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The Hardest Parts Of The Body To Train And Workout

Everyone has that specific muscle group that really enrages them. You definitely have that one annoying spot where no matter how intense you train or no matter how hard you outdo yourself, you just do not see the results that you desire. Whether you ask the people in the gym or you read articles on the internet, you would probably find that most people agree that there are really some muscles that just do not cooperate. Even those people who have hit the gym for many years still have these universal complaints.

Love handles, bingo wings, belly pouches, these are just some of the few famous body parts that are really hard to target. So even if you train on a regular basis, you could still be looking with despair at body areas that do not seem to be responding to your intense workout routines.

In reality, there are really body areas that are harder to train compared to others. In some cases, you tend to get these groups of muscles neglected in your daily training. So today, in order to help you target these muscles, here are some of the hardest to train body areas and the best way to exercise and to target them:

1. Biceps

Many fitness beginners and even bodybuilders have difficulty in building up their biceps. This is not solely because the biceps is an isolated muscle that is naturally hard to develop, but mostly because they may just be doing the wrong bicep exercises for long-term results. This is the main reason why the biceps is part of this list, because many people find it hard to develop because of their poor technique. So if you want to define your biceps without building big muscle, you should definitely tone your arms without using weights.

How to train your biceps?

Because the bicep muscles are proportionately small, at least in relation to your chest and back, experts usually recommend that you utilize a lighter weight when doing biceps exercise. This is because it allows you to flex and release with isolation which means that no other muscle is involved when performing. When putting together a workout routine, you should definitely follow these basic rules: (1) You should work your biceps up to three non-consecutive days per week, which basically means that between biceps workout there should be at least a one rest day; (2) If you are lifting heavier weights, you should rest at least two days between bicep workouts; and (3) If your goal is to develop endurance and lean bicep muscle, you should stick with one to three sets of 12 to 16 reps with at least one day of rest in between.

More importantly, you must remember that the best biceps movements are those that provide the greatest stimulus across both the long and the short heads of the biceps muscle. With that, the best four bicep exercises that you should definitely do if you want to develop your bicep muscles are the standing barbell curl, one-arm preacher curl, incline dumbbell curl, and hammer curl.

2. Obliques

Most, if not all, people who go to gym perform the standard ab crunches in the hopes of developing not only their abdominal muscles but also their oblique muscles. However, doing crunches are not really going to develop your obliques. The obliques are the muscles at the sides of your abs. There are two types of oblique muscles which are the internal and external obliques. Because they are really huge strong muscles and hard to reach location wise, they are really hard to develop and train. With that, they require specific exercises in order to target them.

How to Train Your Obliques?

If you are just crunching, you could have defined abs but weak obliques. With that, instead of straight up crunches, you should add in a twist exercises that target the obliques and the body from the sides. You could also try side bends using a dumbbell or a side plank to really get those obliques working. Other suggested specific oblique exercises include medicine ball rotational throw, decline oblique crunches, and plate twist.

3. Shoulders

Focusing a great deal of attention on the chest, back, and legs is a good thing. After all, these are the biggest areas of the body to give you the most mass and strength. However, many forget or still have difficulty in training and building their shoulders or their deltoid muscles. Some may think that the shoulder is an easy muscle group to develop, but many fail to do train because they are doing many things wrong including using too much weight with poor form, not contracting the deltoids correctly, not working the medial deltoids enough, doing too much anterior deltoid work, and the frequency of the shoulder exercise is too low. All of these factors cause the shoulders muscle not to be developed and trained properly.

How to train your shoulders?

The shoulder is made up of three heads: the anterior (front delt), medial (side delt) and posterior (rear delt). In order to have a truly satisfying shoulder session, you need to work all three of them, along with the trapezius muscle in the upper back. According to experts, Overhead press, push press, barbell shrug, seated Arnold press, seated lateral raise, and bent-over reverse fly are effective shoulder exercises. It is important that as you perform these exercises you move your muscles through their full range of motion because it will engage far more muscle fibres than doing partial reps or cheat reps. Furthermore, you must stick to a strict tempo or the speech of each rep. Lastly, it is also important to keep your rest period brief because it will subject your muscles to accumulated fatigue, which will damage more tissue to elicit more growth

4. Calves

Calf muscles are also considered as one of the most difficult to grow in the gym, to the point where many people give up trying. It turns out that the lower leg muscles are not that significantly different from other skeletal muscles. What makes them hard to grow is that they are already well developed from walking around every day, thus it is no wonder that doing a few sets of 10 to 20 reps of calf raises does not make a huge difference in calf development. Some even estimate that the calves are developed to approximately 70% to 80% of their potential size just from walking around, so additional training is really about chasing that last remaining percentage. However it must be noted that the maximum calf size, just like any other muscle group, is greatly dependent on genetics. Hence, those with naturally large calves do not need to do anything for them in the gym because they will look impressive just from walking around. While those with naturally small calves will need to train them hard and smart in order to gain that extra calf development.

How to train your calves?

