Aesthetic Exercises To Build An Aesthetically Pleasing Physique
When it comes to building a timeless aesthetic physique it's far more than just a matter of hitting the gym consistently and eating well.
It's all about proportions of muscle groups to each other, symmetry and emphasis.
Before we delve into the 5 exercises that I believe are key and should be performed as a priority during your workouts (provided aesthetics is your goal, not pure strength or size) let's take a look at what actually makes a physique aesthetic.
- Broad shoulders
- Bulging biceps with equally developed triceps
- An armour plated chest with emphasis on the upper chest
- V taper from a small waist up to the broad shoulders
- Defined abdominal region
- Well developed legs featuring quad definition with matching hamstrings and bicep-like calves
Hone in on the above and you'll build yourself an aesthetic physique over time.
If we want to take things to the next level, to truly find out what aesthetic perfection looks like, utilizing the Golden Ratio we can determine that the perfect physique is proportioned as follows:
- Your arms when flexed should be 150% bigger than your non dominant wrist circumference.
- Your flexed calves should match the size of your flexed arms.
- Your shoulder circumference should measure 1.618 times larger than your waist.
- Your chest circumference should be 550% larger than the circumference of your non-dominant wrist
- The circumference of your upper thigh should be 75% bigger than the circumference of your knee.
The pursuit of the golden ratio is one that is lifelong, like a sculptor constantly making minor adjustments to his statue - the project is never truly finished.
Now That We Know What Aesthetic Looks Like, Here Are The 5 Aesthetic Exercises
Whether you just want to build a bit more of a taper or you're dedicating your life to chasing the ideal measurements for you as calculated by the golden ratio the following 5 aesthetic exercises will help you on your quest.
1 - Dumbbell Lateral Raises For Broad Shoulders
If building strong shoulders capable of pressing immense weight is your goal then the dumbbell lateral raise probably isn't the #1 shoulder exercise for you... from a purely aesthetic standpoint though the lat raise is ideal.
You'll find that the dumbbell side lateral raise, when performed with strict form completely isolates the medial deltoid.
The medial (side) of your shoulder must be well developed in order for you to display those round, capped shoulders.
Well developed medial deltoids will assist in getting that shoulder to waist ratio as the more developed the medial delts are the wider your shoulders will measure.
2 - Close Grip Barbell Curls For Bulging Biceps
Most guys never venture outside of the standard shoulder-width grip when it comes to their biceps exercises, at the same time most guys don't have the correct arm proportions to deem their physique aesthetic.
Change up the grip to build your biceps!
A narrower than shoulder-width grip on the barbell will place a greater emphasis on the long (outer) head of the biceps.
If you’re struggling to build up a sizeable bicep peak you’re going to benefit from adding in narrow grip curls to your routine.
The narrow grip barbell curl is best performed utilizing the narrow pre-set grip on a EZ-Curl bar as your wrists will not be as stressed as if you assumed the same grip on a straight olympic barbell.
3 - Incline Dumbbell Presses For An Iron Upper Chest
When it comes to building and training your chest 90% of guys will go straight to the flat barbell bench press, when the majority of individuals (trained or not) think of lifting the barbell bench press is generally the first exercise that comes to mind.
Sure, it's good as an overall measure of strength, but it's not going to help you greatly when it comes to training specifically for aesthetics.
Look at any impressive chest and you'll notice that the upper chest is extremely well developed, with minimal lower chest development.
Too much lower chest development will give your chest that 'droopy' look.
Hit your incline dumbbell chest press (incline = emphasis on upper chest) often while steering clear of excessive flat/decline based chest exercises.
4 - Stomach Vacuums For A Tight Core & Defined TVA
Stomach vacuums are an old school exercise that don't get anywhere near as much love as they should.
A tight core and the definition of the adonis belt are two key points when it comes to building the picture perfect physique, yet most guys either don't know about stomach vacuums or just downright think they're a waste of time.
Think about it, the core and waist form the basis of the aesthetic physique, with a larger core and waist you're going to need to pack on that much more muscle mass to your chest, shoulders and arms to get the right proportions.
The solution to this is to work on your stomach vacuums, daily.
Perform 5 vacuums of roughly 20~ seconds in duration every single day, give it a couple of months and you'll see the legitimacy.
5 - Leg Extensions For Tear Drop Quads
If you want to set your physique apart from the rest of dedicated lifters you've got to build an impressive pair of legs, in particular the vanity muscle which in turn gives the teardrop quads look is the vastus medialis, located just above the knee.
In order to build up that elusive teardrop I recommend adding leg extensions to your workout regime.
Both front and back squats are fantastic for the quads too but for purely vanity purposes I recommend the leg extension as it's able to best isolate the vastus medialis, helping us forge those tear drop quads.