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Men’s fitness: 3 tips for achieving proportionality between upper and lower body

The truth is, there just aren’t many men out there who really take the time to look in the mirror and admit to themselves that those legs just aren’t keeping up with the upper body.

Even some of the strongest men on the planet often have disproportionally small legs in comparison to their bulky upper bodies.

And while genetics do play a part in the makeup of the human body in relation to how it reacts to exercise — if we’re being honest, it seems that most men just aren’t doing something right when it comes to the way they are approaching their workouts.

So how can we achieve that so coveted proportionality between the upper and lower body?

1. Scratch leg day – enter leg days. 

To get the results you’re looking for, no matter what style of workout routine you’re doing, it is crucial to at least match every ounce of upper-body effort with lower-body effort. But don’t be afraid to go hard and hit the legs at least two, if not three times per week.

Rep for rep and minute for minute — the legs need just as much (if not even more) attention, depending on the body type, than the easily-ballooning upper body that most men have.

Taking the extra time to focus on weaknesses, whatever they may be, is worth the effort every time, but especially when it comes to the lower body.

2. Hit the cardio like you mean it.

In addition, a serious cardio regimen such as Beachbody’s Insanity program, for example, can make a serious difference in leg size and bulk while giving the entire body a more cut/shredded look as well.

If you are mainly a weightlifter, try doing Insanity on top of that and watch as your body transforms. If Insanity’s 60-minute (on average) workouts are too long for you to complete on top of your gym workouts, consider trying the 30-minute Insanity Max 30 instead.

You could also create your own workout. Just hit it hard! Maybe hit the pool and swim, or go for a run. Find what works for you. Put in some cardio work before or after your heavy weightlifting, and you will absolutely see amazing results pronto.

3. Don’t be afraid to go from a ballooned, bulky upper body look to a slimmer, more shredded physique.

for some people to achieve proportionality, they have to become slimmer and more athletic.

If you’ve exhausted every option in the gym or otherwise and your legs still just aren’t able to match your giant shoulders, arms, and back — don’t panic. Just consider allowing yourself to go for a leaner, more shredded look to match your already maxed out legs.

This is a strategy that is frowned upon by those who would rather try to force the legs to match a bulky upper body. But the legs, as we know, can be very stubborn.

Going for a more shredded look by adding more cardio/circuit based (pull up/ push up/ burpee/ squat/ low weight- high rep) training as opposed to complete heavy weight training can and does work very well for the purpose of achieving proportionality. And there are benefits to doing so.

Ever heard that bigger is not necessarily stronger? It’s true… sort of. You’re good at what you train at. If your training consists completely of high weight – low rep bulking exercises, you will be a beast, for example, in a fight, for a very short period of time — but your endurance will be lacking.

Training with a heavy cardio emphasis opens the door to max stamina and functional fitness. So don’t be afraid to step out of the box and give it a try, at least for a portion of your weekly routine.

You may still have to hit the legs with larger weights and do big-boy exercises (squats, leg presses, hamstring curls, quad extensions etc.) to achieve maximum proportionality if they are EXTREMELY stubborn. But at the end of the day, going after a more athletic body type is an excellent way to build a more proportional and functional body.

Try out these tips to look better, feel better about yourself, and to end the legs war once and for all.