Most gyms will have a machine to work the calves, so you can do seated calf raises to really target your lower leg muscles. For free weights, a great exercise is the dumbbell calf jump. Start with a dumbbell in each hand, knees soft, and back straight. After that you are going to power upwards into a jump, making the calves do the lifting. Aim for 20 of these, 3 sets.

It is also good to note that since our calves receive a lot of stimulation from walking around, your best training results will come from stimulating them in ways that differ from walking. Since walking involves only partial range of motion at the ankle, your calf training should incorporate a full range of motion. If you walk for exercise, try walking up hills or incline the treadmill. The incline will increase the range of motion at the ankle to stimulate calf growth. Also, you should try doing some of your calf exercises by lifting with both legs and lowering slowly with one leg. Use 60-80% of the weight you are capable of lifting with both legs. These eccentric reps create a lot of stress on the muscle.

5. Triceps

As the name suggests, your triceps have three heads: long, medial, and lateral. Because of this, the triceps can be a really difficult body part to improve even with intensive training. The heads always work together, so it is almost impossible to isolate one from the others. But, it is good to note that the angle of your arms significantly changes the emphasis, stressing the heads differently. Too many exercise enthusiasts are unaware of how various exercises hit their tri’s, and hence they usually overemphasize their lateral heads and underemphasize the long and medial heads. Furthermore, it is an area that frequently tends to accumulate fat, so often you will be working the muscle underneath the fat with little to no real visible difference. Also, in the fight between the upper arm muscles, the biceps always wins the most training time but the triceps are the bigger muscle when it comes to mass so to get results you need to train them more.

How to train triceps?

An effective exercise in training your triceps is the bench dip where you place your legs on one bench and grip the edge of the other bench, lowering yourself between the two by using your triceps. It is important to note that during performing varied exercises, when your arms are straight by your sides with an overhand or a parallel grip, the lateral heads are trained most such as when doing conventional pushdowns. When your arms are straight by your sides with an underhand grip, the medial heads are worked most. Moreover, the medial heads also assist more on all triceps lifts as the arms reach full extension. Reverse-grip pushdowns can also be considered to your routine to give your medial heads their due. When your elbows are moved in front of your body or overhead, the long heads are most hit. Overhead extensions are best for going long, so always include this type in your routine. Lastly, always remember to squeeze out full contractions on triceps exercises.

6. Lower Abdominal Muscles

Lower abdominal muscles are significantly hard to develop and train because that is the site where most of the body’s excess fats are stored. For women, the hormone estrogen naturally wants to hold onto fat in this area. Furthermore, the lower part of your abs are generally weaker, not only because more focus is given to the upper abs when you train, but also because the lower abs have to lift the entire lower body when you train them. In addition to that, in general, it is really difficult and requires a lot more than just doing abs workouts every day in order to develop and train your abdominal muscles. Nutrition plays an enormous role too. Hence, you also should be doing total-body workouts meant to reduce overall body fat composition. Factor in genetics on top of that, and the inevitable truth is that some people are just more likely to develop visible abs muscles than others.

How to train your lower abdominal muscles?

It feels almost impossible to complete the six-pack. With that, more often than not, most people just settle for the top two to four. As stated above, biology and diet are in part to blame for the struggle, however, there are still a few tricks you can use at the gym to target your lower abs. Exercises in order to strengthen and tone the lower abdominal muscles primarily involve leg raises. From a lying position, lift straight legs and return back to the floor. Scissor kicks are also an effective way to train your lower abs. You can do this by raising your legs a few inches off the floor and scissor them in opposite directions quickly. Another good exercise for lower abs are hip raises, where you use your lower abs to raise your hips off the floor. Start with bent knees, and keep those knees bent as you raise your hips off the floor.

In summary, what is the secret to targeting difficult to train muscles? It turns out using low-weight volumes and high repetitions actually lead to the greatest hypertrophy or enlargement of muscle fibers through providing more amino acids into muscles. Studies have found out that religiously focusing on full-body workouts, eating small and proper healthy meals throughout the day, and incorporating a thorough warm up can all help you in building and maintaining muscle mass in areas that are tough to train.

References:
1. Fetter, K. A. Self. 2017. Why It’s So Hard to Work Your Lower Abs. Retrieved from: https://www.self.com/story/work-lower-abs. Retrieved on 21 September 2020.
2. Generation Iron Fitness Network. 2020. Hardest Muscles To Build. Retrieved from: https://generationiron.com/hardest-muscles/. Retrieved on 21 September 2020.
3. Right Path Fitness. 2018. 5 Of The Hardest To Train Body Areas. Retrieved from: https://rightpathfitness.co.uk/5-of-the-hardest-to-train-body-areas/. Retrieved on 21 September 2020.
4. Stutsman, J. SportsRec. 2011. The Hardest Area of the Body to Tone or Build. Retrieved from: https://www.sportsrec.com/187643-the-hardest-area-of-the-body-to-tone-or-build.html. Retrieved on 21 September 2020.

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