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OK to Do More Exercises for One Muscle than All Others?

As most of us are working out at home nowadays, we have to develop a lifting regimen that we can do at home with the equipment that we have. I recently bought some resistance bands to be able to do more exercise along with my dumbbells and curl bar. So right now I do 5 exercises per muscle group/2 groups per session, but I want to utilize the resistance bands as well. They have definitely given me more options for legs since I don’t have any machines.

This question is for chest though: I do incline DB, flat DB, squeeze presses, DB flyes and pushups. I would now like to add cable crossovers (high to low as well as low to high) with the bands, but that would put me at 7 chest exercises. Easy right? Just replace 2 of the other exercises? Well, I do those exercises for a reason. I read a lot about the debate between flyes and crossovers as to which one is better for muscle growth. Why not do both and get the best out of each? Squeeze presses are good as well since there is constant tension throughout the movement (those would probably be the 2 I would replace if I was forced to), but those are really good exercises and I don’t want to do that. Is doing 7 exercises for chest and 5 for all others OK? I don’t want to do 7 exercises for every muscle to even it out. Are there any negatives in doing this and why? Does it create an imbalance or is that a stupid question? Or should I just rotate them in every other session? Thanks

Ye should be fine. Most of ur stimulus will come from ur heavy compound movements with the isolation stuff as extra so doesn’t really matter if u do a little bit more isolation or not.

There’s some debate whether or not its a good idea to balance out training around the shoulder joint: balancing training volume (not the number of exercises because u can do 1000 sets of 1 exercise and 5 exercises 1 set each) for push v pulling movements, internal external rotation but you’ll be alright without em.

This is going to sound snarkier than I mean it to…

I’m not sure what a ‘muscle group’ is, but I suspect a program consisting of 5 exercises for each one is far from ideal. And yes, adding even more exercises is likely to make a bad program worse. But to answer your question, it won’t cause ‘imbalances’ among muscle groups.

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Can you expand on why doing 5 exercises per muscle is bad? Right now I’m doing DB incline, DB flat, DB flyes, squeeze presses and pushups for chest and extensions, tate presses, kick-backs, dips and diamond pushups for triceps. And again, I workout at home without any machines so had to develop program with what I have. These are 2 muscles, but gives you an idea of what my programs consists of. And if bad how can I make my program better based on these 2 muscles? I can give you every exercise that I do per muscle, but just wanted to give you an example of what I do with 2 muscles so you know what kind of program I have.

Are you opposed to just doing a written program? I think it would help you see how much work you want for everything

Out of curiosity what is your experience level?

There are several reasons to perform more than one exercise for a muscle. For example, a compelling justification for multiple pec exercises is that the fan-shaped origin of the muscle means it cannot be worked in its entirety via any one movement. Another justification for multiple exercises is if one movement is structured to facilitate strength development, while another is hypertrophy-oriented. Still another is if a movement is a particularly good finisher–say, because it allows the muscle to be safely stretched under tension.

On the other hand, doing 5 exercises for each bodypart because…well, just because, is not a justification at all.

If you don’t have a compelling, programmatic reason to do an exercise, it probably shouldn’t be a part of your routine.


My friend Robert “Bobby” Valinquez did 5 exercises for chest, 5 for legs, 5 for shoulders, 5 for arms but 6 for back and now he’s dead.

Are you going to risk it?


I’ve been lifting on/off since high school, which I graduated from in 96 (damn I’m getting old), but unfortunately the off has been way too long. I’ve been dealing with a bad back due to a work injury that led to 6 surgeries, so I hadn’t lifted for about 12 years prior to about 2 years ago. Then I had it flare up badly about 11 months ago and have been back into it again for about 2 months. So it could very easily be that what I am doing is very outdated, but I had to create a program that doesn’t hurt my back with a lot of trial and error.

I know you are being sarcastic although sometimes it hard to tell reading somebody’s statement. I ask this question because I’ve unfortunately had to go to a ton of physical therapy appointments for a bad back and many therapists over the years preached about not working a specific muscle more than others. So if I did x amount of exercises for chest then I should do the same amount for back. Is this not true? Maybe it only is if you are dealing with an injury.

I had to create my program consisting of exercises that don’t flare up my bad back. So for instance I will never be able to do power cleans for example.

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I hear you, but you can make reasonable substitutions. I mean, don’t pick an Olympic lifting program, because that wouldn’t make sense, but you could pick most things and then sub with similar ideas.

For instance, if squats come up and you don’t feel good with that, maybe you can handle front squats. If not, maybe belt squats. If not that, maybe trap bar deadlifts, then down to dumbbell squats, then a machine squat, etc. You can regress specific moves down to your comfort level without having to invent a whole program.

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Bands “crossovers” or “band flies” deload at the bottom, when the band is not stretched. And the load up at the “top” when you’re hands are close together and the bands are stretched.

Flies deload at the top, when the DBs are stacked over your elbows and shoulders. Then you get lots of load/tension at the bottom, when you’re all stretched out and your chest is supporting the DBs.

Wrap a band around your back and do DB flies like that. 1 exercises, with accommodating resistance so you get ill tension throughout the whole move. Or maximum inroads with no unloading for my H.I.T. bros.

Here’s some non-spinal loading ideas for you

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Reminds me of another post from earlier this week.
Not in a bad way. You and this other guy both fell for the same “trap”.
More = better. Confusing working hard with working effectively.
This dude ran 4 pressing movements to failure AND triceps work. To failure. And wanted to know why he was struggling.

You’re working things “too hard”. Using all the tools at once.
If you’re desperate NOT to run a prescribed programme then use this.



Thanks for all of your responses, appreciate it!!! Good info!

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Without knowing reps and sets its hard to say. But I think it would not be the worst if it was done as below.

Incline press 1-2 sets
Dips or flat 1-2 sets

Then do the remaining as a giant set just the once.

If 4 sets of every exercise then it’s probably alot of redundant work.