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Biggest Muscles,Smallest Muscles..
Old Wed, March 7th, 2007, 01:01 PM   #1
HevyMetal
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Default Biggest Muscles,Smallest Muscles..

Anyone know of a site,link,book or what-have-you that categorizies in detail the muscles of the human body from largest to smallest?

I already know that the Gluteus Maximus is the largest.

But I wanted to get a bit more specific than say " Legs and back are the largest".

Thank You
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Old Wed, March 7th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #2
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Guessing...

Glutes
Quads
Hams
Pecs
Lats
Delts
Traps
Calves
Triceps
Biceps
Forearms
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Old Wed, March 7th, 2007, 03:08 PM   #3
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I would go:

Glutes
Quads
Hams
Lats
Traps
Calves
Delts
Pecs
Triceps
Biceps
abs
Forearms
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Old Wed, March 7th, 2007, 03:14 PM   #4
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What do you mean by largest?

Most surface area?

Most volume?

Longest?

Also, it's not universal. Some people may have larger muscles proportionate to others - i.e. smaller leg muscles, larger pec muscles, etc.

Here is my favorite book illustrating muscle, because it depicts them in various exercises: Strength Training Anatomy

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Old Wed, March 7th, 2007, 09:11 PM   #5
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Thanks so far...I was looking at it from a training perspective.

Actually pound for pound the strongest muscles in your body are in your mouth/jaw somewhere...or so I read.

Don't want to split hairs here....GENERALLY by size ON AVERAGE for the AVERAGE JOE in terms of what are described as "big" and "small" muscles in relationship to bodybuilding.

Generally they'll say "back and legs" are biggest muscles, but I'm sure you could find muscles in that group that are smaller than muscles elsewhere by comparison.

I have that book...Strength Training Anatomy by Delavier...and a good one it is.

If you look at an anatomy chart you can sort of "guesstimate" which ones are the biggest but you don't know for sure.

Some tenets of training are thus...."train your biggest muscles first" and "smaller muscles recover faster than large muscles" (Fred Hatfield said the latter and I'm assuming he meant when you hit them High Intensity to failure).

Ellington Darden also echoes the same refrain.

Darden also suggests training the lower body before the upper body and while your at it train the Hams before the Quads.

However he suggests abs be done last as you need them in the workout for stability.

From some of the lists posted I didn't realize Pecs were that far down on the scale. I always thought of them as a larger muscle.

So I just want an accurate general list of biggest to smallest from training perspective...
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Old Thu, March 8th, 2007, 04:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HevyMetal View Post
So I just want an accurate general list of biggest to smallest from training perspective...
Go by compound movements -- unless you're using all isolation exercises, it doesn't make sense to split by individual muscles:

1. pulls (e.g. conv. and sumo deadlifts, cleans, snatches)
2. quad-dominant (e.g. squats)
3. hip-dominant (e.g. RDLs, SLDLs, good mornings)
4. upper push (e.g. dips, bench presses, overhead presses)
5. upper pull (e.g. pull-ups, rows)

Then isolation for the remainder:

6. calves
7. triceps (i.e. elbow extension)
8. biceps (i.e. elbow flexion)
9. forearms
10. tibialis anterior (e.g. reverse calf raises)

I think this is a very good list of precedence. I think the order of upper push vs. pull is a bit debateable though. (I explain why in the next part of the post).

Quote:
Originally Posted by HevyMetal View Post
From some of the lists posted I didn't realize Pecs were that far down on the scale. I always thought of them as a larger muscle.
A lot of people make this mistake. This probably comes from the fact that you say pecs and people think bench press, which, in reality, also includes the shoulders and triceps to make a real powerhouse combination. Rows, on the other hand, when properly performed, get a lot of back action and, comparatively, little else. (Your elbow is pulled toward the body because of a concentrated contraction of the lat, rather than the bicep.) However, physically, the lats are a much larger muscle than the pecs so, on a list that orders by size, they come before the pecs.
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Last edited by chicanerous; Thu, March 8th, 2007 at 04:52 PM..
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Old Thu, March 8th, 2007, 04:32 PM   #7
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A squat or leg press can work quads and glutes. Always a good starter.

I think picking up calves after glutes, quads and hams makes sense becuse you have blood flow down there. And remember most who workout have 16 or better calves when they don't have arms that big.

Now you get the back, shoulders, chest, arms, abs and forearms. While I believe in direct Ab work, I think forearms get enough indirect to take care of them. if you are not planning for contest.
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Do as many repetitions as possible ... in good form. Dr. Ellington Darden giving a definition of HIT

The only person whose behavior we can control is our own. All we can give another person is information. What happened in the past has everything to do with what we are today, but we can only satisfy our basic needs right now and plan to continue satisfying them in the future. Dr. William Glasser

Wisdom is the ability to put things in perspective. RTE
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