Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Workout Wednesday: The Forgotten Muscles

It's easy to build a workout around the major muscle groups. This generally isn't a problem, except that the little guys get left behind. By "little guys," I mean secondary muscles not otherwise known as your biceps, triceps, quads...etc. Your trapezius muscles, the muscles in your wrists and ankles, perhaps your lower back, or all of those rotator cuff muscles that support your deltoids. I'd consider all of these to be "little guys." There are, however, hundreds of muscles in the human body. Here's but a few of them:

While they all need to see some action at one point or another, some of them are easier to target despite the fact that we often forget to. Of course, these muscles do get some action when the bigger muscles around them are called to work, but in our weekly workouts...well, we really should be taking time to target them.

And that's exactly what this edition of Workout Wednesday will focus on: The little guys. Below is a list of five exercises. Definitely not a total body workout by any means, but a list of exercises you might wish to add to your current routine. Complete two sets of 12 repetitions of each, unless otherwise indicated.

1) Wrist Curls. Grab some light dumbbells for this one, or a can of soup if you're at home. Knee in front of a bench or chair, resting your forearms on said bench or chair with your palms facing the ceiling. Curl the weights up, lower and repeat. When done, flip your arms so that your palms are facing down. Curl your knuckles up, lower and repeat.

2) Internal and external rotator cuff pulls. You'll need a band for this one, preferably one with a handle to make grasping the band a bit easier. Loop one end around a sturdy pole, or tie a knot and slam it into a door. Grab the loose end in your right hand, standing with the anchor point at your left. Bend your right hand to 90 degrees, tuck your elbow into your side and keep your hand right in front of you. This is your starting position. Maintaining this position, pull the band away from the door. Don't worry about how far you can pull—just focus on keeping that elbow (and your upper arm) glued to your side. After you complete your repetitions, turn around so that the band (still in your right hand) is attaching to the anchor point on your right side. Using the same starting position, pull the band across your torso. Repeat on your left side.

3) Shoulder shrugs. Nothing new, right? Arms relaxed at your side, lift your shoulders to your ears...targets the traps. You got it.

4) Ankle rotations. I mentioned these awhile back when I was getting into my FiveFingers. Many barefoot runners need to strengthen the muscles in their ankles and feet, but calf presses will only get them so far. Strong ankles and feet, however, are not just for barefoot runners. How many times a day do you rise upon your toes to reach for something (or walk in high heels)? I think the visual at right, courtesy of More Magazine, perfectly explains the exercise I'm referencing. If it doesn't, be sure to let me know and I'll walk you through it.

5) Hip add and abductions.  Hip exercises are certainly not new to A Daily Dose of Fit. In fact, I mention them all the time. They are so, so very important! I've said it before and I'll keep saying it again. Do your hip exercises! Use the machines at your gym, tie a band around your legs...whatever you do, just make like Nike and do it!

Cool?

A week and a half until Christmas. If you celebrate, are you ready? I'm tying up loose ends in the presents department, and I still have a few goodies to make, but our tree is up and the music is always on. Baby, of course, is showing no signs of being ready to make it's presence known to the world. Patience is key, as are these next few hectic days. I shall be distracted from the lack of labor, that's for sure. And in all honesty, I still have three and a half weeks to go. Give or take, of course.

Happy hump day!
And a very happy birthday to my best friend. Welcome to 31, girl.

Question: What would you like to see in an upcoming Workout Wednesday? Any suggestions?

REMINDER! Don't forget to enter my giveaway! You just might win a limited edition "be a good cookie" spatula from OXO! (Contest ends at midnight EST on Wednesday, December 14, 2011). 

1 comment:

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