Muscle Length & Strength Correlation

3 Sep No Comments Rolandas Uncategorised

Genetics & Weight TrainingMany people who do weight training find themselves stronger or weaker at some particular exercises. It can get frustrating after a while, when a lot of effort and emphasis on the lagging movement is spared but the difference still exists.

Among others, one of important strength factors is muscle length. It is a scientific fact that shorter (pennate) muscles have higher maximum force output (strength) than longer (fusiform) muscles.

This is determined by 3 qualities of pennate (shorter) muscles:

  • Their fibres are shorter (shorter fibres – higher maximum force output).
  • They have higher numbers of individual fibres.
  • Their range of motion is shorter.

Anatomically, certain muscles and muscle groups have their distinct lengths. We are all the same in that respect. Nevertheless, comparing genetic types, there are very noticeable differences in the same muscles or muscle groups. For example genetic type K has narrow chest (short muscle length) and normally is good at bench press, the movement where chest muscles are prime movers (agonist muscles). The opposite outcome with the bench press is for N type – wide chest (long muscles), less weight lifted. The mightiest of all genetic types – mesomorph – has well balanced ratios of all body parts. Due to specific muscle length, some people may have such anomalies like biceps curl lifts almost as heavy as bench press (short distance between origin and insertion of biceps brachii muscle and long one of pectoralis major).

Of course first and foremost, exercising technique of the weaker movements has to be polished to perfection, program routines have to be designed with increased attention to weaker muscle/movement etc. Only then there is sense in looking at genetic gifts and disadvantages. However, when all the right things are applied but the annoying ratios of weight lifted on different exercises stay – knowing your potential helps. Peace of mind can be regained instead of constant dissatisfaction, when you know some things are just not all up to you.

Identify your strengths and cope with your weaknesses with experienced personal trainer and bodybuilder Rolandas, contact Rolandas’PT4U in London.


Rolandas Malinauskas is online personal trainer with 12 years personal training experience in east London and decorated natural bodybuilder – Natural Physique Association (NPA) Mike Williams Classic 2011 Men’s Lightweight Champion, NPA Mike Williams Classic 2011 Men's Overall Vice-champion and NPA British Championship 2011 Men’s Lightweight Vice-champion. Rolandas has been dedicated to natural bodybuilding for over 18 years now. 3 out of 12 years of personal training career Rolandas has been consulting on one of the biggest schemes of Exercise on GP Referral in London (Islington), allowing him to treat lower back, knee pain, cardiovascular problems, arthritis etc.