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Attacking Undertrained Bodyparts

In order to achieve a complete physique, you have to train your physique completely. Here's how to attack four overlooked areas.

By David Sandler, MS, CSCS

You are a criminal. That's right. You are guilty of one of the most heinous infractions an iron-lover can possibly commit: bodypart neglect. The evidence: your imbalanced physique. While you have been incredibly diligent at building commendable pecs, lats, quads, bi's and tri's, you are overlooking - perhaps unintentionally - some other bodyparts that are sorely in need of some growth. While the particulars vary from lifter to lifter, four of the most shunted bodyparts include calves, hamstrings, rear delts and forearms. Here are some quick tips on how you can put an end to the neglect and start evening out your progress.

1. Calves

Guys, it is time to work on those things that are attached to your lower leg. Those pathetic, twiggy appendages are starting to draw looks - and not the kind that Dexter Jackson gets walking through the Olympia Expo, either. If you are one of those guys that works out in a tank top and track pants and works upper body only, do yourself a favor and get cracking on your calves. You need both straight-leg and bent-leg varieties of calf raises to nail all those muscles on the back side.

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Straight-leg calf presses (including donkey presses and 45-degree calf presses) attack the superficial gastrocnemius, the heart-shaped muscle you typically associate with impressive calves. Bent-leg calf presses such as the seated calf press bombard the underlying soleus. And growth there - guess what? - pushes your gastrocs out and gives the appearance of a larger calf musculature.

Also, use heavy weight that keeps your reps in the hypertrophy zone of 8-12 reps and take it to momentary muscle failure.

Fiber wise calves are no different then other muscles, it is harder to grow them since the lower leg calf complex is a more efficient lever then your other body arts. This means you have to work them harder, not more often or with higher reps, then your other muscles to get them to respond. And as with all bodyparts, if you find that something isn't working, just switch things up. A new exercise, exercise order, weight range or intensity technique is almost guaranteed to get your growth back on track.

 

NEXT: Hamstrings, Rear Delts & Forearms >>

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