Exercises for Mesomorph Body Type

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Congratulations! If you are a mesomorph, you’ve hit the genetic jackpot, and pretty much any type of hard, heavy training is going to result in a stellar physique.

Yet even among this blessed brotherhood, physique imbalances abound, making careful exercise-selection a must.

1. Incline Dumbbell Press

Even among men with impressive physiques, bottom-heavy chests are more common, and those with matching upper-chest thickness are few and far between.

Incline barbell presses are fine, but most lifters have difficulty recruiting their upper pecs. Thus, the front delts take over.

Using dumbbells allows you to target the upper pecs more easily and establish a better mind-muscle connection during the exercise. Dumbbells require more balance and coordination. They also allow for superior range of motion compared to the barbell, as well as providing stronger, more isolated contractions.

2. Hack Squat

Lagging legs are common in the lifting population in general. Of those who do have decent legs, few have the type of outer quad sweep that makes for exceptional lower-body definition.

The best exercise for developing the outer quads, mainly the vastus lateralis, is the hack squat.

Hack squats can be tough on the knees, so don’t try to go super heavy or super deep. Choose a weight you can get to parallel with for 12-15 reps to start, then as your knees adapt you can go heavier over time.

3. Rear Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Once again, great front delts are very common, but side deltoid development is less so. Rarely do you see a serious lifter whose rear delts even remotely match the other two heads of the shoulder.

Rear delts, if they are even trained consistently, are typically shunted to the end of shoulder workouts where they have little chance of being hit properly.

To fix this, work your rear delts with rear dumbbell raises for just as many sets as would for the front and side versions. And don’t wait to the end of your workout—if you have a muscle that needs to grow, do it first when you have the energy and focus to help it grow!

4. Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

Great quads aren’t commonplace, but great hamstrings are even harder to find. Most of us train hamstrings after they’ve been wiped out by an hour or more of blasting quads, and do a couple of lackluster sets of lying leg curls before calling it a leg day.

RDLs with a barbell, done with a slight bend of the knee, are unparalleled for building hamstrings. Do your RDLs first on either a full leg day, or on a separate day devoted to hamstring work separate from the quads.

5. Seated Calf Raise

If you think well-developed hamstrings are hard to find, great calves are like unicorns—few, if any, exist. Granted, there is a significant genetic component to calf training, and low insertions are required to build monster calves.

That said, most of us never make the most of what we have due to half-ass training and—let’s be honest—neglect. A couple sets of standing calf raises won’t cut it. Standing exercises work the gastrocnemius, the diamond-shaped portion of the muscle visible on the outside. If impressive calves are your goal, you need to work the spade-shaped soleus muscle that lies underneath.

The only way to train the soleus is with the knees completely bent, as in the seated calf raise. Add a few heavy sets of 15-20 reps into your routine, along with standing calf raises and toe presses on a leg press. As with the rear delts, if you want bigger calves, make them a priority!

There you have it, the five best exercises for your body type. Start including them in all your workouts, and watch your physique grow and evolve ever closer to personal perfection! 🙂 🙂

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