How To Bring Up Lagging Body Parts

How To Bring Up Lagging Body Parts

In general, there are two ways to bring up lagging body parts: give them greater priority or give them more work. Let’s take a look at both.

 Greater Priority

The exercises you do first in your workouts receive the greatest training effect. Most people begin their workouts with their bigger and stronger body parts. Try reversing the order of exercises in your next program. For instance, direct forearm work often occurs at the end of a training session (if at all), but if that’s a lagging body part, try doing wrist curls at the beginning of a workout. You’ll be able to use more weight than normal, and that alone should stimulate greater growth.

 More Work

Muscle hypertrophy is a function of volume – the more work you perform, the more growth you’ll experience (assuming, of course, that sufficient recovery occurs). One way to up the volume of any body part is to use the “staggered sets” method. For example, if your calves are dreadful, try this in your next program: insert sets of calf raises between sets of exercises for other body parts. Very simple, yet very effective. Before you know it, you’ve completed a high number of sets for your calves (much more than normal), and your body responds by increasing muscle tissue to meet the demand.

 Combine Priority and Work

You can even combine both methods. For example, on upper-body days, start with forearm work and do a set of calf raises after every set of every exercise that day. On lower-body days, start with calf work and do a set of wrist curls after every set of every exercise that day. Here’s what a sample program would look like:

 

Monday

A1. High-Platform Dumbbell Wrist Curl

A2. Standing Calf Raise

A3. High-Platform Dumbbell Reverse Wrist Curl

A4. Seated Calf Raise

B1. Ulnar Flexion

B2. Standing Calf Raise

B3. Radial Flexion

B4. Seated Calf Raise

C1. Close-Reverse-Grip Cable Pulldown

C2. Standing Calf Raise

C3. Standing One-Arm Dumbbell Press

C4. Seated Calf Raise

 Tuesday

A1. Barbell Jump

A2. Seated Barbell Wrist Curl

A3. Prone Dorsiflexed Leg Curl

A4. Seated EZ-Bar Reverse Wrist Curl

B1. Seated One-Leg Calf Raise

B2. Seated Barbell Wrist Curl

B3. Seated Leg Curl Tibialis Raise

B4. Seated EZ-Bar Reverse Wrist Curl

C1. Seated Wide-Stance Leg Press

C2. Seated Barbell Wrist Curl

C3. Back Step-Up

C4. Seated EZ-Bar Reverse Wrist Curl

 Thursday

A1. Low-Platform Dumbbell Wrist Curl

A2. Standing Calf Raise

A3. Low-Platform Dumbbell Reverse Wrist Curl

A4. Seated Calf Raise

B1. Supination

B2. Standing Calf Raise

B3. Pronation

B4. Seated Calf Raise

C1. Parallel-Bar or Ring Dip

C2. Standing Calf Raise

C3. One-Arm Elbow-Out Dumbbell Row

C4. Seated Calf Raise

 Friday

A1. One-Leg Calf Raise

A2. Seated Barbell Wrist Curl

A3. Standing Dorsiflexed Leg Curl

A4. Seated EZ-Bar Reverse Wrist Curl

B1. Seated Calf Press

B2. Seated Barbell Wrist Curl

B3. Seated Cable Tibialis Raise

B4. Seated EZ-Bar Reverse Wrist Curl

C1. Hack Squat

C2. Seated Barbell Wrist Curl

C3. Dumbbell Lunge

C4. Seated EZ-Bar Reverse Wrist Curl

In these workouts, you’ll do three mini circuits of 4 exercises each. Move from one exercise to the next with as little rest as possible until you complete all four exercises, and then rest 2 minutes before you do it again. Do three sets of 10-12 reps of each exercise and use a relatively quick but controlled tempo throughout (i.e., 1 second to raise the weight and 2 seconds to lower it).

Keep in mind that by giving a lagging body part greater priority or more work or both, you diminish the priority and work of other larger and often stronger body parts. That’s a good thing! It will help promote muscle balance, improve symmetry, and likely reduce injuries down the road.

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