Certain qualities go together in the molding of a championship physique and a prize-winning physique. These qualities are mainly muscularity, symmetry, definition, and last but not least, ” muscle shape.” This is the quality that designates an average bodybuilder from an outstanding physique champ.

Stand Out From The Crowd

When you have “muscle shape,” you’ll stand out among everyone else at your gym.

Many great bodybuilders simply disregard this important quality. It almost seems stupid that a bodybuilder whose goal is improving his physique should overlook this important step. One reason for this is simply because some bodybuilders are unaware of what a physique with proper shape looks like and how to go about improving the shape of their physique. Let’s hope this article makes some bodybuilders aware of this great quality.

man performing two arm dumbbell curls

In most pro bodybuilders’ opinions, a physique with great shape is very pleasing to look at and has no short or knotty muscle group, which makes you look grotesque.

Muscle shape has always been something the bodybuilding pros have strived for. Each muscle should be fully developed and must not overcompensate any others. You can even go as far back as 70 years and see physique champs with amazing shapes like Steve Reeves

Common Faults

Saggy pectorals, short biceps, high lats, high triceps. These are some inferior features the bodybuilder is likely to have. Even though you can’t change your body shape, you can improve it immensely. You can be sure with a bit of hard work, good results can be yours. 

How To Get Muscle Shape – Tips And Exercises


When the delts are fully developed, they have a coconut-looking appearance. Many bodybuilders tend to over-develop the frontal delts, mainly due to performing a lot of pressing movements and lack of lateral work. To remedy this, we need a routine of dumbbell work: After all of your pressing, do side lateral for the posterior or rear delts.

Dumbbell laterals are a popular movement worldwide for bodybuilders and are great for overall shape. Do these at the end of your delt workout. The amount of sets and reps is up to you. You will know what works best for your body type with a little experimentation.



The “pecs,” as they have been nicknamed, are a muscle group many bodybuilders tend to overdevelop. Most bodybuilders rely on the beach press too much. The beach press is ideal for some, but others get better results from incline or decline position. It’s best to do a combination of both incline and flat.

Dumbbells laterals are great for giving the pecs that most sort after square effect. The laterals should be done strictly with a stretching movement. Heavyweight here is not important.

In conclusion, the pecs should be well defined and not the least bit saggy. More upper pec work than lower work should give you a pleasing development.



When the bicep is properly developed, it should extend the whole length of the arm to the elbow. It should not have a short or knotty appearance. In a flexed position, the biceps should have a full appearance with a slight peak. Both qualities should be present if you want to have a well-developed arm.

If your arm is lacking a peak? I would recommend some concentration curl movements. If your bicep lacks fullness, do seated incline dumbbell curls or regular dumbbell curls. In this case, the starting position is the key to full development.



A properly developed tricep should have a horseshoe effect, with sufficient thickness and muscularity adjacent to the elbow. If your triceps lack muscularity, dumbbell extensions should do the trick. A full stretch is very important. If you lack thickness around the elbow area, triceps press down on the lat machine with some close grip seated presses should help immensely. Heavy weight, in this particular case, would give the best results.


Latissmus Dorsi

The “lats,” as they are called, should extend down to the waist level when fully developed. The lower lats should be as fully developed as the upper portion to have full development. Heavy barbell rows and lat machine pull-downs should be performed in your workouts if you lack development in the upper area.

Some bodybuilders have trouble developing their lower lats, and I know many find close grip chins, and close grip pully rows really help to develop this area. Deadlifts should also be included.



Being a dense muscle, the calf needs a lot of work for stimulation. If you’re someone who has high calf development, you’ll need to give the calves a complete stretch before exercising them. Do each repetition very slowly with a concentrated effort. Do calf movements employing all three foot positions – outer, inner, straight.

If your calf is really lacking, It might be a good idea to work them six days a week, doing 10 to 15 reps with no less than 5 to 10 sets. Many bodybuilders will work their calves from 4 to 6 days a week, doing as many as 20 to 30 sets of 10 reps. Most find the best results come by using the calf machine. With some experimentation, you’ll find what works best for you.



When the thighs are fully developed, they should have a sweeping appearance. When seen from the back, the “thigh bicep” should be full and as equally developed as the front. If the thigh biceps are lacking, the buttocks will look larger than they actually are. Some pros recommend performing half squats for front thigh development.

Front squats will give your things a sweeping appearance from hip to knee.

For thigh shape, a great exercise is “binges.” This exercise is excellent for stretching and thigh shape. The thigh bicep is overlooked by a great many bodybuilders mainly because they believe that squats stimulate them sufficiently.

This can be a superior muscle to develop. For best results, thigh curls and deadlifts are about best for this area.

To Sum Up

Just about every bodybuilder, at one time or another, has a problem with muscle shape. With some work and perseverance, I’m sure the results you want can be obtained to a certain extent. Everyone has room for some improvement.

An overall training program with various exercises will shape your muscles to heights which I’m sure you’ll find more than satisfactory.

References & Excerpts

Dennis Tinerino, former Mr. America: Article, Muscle Shape. Strength & Health Magazine

Julie Netto: Article, How we can change our body shape with exercise. Website: https://theconversation.com