If you spend any time at the gym, chances are you’re keenly aware of killer core workouts, ab-blasting moves and bicep builders. It’s likely you’ve witnessed people pushing out squats and bench presses to pump up their most visible muscles. It looks impressive! But, you know what’s really smart? Zoning in on those less visible muscles too, in order to stave off injury and get the most out of all the moves you do.
There are several areas that often get neglected. Focus on four to start. Gym goers’ feet, forearms, lower backs and upper backs often suffer from a lack of focused attention. That neglect stymies efforts to build strength.
The following tips will help you develop the foundations you need to get the most out of all your workouts and be stronger head-to-toe.
You’re Buff! But Showering Attention on Four Neglected Areas Can Make You Stronger
Pay attention to your…
If your feet are weak, your form will suffer when it comes to any move you do while standing, whether you’re lifting weights, running or doing Zumba. Weak foot muscles are a recipe for imminent injury up the lower body chain.
Strengthen feet by working your arches. Sit down. Take your shoes off. Toss a towel in front of you. Grab the towel with your toes. Keep crunching your toes and arching your feet to draw the towel towards you. Repeat several times.
2) Lower Back
Your workouts will be difficult if you develop the spirit-crushing back pain many adults face at one point or another during their lives. Show your back some love before it sidelines you!
Strengthen your lower back with Superman. Lie on your stomach. Straighten your arms in front of you like the caped wonder you’re emulating and keep your arms next to your ears throughout the movement. Peel your thighs and lower legs off the ground. Simultaneously lift your arms. Your forehead will come off the mat a bit. Slowly return to start.
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3) Upper Back
In the digital age, more and more folks are succumbing to tech neck caused by frequently leaning forward to view screens. This can hamper breathing, but it can also result in bad posture that can throw-off alignment during a workout. Open your chest and realign by zoning in on rhomboids and traps.
Strengthen your upper back with Goal Posts. Lift your arms to your sides to shoulder height. Bend your elbows so you look like a football goal post. Contract your upper back muscles to pull the tips of your shoulder blades together. Hold the contraction before you release and repeat.
Your push-ups, planks and lifts will suffer without adequate forearm strength. Eventually daily tasks like opening up the Jif jar will become more difficult if you neglect your forearms!
Strengthen your forearms with Wrist Curls. Grab a dumbbell and sit on a bench. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Rest your right forearm on your right thigh so your dumbbell is in-between your legs. Let your wrist curl down. Contract your forearm muscle to uncurl the wrist and bring your knuckles toward the ceiling. Repeat your reps on the other side.