to crush more than 12 repetitions, but you can still get in some strength training.

With any exercise, you'll also want to remember to warm up with dynamic stretches or easy cardio and be sure to give your muscles a good stretch after a hard workout (per Mayo Clinic).