There is a long list of classically left-behind body parts that stay the same size while the rest of your muscles grow. From biceps to rear delts, it can be difficult to include some body parts in your workout, especially when you’re following the tried-and-true method of composing your workouts with mostly compound lifts.
Some of the most common lagging muscles include traps, calves, and forearms. These muscles can have a huge effect on the rest of your lifts, as well as your appearance, which is why bringing them up should be high on your priority list. Instead of adding half an hour of isolation work onto your already hour-long workout, try this workout finisher instead:
The Farmer’s Walk/Calf Raise/Shrug Workout Finisher Sequence
Alright, we know what you’re thinking: “Those are just three different exercises.” That’s true; however, when performed in an efficient way, they can provide a quick fix for bringing up lagging body parts, boosting your lifts and correcting muscle imbalances. The farmer’s walk/calf raise/shrug sequence benefits your entire body, with the biggest contributions to these muscles:
- Core muscles
- Quads & Hamstrings
Start the sequence with a pair of heavy dumbbells or kettlebells – aim for a weight you can do 12-15 shrugs with. With the dumbbells in hand and your arms hanging straight down at your sides, begin your farmer’s walk. Take short, consistent steps while keeping your back straight. Depending on the size of your gym’s strength training area, you can do a full lap, but it’s a good rule of thumb to go until you start feeling a slight burn in your forearms and traps. With your dumbbells still in hand, walk over to anything slightly elevated (3 or 4 inches off the ground), and step onto your surface with the balls of your feet, leaving your heels hanging off. Raise yourself up with your calves; and while at the top of your calf raise range of motion, perform a shrug with a three-second hold and lower yourself down to the bottom of the calf raise range of motion. Repeat this until you can barely hang onto the dumbbells (if you’re getting more than 15 reps, go up in weight) then walk them back to the rack.
Performing two sets of this workout finisher a few times a week will help even out your physique while also strengthening the smaller muscles like your lower traps and stabilizer muscles for safer, stronger lifting and better posture.
Images courtesy of T-Nation