Body anatomy

How to grow your muscles depending on the length of your limbs

The length of the limbs in relation to the length of the torso is one of the main factors that determine how stimulated the muscles you work on are.

The length of the limbs in relation to the length of the torso is one of the main factors that determine how stimulated the muscles you work on are.

Can the length of the limbs play a role in choosing exercises? YES! Choosing exercises is among the most important variables in a workout. Do not give importance to the chosen exercises as if a doctor would prescribe 100 mg of any medicine you want!

Doesn’t make sense, does it? The same with training! Sets, repetitions and training methods are the dose and exercises are the medicine.

Anyone will improve their body and performance if it gets stronger at the core exercises, but just doing them will put more accent on certain muscle groups and less on others and you will not get what you desire.

Some want to get a very well developed chest from bench press and others will develop only the deltoids and triceps from this exercise. Some will develop their feet from squats and others only buttocks.

The length of the limbs in relation to the length of the torso determines which muscles are most stimulated. Here’s what this is about.

Somatic type 1 – long limbs / short torso

  • It progresses better in the pull exercises than in the push exercises

  • It is easier for them to increase their strength in hip bending / straightening exercises than in squats.

Pushing exercises for upper body

  • The chest develops easiest

  • Then the deltoids

  • The triceps develop the hardest

Pulling exercises for the upper body

  • The dorsi muscles develops most easily

  • Then the posterior deltoids and rhomboids

  • The biceps are in 3rd place

  • The upper trapeze is the most difficult to develop

The lower part of the body

  • The buttocks develop most easily

  • In second place are the femoral muscles

  • Then the quadriceps

  • Calves grow the hardest

Somatic type 2 – short limbs / long torso

  • It tends to progress more easily in the pushing exercises than in the pulling ones

  • It is easier for them to increase their strength in squats than in straightening

Pushing exercises for upper body

  • The triceps develop most easily

  • Then the deltoids

  • The chest is developing hardest

Pulling exercises for the upper body

  • The upper trapeze is the easiest to develop

  • In second place are the biceps

  • Then the rhomboids

  • The dorsi muscles are the most difficult to develop

The lower part of the body

  • The quadriceps muscles develop most easily

  • Then the calves

  • On third place are the femoral muscles

  • The buttocks develop the hardest

These are true in most cases, but there are also exceptions (for example, Arnold had long limbs and some huge biceps).

This information helps you to better choose your side exercises to work more on the weak muscle groups. For example, if you have short legs, you do not need assistance exercises for quadriceps. It will grow very well from squats and the rest of the energy you can invest in the weak parts. But in this case you will need more direct exercises for the buttocks and femoral muscles.

You don’t need a lot of direct exercises for muscle groups that you can easily develop, but you will need a lot of work on those muscles that are hard to grow.

Knowing all this also helps you to better select your base exercises. For example, if you have long legs, it is better to do squats with bar in front than with the bar in back. Why? Because it will stimulate your quadriceps muscles better. And lifting your heels on something will work.

As with everything in life, workouts must be customized to achieve maximum efficiency.

Image source: researchgate.net

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