The Most Forgotten Body Parts to Exercise & Add to Your Routine for Better Health
There are many reasons we all workout…women tend to focus on the abs, arms, and butt, while men are targeting the shoulders, abs, biceps, and chest. After all, isn’t this why most of us hit the gym -- to have a great beach body! What about all the other muscle groups that are often forgotten and deserve some attention, too?
5 Body Parts Most Forgotten in Workout Routines
So, what body parts are you forgetting? How can you thwart your body’s survival mechanisms and make progress during your exercise routine? Here are five of the most forgotten body parts that are commonly overlooked and reasons why you should add them to your routine for better overall health.
1. Back & Shoulder Blades
Your back and shoulders are more than just about looking good in a tank top. Texting, typing, and sitting for extended periods of time often force your back to hunch over or bend into poor positions -- which ultimately impacts your overall body strength and balance. Toning the rhomboids, or the muscles that connect your shoulder blades and upper spine, not only helps you to look slimmer and younger but also protects you from back pain and helps your posture.
How-to exercises: Strengthen your back by trying a cobra back extension and seated cable row. Or try working your postural muscles by rolling your shoulders back and down, then squeezing them together for a count of three. Pull your chest up and your navel in towards your back, and repeat 10 times.
2. Under & Below Shoulder Blades
The serratus anterior, or the length of muscle that wraps around your upper ribs, is important for breathing, posture, and shoulder blade mobility since it’s attached to your shoulder blades (scapula).
How-to exercises: To keep your shoulder blades fit, try tapping opposite shoulders while holding a plank position or breathe in while arching your back and tucking your tailbone -- also known as the cat-cow yoga pose. Keep in mind that the more you practice tightening these muscles, the more you’ll be able to do it without even thinking about it.
3. Face & Facial Muscles
With more than 40 muscles in the face, it’s important not to overlook facial fitness when building a solid workout routine. Exercising your face is the best anti-aging weapon in your arsenal! After all, facial exercises are known to boost blood flow and bring oxygen to your skin, thereby helping with everything from overall mental health and wellbeing to anti-aging and wrinkle management.
How-to exercises: Work your mouth muscles by sitting down and tilting your head backwards. Pucker your lips, push them forward, and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat five times for toned lips. Looking to lift your cheeks? Close your lips and gently smile. Suck your cheeks as far in as you can, and hold this position for 10 seconds. Release and repeat five times. Want more, check out our popular article: Face Exercises Help You Smile, Make You Happy, Keep You Healthy
4. Pelvic Floor
There are many muscles within the system known as the “pelvic floor” that are crucial for preventing bowel dysfunction, pelvic pain, incontinence, and much more. These muscles support the organs in the pelvis, and some form a sling around the rectum and vagina. While some people may need to learn how to relax and lengthen their pelvic floor, others might need to strengthen these muscles through Kegel exercises.
Fun fact: Both men and women have a pelvic floor! While the female pelvic floor supports the bladder, uterus, and vagina, the male pelvic floor both supports the bladder and bowel and provides a pathway for the urine tube and rectum.
How-to exercises: Slowly, but firmly, squeeze the muscle you’d use if you were trying to stop yourself from urinating. Try not to clench your thighs or buttocks. Hold for a count of three, then relax for another count of three.
5. Inner Thigh Muscles
Inner thigh muscles, also known as adductors, are considered one of the absolute hardest parts of the female body to tone. Strengthening these muscles can help your thighs move laterally and perform leg movements like squatting, climbing the stairs, running, and playing sports. If you’ve noticed that your lower-body strength isn’t quite up to par, weak adductors could be to blame.
How-to exercises: Exercise-band movements, single-leg squats, adductor squeezes (squeezing a ball between your knees), and lateral lunges are best to target the inner thigh muscles and power up those adductors. Compression leggings.
Whether it’s the pecs, biceps, abs, or quads, chances are that your exercise routine focuses on one of these better-known muscle groups. While they’re certainly important for staying healthy -- and looking fit -- they’re not the only muscles you need to include in your workouts. At the end of the day, not only will an equally toned body appear healthier on the outside, but it will also offer greater balance and be able to better support itself during strenuous workout routines.
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