How To Build Your Small Muscle Groups (Part 3)

December 14, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

It really is no secret that you have to lift heavy weights if you want to build serious muscle mass, but when building your smaller muscle groups that is not always the case.

Muscles such as your pecs are large in size, so they will need some heavy weight to overload them. But when building your smaller muscle groups, its all about lifting a weight that those muscles can handle.

Its all about lifting the correct weight. If you fail to do this and use the same principles you use to build your large muscles, your exercise will no longer be an isolation exercise.


As you begin to struggle to lift the weight, your body will naturally recruit your other muscles to help you lift the weight.  This decreases the level of concentration needed to help build those smaller muscle groups and you will begin to use improper form when lifting. So not only are you defeating the objective of building your smaller muscle group specifically, you are also leaving yourself open to injury.

So when you are building for your smaller muscle groups, you need to change your mind set from ‘Heavy vs. light’ to ‘As heavy as my muscle can lift’ in an exercise.

Another example is the bicep curl exercise. It’s obvious that you only have to lighten the weight on the bar to once again achieve a sufficient degree of bicep isolation in the lift. The same holds true for rowing exercises – use a heavy weight in sets designed to develop and strengthen the large, powerful muscles of the back, but do rowing sets with much less weight, and a fuller range of motion if you want to isolate and train the smaller inner and middle back muscles.
When you do these sets, the weight will seem very light, almost too light. But that’s the point. The weight has to be light enough that the bigger lats and rhomboids are not really challenged, otherwise the target muscles will virtually go into spasm rather than contract through, what is for them, a full range of motion.

To summarize

As i mentioned back in part one, I wasn’t very aware that i was building my smaller muscle groups when I first began to train. But you now have the knowledge to go ahead and focus on building your smaller muscle groups. Not doing so will only put you at a disadvantage to building that perfect gym body and may lead to,

  • Muscle imbalances
  • Injuries
  • Decrease in performance
  • Weak points in your bodybuilding physique

So do yourself a favour and be sure to make small muscle group training a key part of your weightlifting workout.

See you in the comments.

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