When it comes to strength training, you need to work all of the major muscle groups in your body in a balanced manner. However, many programs are focused on the most commonly used muscles in the body, leaving certain other muscles to not get much attention.
When you think about the muscles of your body, your large muscles are like the stars of the show and they do the majority of the work. However, you have other muscles that operate as the supporting cast, and you need to keep them engaged to ensure that the entire muscular system functions properly.
Serratus anterior muscle
This muscle is located along the ribs, on the sides of your chest. Without this muscle, you would not be able to properly rotate your shoulder blade. Work this muscle by doing pushup variations, such as incline pushups, and eventually work toward moving up and down a power rack doing pushups.
Subscapularis and supraspinatus muscles
The subscapularis muscle is in front of the shoulder blade, and it is a large muscle. The supraspinatus muscle makes up the rotator cuff, and it is a smaller muscle. Those working desk jobs tend to have a lot of weakness in these two muscles. A simple exercise can strengthen both muscles at the same time.
Stand up straight, place a dumbbell in each hand, place your hands at the front of your thighs and then raise your arms to just above your shoulders. Lower back to the starting position slowly, and repeat.
Tensor fasciae latae muscle
This muscle is responsible for the lateral movement of your hips, and is located on the outside of the hips. It attaches to the iliotibial band, so tightness in this muscle can lead to lateral knee pain. Strengthen this muscle and prevent tightness by stretching it daily.
This muscle connects the top of the thigh to the lower back. It works to stabilize your hip flexors and back muscles. When this muscle is not conditioned well, it can result in lower back pain and an increased risk of back injury. There is only one exercise that works to strengthen this muscle. Sit on a low bench and raise one knee above the level of your hip. Repeat this on the other side, doing five repetitions for each leg.
This muscle is near the gluteal muscles, and is prone to overuse due to weak gluteal and hamstring muscles. When these muscles are weak, the piriformis muscle takes on more work than it is designed to. The windshield wiper exercise works to strengthen this muscle. Here is how to do this exercise.
This muscle connects the spinal column vertebrae to the scapula. For proper scapula movement and placement, this muscle works with the rhomboid minor. To work this muscle, you should lie on a weight bench, face down, place a dumbbell in each hand on either side of the bench and then squeeze your shoulder blades together.
When you make sure that all of the muscles in your body are getting proper attention, you will reduce your risk of injury and improve your overall fitness level. As you reevaluate your strength training routine, make note of these muscles and ensure that you are doing exercises that properly target them.
-The Alternative Daily