How do I make sure I have a well rounded physique? That is, how to ensure that my for example back muscles are proportionally strong/large with my leg muscles and so on. Even if I train different muscles on different days giving equal attention to them how do I find out which muscle groups I have to train more to have a uniform growth of muscles?
I want to start off with the first of two scenarios, either you're having health issues due to imbalance, or you aren't but just want to make sure...
I want to start off with the most obvious, which is if you have signs of muscle asymmetries such as rounded shoulders, back pain, tight muscles such as tight hamstrings, limited mobility or flexibility, lower back pain, any curves in spine, etc... A good google research or a visit to a physical therapist can then tell you which muscles are too strong versus which are too weak.
This is hard to answer, especially since people have different outlooks on what is "well rounded" but I'll answer it in terms of bodybuilding and in medical terms.. but the best way is to look at your body in terms of ratios. Keep a spreadsheet of the amount of weight you can lift for different reps for each of your exercises. You can either keep track as a beginner and record all your movements, keeping in mind that they should all be growing at the same rate, or you can take the ratio of a couple exercises and compare them with each other and other bodybuilders.
There is a ratio that is common amongst the bodybuilding community that your squat should be 33% stronger than your bench press, and your deadlift should be 33% stronger than your squat while being 66% stronger than your bench(the rep schemes don't matter as long as they are all the same). this looks like this:
- ~532 deadlift
- ~400 squat
- 300 bench press
This will indicate your body is even in strength, and likely equal in muscle.
Using ratios and getting more specific..I sometimes compare a back exercise and a chest exercise with Schwarzeneggar's lifting ratio as he is a bodybuilder that had what seemed lke a proportional body... for example, lets say Arnold has a back row of 150 and a bench press of 100(he didn't but let's assume), this is a 3/2 ratio, that I could try to keep with my back row and bench press as well.
A doctor might tell you that your back/posterior chain needs to be stronger than the front of you. This is hard to calculate sometimes as the muscles in your back work differently than your front, so the weight your lifting could be more on one end but it doesn't mean those muscles are stronger, rather they just work as a team or work together, and you cant directly compare the numbers of a hamstring exercise versus a quad exercise, but you can use ratios, and maintain the same ratio of lifting totals throughout your life of fitness. as long a you don't have any medical problems or curves in your spine, etc from the section listed above, your ratios are okay from a medical standpoint. It's best to just compare the ratios of different exercises early on before you get an injury and try to keep those. If you do get an injury, you can adjust these to make the stronger muscle weaker and vice versa
There are a couple apps/websites that let you put in your lifting PR's to compare it with others or to even see if you have muscle imbalance across the body. one app/website is called symmetric strength.
If you want to get really technical, you could also look up which muscles are naturally stronger than the rest, for instance your glutes