Training Lagging Body Parts


By Alex Carneiro, IFBB Men’s Physique Pro, A.C.S.M Certified Personal Trainer, Sports Nutritionist, Personal Trainer,
ON (Optimum Nutrition) Athlete, follow Alex on Facebook, Instagram

Aesthetics, proportionally, symmetry and physique. Whether you compete in NPC bodybuilding, NPC Physique, NPC figure or NPC Bikini, this is the key to success. If you have a body part that is smaller, weaker or looks un-proportional, it can drive you crazy. So how can you improve these lagging body parts?

Uni-lateral and Bi-lateral:
We all have dominant sides. From being left handed or right handed. Most of the time you don’t even realize if you are performing 80% of your daily activities with one limb. Think about this, when you go and reach out for a dumbbell, which arm do you usually pick up the first dumbbell with? Or which side do you start performing an exercise with? My guess is more the right side than the left. Even I as a left handed individual still perform 80% of my daily activities with my right. So what are some techniques we can do in the gym to bring up a certain body part that feels is lagging behind or needs more work?

Develop a workout that is both uni-lateral and bi-lateral in exercises. This means choosing exercises that require you to use both limbs to push or pull as well as exercises you control single-handed.

Try bicep curls both ways. Doing uni-lateral work, you are forcing both limbs to theoretically create equivalent work.

Switch Up:
Switch up your routine. Stop doing 4 sets of 8 reps for triceps extensions. Try 4 sets of 20 reps instead. This stimulates the muscle differently.

Start your workouts with that lagging part. If shoulders as your weak area, start with shoulders and then move to your chest, instead of chest to shoulders. Concentrate most of your strength on your problem area.

Give those lagging muscles their own training day. Sounds weird, but if you are behind on your calves then give them their own day to train where you can give it 100% of your strength and dedication without sacrificing strength elsewhere.

Mind-Muscle Connection
A lagging muscle part lacks a solid muscle-mind connection. I have this with my back. I can’t physically see it when I train so it comes down to how I feel it. In this case a good way to start your workout is to perform one set of 100 reps (with a few but short breaks in between) to bring in a lot of blood into that specific tissue. By doing this you will enhance your muscle-mind connection with that specific area. Plus, it improve how you feel it during your workout.

Twice Daily:
Train the lagging body part twice a day. Or train it again with another muscle group. Give a reason for that body group to grow. Add additional demands on it by it by training it a second time during that week even.

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