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Neglected Muscles and How to Build Them


The difficulty with a subject such as this, is that everyone is different. For example many men tend to concentrate on their chest and triceps, while neglecting their legs.

But there are also a large percentage of men that concentrate solely on legs (runners) and neglect their upper body entirely.

Women also tend to neglect their chest and shoulders in favour of legs.

Then there are the people who concentrate on abs and little else, while there are others who concentrate on all muscles but never train their abs specifically (they’ll say that their other exercises indirectly work the abs).

So when it comes to talking about neglected muscles, you have to decide who you are talking to.

In this case let’s assume that the majority of readers are young men who are looking to build big muscles.

If you do not fit into this bracket then you may not be neglecting these muscles (and may have some of your own that you are neglecting) but you’ll still benefit from learning how to perform some of the exercises we are going to mention.

Neglected Muscle #1. Rear Delts

The Deltoid muscle group is an odd one in that it is one muscle group (shoulders) that is split into three heads: the front deltoids, middle deltoids (sometimes known as side delts) and rear deltoids.

Most pressing movements for the upper body (bench press, shoulder press) work the front delts (and to a lesser extent the middle delts). But they do not adequately work the rear delts.

As a result of this neglect the rear delts can become significantly weaker than the other two and are therefore much more prone to injury.

They can also hold you back on the aforementioned pushing movements, by not giving you the stability required to optimally press the weight.

Exercise to perform: Face Pulls

Grab a rope pulley and set it to head height, grab a handle in each hand and walk back to give the pulley some slack.

Standing perfectly still with chest our and shoulders back, pull the handles towards your face, until the centre of the rope is almost touching the bridge of your nose. Make sure that your elbows are raised high throughout the movement.

If you feel pressure around your shoulders then stop the movement, even if the rope is nowhere near your face. You will not get any benefits from pulling further than your shoulders can manage.

Just be patient and your range of motion will slowly increase the more face pulls you perform.

Neglected Muscle #2. Hamstrings

Most guys have come round to the belief that you can’t skip leg day forever and hope to build an impressive physique.

As a result squats, leg press, and walking lunges are fast becoming popular exercises with guys. Sadly while these exercises are incredibly effective at building strong glutes and quadriceps, they barely work the hamstrings at all.

This can lead to a big imbalance which can ruin any chance of symmetry, and more seriously can lead to an increased risk of injury.

Exercise to perform: Romanian Deadlifts

Grab a barbell or two dumbbells and hold them at waist height. Bend your legs very slightly so that your knees are “soft”.

Push your chest out and pull your shoulders back, then you are going to bow forward at the waist – keeping your chest out (and therefore keeping your lower back straight).

Pause when your hamstrings start screaming and then slowly rise back upwards until you are fully upright again. Your legs should barely have moved throughout this exercise.

Neglected Muscle #3. Calves

One of the biggest complaints that bros (in particular) have is that their calves won’t grow no matter how much they train them.

But the truth is that for a lot of guys they just aren’t training calves often, or hard enough.

If you want big calves then you need to treat them like you would your chest or arms.

Train them 3-5 times a week if needs be, and put them through a variety of rep ranges and weights.

Exercise to perform: Seated calf raises, donkey raises, seated calf press, standing calf raises, walking on tip toes, farmers walks.

It’s not so much about learning how to perform these exercises – they are incredibly straight forward.

It’s about prioritising them until they have caught up with your other muscles.

Now some people are genetically cursed to have small calves proportionate to their body. But that is still no excuse to neglect them, no matter how small your calves are – no muscle doesn’t respond to muscular overload. So start training them hard!

Other Neglected Muscles that Didn’t Make the Cut

Biceps/triceps – as crazy as it sounds, a lot of guys neglect these muscles as training them isn’t “functional”.

Whilst prioritising them above all else is a “bro” move, neglecting them completely is equally stupid.

Lower Back – People are too scared to perform deadlifts, good mornings, Romanian deadlifts, or hyperextensions due to fear of hurting their back.

Ironically, neglecting the lower back is the fastest way to injure it!

Abs – While people who claim that they train their abs indirectly are correct (deadlifts, squats, even bench presses work your abs), they still require some TLC of their own. Particularly if you want a six pack.




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