When people work out, they tend to go for two major accomplishments: weight loss or mass development. That first one makes sense, to a point. But the second generally applies to the noticeable and well-known muscle groups, such as biceps, triceps, pectoral muscles, deltoids and quadriceps, to name a few.
But a big part of maintaining proper fitness and overall physical health is working the smaller muscle groups that help with your body’s support system and stability. Although these muscle groups aren’t directly used during weight lifting or intense physical activity, they do help to keep your body steady and stable during those particular activities.
As age has started its slow disassembly of my very soul (a bit dramatic, but bear with me!), I’ve started to notice certain pains in my body that don’t seem to go away. I’m a big fan of chiropractic medicine and massage therapy, but what do you do when those forms of treatment no longer help with the little aches and pains? Well, the little things can grow into something bigger over time!
According to an article published by Men’s Health, there are a number of muscle groups you should be focusing your attention on, in order to avoid some long term issues. And here they are:
Your rotator cuffs: This muscle group is responsible for the mobility of your shoulder joint and helps with mobility and movements that involve raising your arm over your head. The article indicates that most athletes unfortunately don’t train to repair this muscle group until it becomes injured.
Erector Spinae: Before y’all start making jokes about the name, this muscle group is built around the lower and mid back. Even though most weight lifters focus on building the upper back, this muscle group is very much responsible for support and posture.
Gluteus Minimus and Medius: Hey, I’m all for building that booty! But it ain’t all gluteus maximus! They’re the muscle groups responsible for pelvic support and stabilization while you’re busy building booty gains. Did I say it enough? Booty! There! Moving on…
Tibialis Anterior: This muscle is responsible for walking, running and sprinting. I remember getting shin splints during my basic training and cursing the fact that I had never taken the time to build these bad boys up.
Obliques: Listen, I’ve written about the issues surrounding the development of a six-pack in a previous post. I’m all about the strong hara, so I don’t focus much beyond a strong core as opposed to a sculpted middle. That being said, this is a muscle group often neglected, even by those looking to pose for an ab sculpt infomercial. They typically cross the rib cage and work towards keeping you upright.
Hamstrings: This muscle group is important as an opposing, balancing group to your quadricep. Underdevelopment of the hamstrings can result in an imbalance that can lead to knee injury.
Forearm Extensors: This muscle group is used for gripping. As in, every time you pick up dumbbells. So if these muscles groups are ignored, it sort of makes it hard to work on free weights.
For a list of possible exercises to develop all the muscle groups I’ve mentioned, you can read the Men’s Journal artilcle at https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/7-muscles-everyone-ignores/
Just remember that while you’re busy sculpting your arms to get all “Arnold-esque”, be sure to pay some attention to those smaller muscle groups who are the underdogs of your body’s posture and stability. ☯