Hey Angels and Alphas,
When training in the gym, it’s easy to get caught up focusing on your biceps and triceps, but that can be dangerous if you’re neglecting some other important muscle groups. These are five of the most overlooked muscle groups when people train in the gym, but with the right exercise routine, you can build and strengthen them without too much extra work!
The muscles of the forearm are your brachioradialis, extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis, flexor carpi ulnaris, palmaris longus, flexor digitorum superficialis and profundus, pronator teres and quadratus lumborum. Forearms can be strengthened by any type of exercise that use resistance such as weights or elastic bands to the point that they tire out your muscle fibers. Forearms are not typically a focal point for weight training because people usually work larger muscles such as their chest or biceps which have a greater impact on the body’s appearance.
While many people focus on the quadriceps as the main muscle group to work during a workout, it’s important not to forget about your hamstrings! A strong and balanced set of hamstrings will help you do everything from running faster to lifting heavier weights. There are a few different ways that you can strengthen your hamstrings: 1) doing exercises like Romanian deadlifts or glute-ham raises; 2) adding more volume or weight to exercises that you already do (like squats); or 3) adding hamstring-specific training sessions into your routine.
The triceps are a common point of focus when training. A lot of people do exercises such as bench press, overhead press, and tricep extension to strengthen their triceps. While these exercises are great for strengthening your triceps, there are other muscle groups that can be overlooked. Your back, shoulders, biceps and abdominals all get a workout from these different movements. So it is important to not just focus on the triceps, but also on the rest of your body so you don’t end up with imbalances or pain.
Your abdominal muscles act as a series of pulleys for your core and help keep your spine healthy. Your abs are one of the most important muscle groups to train, but they are also one of the most neglected!
Here are the most basic, most effective exercises that you can do to strengthen your abs:
Abdominal Crunch – Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place hands behind head with elbows out wide. Lift head and shoulders off ground while trying to bring knees towards chest. Hold for five seconds before lowering back down to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Leg Raises – Lay on your back with arms by side. Slowly lift hips off ground until only butt and feet are touching the floor. Keeping stomach tight, raise right leg up so thigh is parallel to ceiling (knee should be at a 90 degree angle). Lower foot to starting position. Raise left leg up so thigh is parallel to ceiling (knee should be at a 90 degree angle). Lower foot to starting position. Continue alternating legs for 20 repetitions each side.
Calf muscles are often overlooked because they aren’t as visible as other muscle groups. The calf muscles are one of the largest muscle groups in the body, and they help to support and move the feet, ankle and toes. They are made up of two major muscles on the back of the lower legs: gastrocnemius and soleus.
The gastrocnemius is often called a diamond-shaped muscle because it has a large upper head (near the knee) and an elongated lower head (near the heel). The soleus is more uniform, flat and triangular-shaped.
To train these muscles, use standing or seated calf raises; these work best with dumbbells or weighted machines, but you can also use a wall for resistance. Start by placing your toes on something that will give you enough height to stand upright while keeping your heels firmly planted on the ground; then, raise your heels toward your glutes until you feel tension in your calves.
You can start out doing 12 repetitions of this exercise per set with just your body weight for resistance; gradually increase to 20 reps per set when you’re able to handle heavier weights without pain.