There are some trainers/gurus/science-geeks that say you cannot do a thing about the shape of your muscles, as this is 100% genetically determined.  Others believe that by “targeting” certain areas of a muscle, you can in fact, change its shape.

Regardless of which is true, it is definitely accurate that we can utilize specific exercises, angles, and grips to bring out the full potential of each muscle.

In other words, when someone is lacking upper chest development, this may not simply be because genetics are “dictating” that the lower pecs dominate the upper, but rather that the upper pectorals are not receiving the proper stimulation in order for it to grow to its maximum potential.

Yes, it is true that you cannot completely isolate one area of a muscle from another no matter what exercise you utilize. However, you can affect certain groups of motor units more than others in a single muscle by using specific grips and/or planes of motion (as EMG studies have proven) This can then lead to accelerated growth in a particular “head” or section of a complex muscle.  

So before you take the easy way out and blame faulty genetics for your disproportionate physique, make sure you are doing everything possible training-wise to address the problem. In other words, the genetics might be there, but many are simply failing to actualize the full potential of each individual muscle group.

With that in mind, here are my eight, rarely utilized, “muscle-shaping” movements: