No matter how good your diet and training plan is, certain muscle groups that are easy or hard to train, and that’s why they typically build more or less muscle mass over time.

In this article, we will go through the sixteen easiest and hardest muscles to build in our body and get the proper strategy and workouts to hit those muscle groups for better gains efficiently.

8 Easiest Muscles to Build

16 Easiest and Hardest Muscles to Build (WITH SOLUTIONS!)

Here’re the eight muscles we can easily train and build mass.

1. Latissimus Dorsi (Lats)

The number one pick for the easy-to-build muscle list is latissimus dorsi — the large V-shaped muscles connecting our arms to the vertebral column.

They cover a major part of our back and help protect and stabilize our spine while controlling the movement of the shoulder and arm for good posture.

Why it’s easy to build:

The latissimus dorsi is often engaged in our everyday activities. These include swimming, opening a heavy door, pulling rope or picking up bags from the floor.

As males, we want a wider upper body, and the lat is the main muscle responsible for that. So, we tend to hit that muscle with many different movements or more than once per week.

The lats have a wide range of exercises that we can easily perform to provide the maximum stress on that muscle.

The best lats exercises:

  • Lat pulldown
  • Straight-arm pulldown
  • Dumbbell pullover
  • Dumbbell gorilla row
  • Single-arm dumbbell row 

2. Rectus Femoris (Quadriceps)

The rectus femoris is part of the quadriceps group, covering the front and sides of the thigh. Its primary function is knee extension and also assist with hip flexion.

Why it’s easy to build: 

Whether we’re living a sedentary lifestyle or exercising regularly, the rectus femoris is involved in almost every movement when we try to move our body from one place to another.

This muscle is largely engaged in most lower body exercises and assists in the upper body standing movements as well.

Whether we’re trying to hit the quadriceps muscle in the gym or with bodyweight movements, we can easily perform an extensive list of exercises to smash this muscle.

The best quadriceps exercises:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Leg extension
  • Seated leg press
  • Bulgarian split squat

3. Gluteus Maximus

The gluteus maximus is the hip’s largest muscle, which appears on each side of the hips. This muscle is typically used for extension, external rotation, abduction and adduction of the thighs.

Why it’s easy to build:

The first and most obvious reason is that the gluteus maximus muscle not only activates when we train it but is also very much engaged in our regular activities like walking.

Another reason is that this muscle can be pumped up with many secondary exercises (like squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc.), which activates it several times per week, leading to greater gains.

And also, there’re many easy yet effective exercises available for us to hit this muscle specifically.

The best gluteus maximus exercises:

  • Two-leg bridge
  • Cook hip lift
  • Quadruped hip extension with knee flexion
  • Side plank with hip abduction
  • Prone plank with hip extension

4. Trapezius

The next number goes to the trapezius (traps). This muscle starts at the base of our neck, goes across our shoulders and ends in the middle of our back. 

We can divide it into three parts, upper, middle, and lower traps.

This muscle helps us in various ways, including moving our head, neck, arms, shoulders and torso. It also stabilizes our spine and improves posture.

Why it’s easy to build:

Whether we’re doing heavy deadlifts or any pulling movements, this muscle is pretty much engaged in some upper body and lower body exercises.

A bigger upper trap gives us an aesthetic look to our upper body and helps us look bigger, so we tend to hit that muscle several times per week or by an intensive session.

When we do intensive upper back workouts, the middle and lower traps muscles are engaged, which is also responsible for better growth.

The best trapezius exercises:

  • Farmer’s walk
  • Barbell shrugs
  • Face pull press
  • The “Y” raise
  • Prone reverse fly

Related: 9 Best Exercises for Bigger and Stronger Traps

5. Triceps

The next rank goes for triceps, a large muscle on the back of our upper arm. It consists of three parts, the lateral, long, and medial head.

This muscle is typically responsible for the extension of the elbow joints and helps to straighten our arms.

Why it’s easy to build: 

The main reason is that it’s easy to train and there’re various triceps exercises we can efficiently perform in the gym or at home.

This muscle is also engaged in heavy compound movements like bench press, military press, etc.

And also, this is the muscle placed in an attractive part of our body; that’s why we’re really motivated to hit that muscle at least twice a week as they’re pretty engaged during other upper body workouts.

The best triceps exercises:

  • Lying triceps extension
  • Diamond pushup
  • Dumbbell kickback
  • Rope pushdown
  • Triceps bench dips

6. Pectoralis Major (Chest)

The pectoralis major is a large, fan-shaped muscle situated at the chest of the human body and extends to the bone of the upper arm.

Its major functions include adduction or depression of the arm and rotation of the arm forward about the axis of the body.

Why it’s easy to build: 

Although the pectoralis major can’t activate enough while we train other parts of the body, we give it one or two entire sessions to hit this big muscle, leading to great stress to this muscle.

You can do many effective exercises to crush your chest at home or in the gym efficiently.

The best pectoralis major exercises:

  • Bench press
  • Dumbbell fly
  • Cable crossover
  • Incline dumbbell press
  • Plate squeeze press

Related: 9 EFFECTIVE Exercises to Tain Your Inner Chest

7. Shoulders

There’re three heads in the shoulder: front, middle, and rear delts, which are incredibly important when it comes to overall strength, healthy mobility, and the size of our upper body.

Building strong shoulders can impressively improve our push, pull, and lift ability both in the gym or outside.

Why it’s easy to build: 

We can easily train and contract the shoulder muscle for fatigue to get better growth.

Also, many compound movements like bench press, pull-ups, etc., greatly activate the deltoids, activating these muscles several times per week to maximize gain.

Furthermore, we can efficiently hit the shoulders, both with weights or without weights.

The best shoulder exercises:

  • Barbell overhead press
  • Arnold press
  • Dumbbell side raise
  • Face pull
  • Dumbbell rear delt row

8. Rhomboids

The rhomboids are two bilateral, superficial muscles located in the upper back. Together with the trapezius, levator scapulae and latissimus dorsi, they comprise the upper layer of the extrinsic back muscles.

Why it’s easy to build: 

The rhomboid muscles can activate several times per week if we follow a split workout routine because this muscle is engaged during the back as well as shoulder and traps workouts.

This muscle also works during heavy workouts (like deadlifts) or when we do any pulling movements in our regular life.

The best gluteus maximus exercises:

  • Prone lateral raise
  • Front raise thumbs up
  • Rear delt fly
  • Scapular retraction
  • Scapular wall slides

8 Hardest Muscles to Build

8 Hardest Muscles to Build (With Best Solution!)

Let’s check out the eight hardest muscles in terms of training and building mass efficiently.

1. Lower Abs

The first in this list is lower abs which connect our upper and lower body.

Why it’s hard to build:

Although we can contract the lower abs while training but it’s the area where our body lose fat at the very end compared to any other part of the body, causing invisible lower abs no matter how hard we train to build it.

How to build lower abs:

The first tip for your to show your lower abs is to lower your body fat percentage.

“You’ll need to lower your body fat to about 6-13 percent for men and 14-20 percent for women in order to show your defined six-pack abs,” according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

To lose weight, consume a calorie deficit diet along with abs and cardio workouts. Remember, taking adequate sleep and drinking 3 to 4 liters of water are also crucial.

The best lower abs exercises:

  • Reverse crunch
  • Front leg raise
  • Hanging leg raises
  • Mountain climber
  • Boat pose

2. Obliques

The obliques are situated on the abdomen’s lateral and anterior parts. It helps rotate the trunk and pull the chest down to compress the abdominal cavity and support the spine’s rotation.

Why it’s hard to build:

Like lower abs, the obliques lie under the thick layer of fats (love handle) in our stomach.

So, no matter how hard we train, we need to first drop our fat percentage in order to get defined obliques.

And also, most people train their abs very well but not oblique, leading to underdeveloped lateral parts of our core. So, make sure you’re hitting your obliques consistently.

The best obliques exercises: 

  • Side bridge
  • Side crunches
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Downward wood chopper
  • Twisting leg raises

3. Calves

There’re two muscles in the calf — gastrocnemius and soleus.

The gastrocnemius is the larger one and has two parts, medial and lateral. This muscle is used to get a quick burst of energy for a short period, like during sprinting.

Why it’s hard to build:

The main reason for underdeveloped calves is low-frequency training, meaning you’re most likely to train your calves only once per week or less than that.

Another cause would be that many people can’t contract their calf muscles effectively, leading to less muscle stress.

How to build calves:

Your number one priority should be hitting the calves at least 2 to 4 times per week, and you should make sure you’re squeezing and stretching this muscle while doing workouts.

The best calves exercises: 

  • Standing calf raises
  • Seated calf raises
  • Calf press on a machine

Related: How to Build Bigger Calf FAST? (The Perfect Plan!)

4. Forearms

The forearm is the region of the upper limb between the elbow and the wrist. It contains a bunch of muscle groups such as brachioradialis, extensor muscles, and flexors muscles.

Building stronger forearms can help you in several ways, like improving grip strength, preventing injuries, and promoting heavy gym exercises.

Why it’s hard to build:

The forearm muscles are involved in almost every activity we do in the gym or regular life, causing this muscle to be familiar with regular works, so they don’t grow easily.

Another reason would be the lack of training and intensity. We most likely train our forearms at the end of our arms day, leading to an increased chance of being ignored or less intensive.

Because sometimes at the end of our workouts, we may feel low in energy or shortage in time.

