What is the Hardest Muscle to Build?

  Mar 21, 2024
Reviewed by Vivek Upadhyay


  • Targeted training method best for building challenging muscles. 
  • Some muscle groups may take more than a month to show positive results. 
  • A dedicated workout plan and following a nutritious diet can help in maintaining and recovering muscles.  

Do you want to build muscles but are not sure which muscle is the hardest to build?

Most people want to improve overall strength by either lifting weights in a gym or doing bodyweight training. To see consistent improvement requires working out the right muscles. Of course, the results depend on individual fitness goals. 

You don’t need to aim to grow bigger and stronger. Perhaps, you want to look slimmer in a certain muscle group. Whatever the reason, weight training is the best way to achieve results. 

Some muscles are easy to train and show changes in a month. However, a few muscles take more than two months to build. 

Read below to learn about what is the hardest muscle to build because it takes serious work and dedication to accomplish. 


Calves are challenging muscles to build and maintain. We use calves every day while walking and yet it is a muscle that lacks flexibility. A major cause of this is a sedentary lifestyle and over-dependence on technology on a day-to-day basis. 

The opposite scenario is also a reason. Overuse of calf muscles may lead to tiredness, weakness, and injuries. The technique of working out these muscles by putting the right amount of pressure can make it stronger. 

They can be built and toned with continual training and specialized workouts like step-ups and calf lifts and a planned diet. Calves are the main muscles for developing good balance and learning to move more evenly. 

This is along with providing improved power in a range of activities. This includes running after a soccer ball, a game of tennis, or just making it up the stairs without stopping.


The forearms are also difficult muscles to build. This is because the forearm muscles have to accommodate both pulling and push-oriented movements. They also work heavily during any upper body exercise.

Building these muscles takes dedication and patience. There are no shortcuts to creating bigger forearms. The forearms may be one of the smallest muscles in the body, but they are one of the most difficult to train.

Men’s Health magazine reported that an average man’s forearm size is about 34 centimeters (approximately 13.4 inches) when flexed. Those into bodybuilding or powerlifting may sport forearms much larger, typically between 14 to 16 inches. Anything over this would be considered particularly large or ‘big’ forearms.

The best way to build strong forearms is to incorporate exercises like pull-ups, reverse pull-ups, hammer curls, and wrist curls. Also, it is relevant to eat protein for weight loss to form and to increase resistance over time. With enough time and work, it is possible to build bigger and stronger forearms.

Rear Deltoids 

Deltoid Muscles

The rear deltoids are the muscle fibers on the rear side of the shoulders. From the shoulder blade to the upper arm, they cover the joint controlling the overall movement of the arms. To fully engage the muscle group requires a large variety of exercises targeting them from multiple angles.

Building these muscles is relevant as they improve posture, reduce stress around the neck area, and give a proper T-shape to the chest region. 

To build a well-developed rear deltoid, one must incorporate some of the best exercises, such as barbell and dumbbell rear lateral raises, bent-over lateral raises, face pulls, and reverse flies. With any exercise, heavy weight and proper form is the key to obtaining the desired results.

Lower Abs 

The Majority of athletes and gym coaches know that building the lower abs is as hard as climbing mt. everest. Building muscle in this area of your body requires dedication and consistency in order to see results. 

Located below the midriff, lower abs are also the first to get negatively impacted when you are engaging in less physical activity. This area of the body is often neglected since it is harder to work on, especially compared to other parts of the body.

While bracing your core muscles is a common instruction for gym enthusiasts, it is also difficult to manage. It is also easier to slip out of technique if the lower abs are not engaged properly. 

Common exercises that target lower abs include leg raises, sit-ups, and planks. Moreover, a nutrition regimen that is high in protein and low in sugar is necessary for attaining the desired results.


The muscle groups mentioned above are challenging to build but not impossible. For those looking to build their muscles, it’s vital to find a balance between working hard, having patience, and not expecting results overnight. 

With dedication, perseverance, and a tailored workout routine, it is possible to achieve the desired results. Along with daily workouts, a nutritious, protein-rich diet helps in recovering muscles after a hard workout session. Drinking water frequently and avoiding addictive substances also contribute to maintaining a healthy weight.  

Don’t hesitate to seek advice from a qualified gym trainer for guidance about the hardest muscle to build.

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