4 Exercises For The Muscles You Didn't Know Are Important

Have you decided to review the way you train? Forget the celebrated six pack and awe-inspiring biceps for the moment. Take care of the forgotten muscles that are so often left out, i.e. the ones you cannot see. They too need to be exercised!

Do three sets of 15 repetitions for each of the exercises. Take a one-minute break between each set. Enjoy your workout!

At the gym, many of us work on the same muscles all the time, forgetting to exercise the parts of the body that would benefit from being activated. It is also true that in our everyday life we often stimulate our anterior muscles – quadriceps, biceps, and chest muscles – while others are constantly inactive. Let's help our body regain its muscle balance with 4 simple exercises to work on the forgotten muscles!  

EXERCISE No. 1: STABILISING THE TRUNK

Do you know about the latissimi dorsi? These are the large muscles that form under the arms and descend in a V shape along the spine and down to the lower back. These are the muscles used to stabilise the trunk.   • Targeted muscles: all the muscles of the back, the spine. • Exercise: stand up with your legs bent and feet hip-width apart. The chest is tilted slightly forward. Hold the medicine ball between your hands in a low position. Lift the medicine ball to align the arms with the rest of the body. Slowly lower your arms without hunching your back and then start the movement again. • Safety instructions: remember to control the movement (without momentum). Do not arch your back and tuck in your belly. • Breathing: breathe in when in the low position and breathe out as you raise your arms. • Repetitions : 15.

EXERCISE NO. 2: STRENGTHENING THE LOWER BACK

In our everyday activities, we tend to use the lower part of the back, e.g. when I pick up an object on the ground, rather than bending my knees and lowering myself with my back straight, I lean forwards. These are simple movements that we repeat on a daily basis without adopting the right posture. Hence the need to exercise and strengthen the lower back muscles! This simple exercise works on the extensor muscles of the lower back.   • Targeted muscles: the lower back muscles. • Exercise: lie face down on the floor with your hands at the level of your forehead without contracting your shoulders. Raise your shoulders while looking downwards. Hold the position for 10 seconds and then lower them. • Safety instructions: Do not raise the top of the chest (bottom of the chest in contact with the ground) and tuck in the belly (abs contracted to protect the back). • Breathing: breathe in when the shoulders are lowered and breathe out as you raise them. • Repetitions: 10 repetitions.

EXERCISE No. 3: SWAYING THE HIPS

No idea what the muscles of the gluteus medius are? And no wonder, they are relatively inactive... They are the muscles just beneath the hips, on the outside. For example, the gluteus medius is used in everyday life when you are in a static position for maintaining your balance.   • Targeted muscles: the muscles of the gluteus medius. • Exercise: lay on your side with your head relaxed, knees bent and your ankles touching. Move the knee that is on top away and bring it back without moving the hips. Change sides and repeat the exercise. • Breathing: breathe in when you are in the starting position and then breathe out as you raise the knee upwards. • Safety instructions: with the upper body completely still, do not tilt the hips backwards. • Repetitions: 20 repetitions.

EXERCISE NO. 4: TWISTING EXERCISES

Many activities rely on twisting and rotating the trunk. To avoid injury, it is important to work on the muscles involved in this type of movement.   • Targeted muscles: the obliques. • Exercise: lie on your back and bend your knees at right angles with your arms stretched out on each side. Slowly tilt your knees from side to side. To make exercise more effective, do not touch the floor. • Breathing: breathe in when in the starting position then breathe out as you raise the knees while actively contracting the belly. • Safety instructions: squeeze the belly, keep the shoulders in contact with the ground and do not arch the back. • Repetitions: 10 repetitions.

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