How to build forearm:

To build the forearm bigger and stronger than before, we have to put heavy loads that they’re not familiar with before.

And our aim should be to train the forearm at least 2 to 4 days per week with proper intensity.

Here’s your forearm workout plan:

  • Reverse barbell curl: 3 x 12-15 repetitions max (RM)
  • Kneeling wrist curl: 2 x 8-12 RM
  • Reverse wrist curl: 2 x 12-15 RM
  • Farmer’s walk: 45-60 seconds
  • Supination and pronation: 2 x 12-15 RM
  • Dead hang burnout: 45-60 seconds

Related: 13 BEST Forearm Exercises: With Dumbbells, Machine, & at Home

5. Neck

Building a thicker neck isn’t only enhance your aesthetic look but also helps to reduce your neck pain.

A strong neck can also help support the cervical spine and contribute to the movements of our head, upper back, and shoulders.

Why it’s hard to build:

The common reason for the thinner neck in most people is lack of training. Many people can’t even realize that they need to train that muscle.

Also, you may feel shy about working out neck muscles as it’s quite challenging to train and sometimes it may cause a little headache when you just start training your neck.

However, a 2010 study showed that training neck muscles could reduce neck pain and headaches for the long term. 

How to build a neck:

The number one way to build a bigger neck is to work out.

Training about 1 to 2 times per week might be sufficient for normal people, where wrestlers and boxers need 3 to 4 times per week to strengthen the neck rapidly.

Here’s your neck workout plan:

  • Neck curl: 2 x 15-20
  • Neck extension: 2 x 15-20
  • Neck lateral flexion: 2 x 12-15
  • Neck lateral rotation: 2 x 12-15
  • Barbell shrugs: 3 x 8-12

Related: How to Get a Thicker and Stronger Neck Safely?

6. Hamstrings

The hamstrings are a group of three muscles that predominantly act in flexion of the knee and extension of the hip.

Why it’s hard to build:

One of the main reasons for an underdeveloped hamstring is that it’s quite hard to contract and fatigue this muscle fiber.

Another reason would be many gyms don’t have the special equipment to hit all three heads of the hamstring, causing less stress on the muscle.

How to build hamstrings:

If you want to get a well-developed hamstring fast, your number one priority should be hitting this muscle at least twice a week.

You should also include a stretching routine after your hamstring workout and in the rest days as well.

The best hamstring exercises:

  • Lying leg curl
  • Deadlift
  • Razor curl
  • Toes-elevated dumbbell RDL
  • Dumbbell good morning

7. Rear Deltoids

The rear deltoid is the posterior head of the shoulder, which assist us in improving posture, pulling objects, and getting attractive thicker shoulders.

Why it’s hard to build:

The reason for the underdeveloped and weak rear delts is that most of the time, we tend to lift heavy, which causes a significant involvement of other muscles. As a result, less muscle contraction.

Another reason is that many beginners don’t train their rear delts as they’re not visible from the front.

How to build rear deltoids:

You should make sure you’re choosing a weight that you can perform the workouts with proper form while hitting this muscle. Perform your rear delts routine more than once for better results.

Here’re the best rear delts exercises:

  • Barbell high row
  • Face pulls
  • Reverse pec deck flye
  • Assisted pullups
  • Bent over cable reverse fly

8. Biceps

There’re two heads of the biceps: the short head and the long head. It’s one of the most demanding muscles for most young guys.

Another muscle seated on the lateral part of the biceps is the brachii which helps to increase our biceps’ width.

The biceps brachii bends the forearm toward the upper arm and is used in lifting and pulling movements.

Why it’s hard to build:

Although contracting biceps is pretty easy, but the problem is we can’t consistently implement training like progressive overload or overload in and of.

Many factors influence our biceps growth, including our age, gender, genetic predisposition, training frequency, stress levels, diet and more.

How to build biceps:

If you feel your biceps growth is stopped and can’t increase its size, then you need to do something dramatically different in your arm workouts to stimulate those muscles effectively.

And this could be either changing your workouts or include something different variations to increase the stress on this muscle.

Here’re the best biceps exercises:

  • Barbell curl
  • Chin-up
  • EZ-bar preacher curl
  • Hammer curl
  • Incline dumbbell curl

Include these exercises in your biceps workout routine to hammer it more badly. Remember, increasing training frequency (like twice a week) can help to grow muscle mass fast.

The Bottom Line

Okayyy, we’ve seen the easiest and hardest muscles to build in our body.

So, look at which muscle is underdeveloped in your body and focus more on that muscle to balance out your overall body.

Now, I’m curious to know, which muscles did you find the hardest to build?

In the beginning, mine was arms and neck. What yours?

Read Next: Top 5 EFFECTIVE Ways to Gain Muscle Size Fast

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