Major Muscle Groups of the Human Body

You have more than 600 muscles in your body. Some muscles are called involuntary muscles because you can’t control what they do. Involuntary muscles make your heart, stomach, and intestines work. They do their jobs without you even thinking about them.

You also have muscles you can control, such as those in your arms, legs, and back. They are called voluntary muscles. Working together with your skeleton, voluntary muscles give you the ability to shoot a basketball, kick a soccer ball, and shadow box.


Voluntary muscles are divided into 14 major groups. Here are their names and where they're located.
  • Trapezius, also known as your traps. (Upper back)
  • Rhomboids (Middle of upper back)
  • Triceps (Back of upper arm)
  • Latisimus dorsi, also known as your lats. (Middle back)
  • Erector spinae (Lower back)
  • Gluteals, also known as your glutes. (Buttocks)
  • Hamstrings (Back of thigh)
  • Calf (Back of lower leg)
  • Deltoids, also know as your delts.(Shoulder)
  • Pectoralis major, also known as your pecs. (Upper chest)
  • Biceps (Front of upper arm)
  • Abdominals, also known as your abs. (Abdomen)
  • Quadricepts, also known as your quads. (Front of thigh)
  • Hip adductors & abductors (Inner and outer thigh)
Moving your muscles takes lots of energy. Just like a car burns gasoline to make it go, your body burns sugar and fat to make you go. Here’s how it works:
  • Nutrients from the food you eat are absorbed through your intestines.
  • The nutrients make their way to your liver where they are converted to a simple sugar (also called glucose).
  • The glucose is released into your blood where it moves through your circulatory system to the places it’s needed, such as your muscles, organs, and tissues.
  • Any glucose (now in the form of glycogen) that isn’t used up is stored in your muscles and liver.
  • If you have more glycogen than your body can store, your body converts the extra into body fat.


See The Hosford Muscle Tables: Skeletal Muscles of the Human Body for more detailed muscle anotomy.