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Do your legs grow faster than other body parts?

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by pniemczyk, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. pniemczyk

    pniemczyk Active Member

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    Hey all, I was wondering something. When I try to put on bulk, I put muscle on my thighs and hamstrings waaay more easily than on other body parts. My legs just seem to explode, but not so for my upper body! :confused:

    Do you think it's because legs are easier to isolate than other body parts, or is it some genetic predisposition?

    Any other similar experiences?
     
  2. optheta

    optheta Active Member

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    I dont know the answer but i feel you on how much bigger my legs look in proportion to my upper body. When i look in the mirror my legs look like HUGE.
     
  3. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    It may be partly genetics, but it's probably just the simple fact that the exercises that use the most weight and involve the most muscle are the ones that primarily hit the lower body. Most of them also overlap in their focus. So, the thighs and hips see the most growth because they get the strongest stimulus.

    Keep in mind that second to your legs and hips is your back, which you can't see in the mirror (which can make it harder to judge progress) and also a group of muscles that are often underemphasized in comparison to the chest and shoulders. If you're devoting the time that you should to that group and have managed "to figure out" the appropriate mind / muscle connection, you should be able to see tremendous growth there as well. So, while your lower body might grow faster than the rest, the back should be able to help the upper body out.
     
    #3 chicanerous, Nov 17, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  4. pniemczyk

    pniemczyk Active Member

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    Oh man, it's funny you mention getting the mind-muscle b/c I've been having a hard time establishing a mind-muscle connection with my back. I've been training for a few years but never feel like I'm really working my back properly.

    Any tips, other than "squeeze the shoulder blades together?"
     
  5. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    - make sure your grip is more than sufficient for the weight you're moving (use straps if necessary)
    - pull "through the elbows"
    - get a strong scapular retraction
    - keep the scapula pressed down

    In overhead pulls particularly, the last one is important. If you can't get some depression in addition to retraction, you're either not strong enough, the weight is too heavy, or your set is in the diminishing returns phase.

    Articulations: http://www.exrx.net/Articulations/Scapula.html
     
  6. pniemczyk

    pniemczyk Active Member

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    Hey chicanerous, thanks for that. this was really helpful, after i googled some of the terminology. in particular, i seem to have an issue finding the right weight to use. at lower weights, i form a mind-muscle connection but don't seem to impact my back much; at higher weights, i think i use my arms too much. i'm going to pay more attention to the scapular movements.
     
  7. Gordo

    Gordo Well-Known Member

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    Mostly genetic predisposition, some of it technique.
     
  8. optheta

    optheta Active Member

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    I was wondering what about the persons body type. I mean like how proportional there lower body is to there upper body? Because My legs are freakishly long compared to my upper body.
     
  9. pniemczyk

    pniemczyk Active Member

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    I have relatively long legs as well, but even then i am still able to generate much more bulk in my upper legs.

    I think there is something to the genetic predisposition claim. In particular, I've noticed one very important feature in my leg workouts: I can squat and press a lot more weight (with good form) than the next guy of my same size. While weight alone isn't everything, I have a lot more strength in my legs per amount of leg muscle (this strength is probably genetic), whereas I've also noticed that my upper body strength compared to other guys my size is only par and my upper body is definitely trailing my legs.

    I think this highlights the important, but somewhat elusive, relationship between strength and muscle gains.
     
  10. optheta

    optheta Active Member

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    Yeah for me its the exact opposite I have fairly big Legs but strength wise im not even close. But i also think it has to do with my upper body/core strength being able to control the weight. As I go higher 180+ I find that i tend to be squashed like an Accordion not literately but to somewhat of an extent.
     
  11. pniemczyk

    pniemczyk Active Member

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    Oh wow, so you're right, that's almost the opposite of my situation... you have big legs but don't think you have great leg strength. The relationship between strength and mass is still murky to me. I need to do more research. :read:
     
  12. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I think it's because legs are strong even in untrained people. Legs and back are strong because they have to be. And when you start training them, you hit them hard because they are somewhat used to it, and they can take it.
     

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