You have more than 600 skeletal muscles. Can you name them all? Do not sweat for that. Most men focus on three: the biceps, the pecs and the abs. And the women? The glutes, the arms and the belly.
This is bad because the muscles you are not paying attention to, some of which you can attend to and others can not, can relieve pain, lessen the risk of injury, improve your posture and improve your overall performance.
# 1: Unwrap your shoulders: train your lower trapezius
But you're working your trapezoids when you raise your shoulders, right? Not as much as you think. Those "I do not know" movements focus on your upper trapezoids, the part that is found around your neck that you can see, but do not fully exercise your lower trapezoids.
When your upper trapezoids are overworked compared to your lower trapezoids, your shoulders could be turned forward, causing bad posture as well as two other serious problems, says Aaron Brooks, a biomechanics expert and owner of Perfect Postures (Postures perfect) in Auburndale, Massachusets...
"One is cervical pain or tension (in the neck) and the second is a rotator cuff wound," he says. Any of these tensions or both, mean discomfort and lack of mobility in a number of everyday situations. "It will affect you if you try to reach something behind you, it will cause you pain when you put on a jacket or when you stretch up to take a plate from a cupboard. "
How does it happen? "If your lower trapezoids are stretched better they will put your shoulders in a better position to push more," says Mike Wunsch, performance director at Results Fitness in Santa Claria, CA. When your upper and lower trapezoids are not balanced your shoulder blade rises from the spine, causing damage to the shoulder and a space that can create a compression in the rotator cuff. Fix balance "relieves traffic congestion".
In addition, underdeveloped trapezoids can affect the performance of your lateral muscles, pectorals and biceps, says Brooks. How? This is an instance in which working as a team is a bad thing, which is exactly how these muscles work if your lower trapezoids are not well conditioned. These muscles work well as antagonists to one another, so if they can not do that, you can not train them properly.
Exercise those muscles
Wunsch makes its clients work the lower trapezoids during warm-ups or between groups of movements with Y, T, W and I uplifts. These can be done with a Swiss weight, on the bench or even on the floor with very little or no weight.To make them on the floor, lie on your stomach and start with your right arms so that your body and arms form a "Y" shape. Make a signal with your thumb up with your hands so that your thumbs point towards the ceiling. Keep your arms stretched out in the "Y" shape, lift your arms off the floor (but do not move your head or neck) and slowly move them back to their original position. Repeat between 5 and 10 times, then do "T" surveys.
Lifting "T": Start as you did for the "Y" lift but with your arms stretched out to the sides so that your body forms a "T" shaped figure. Again, with your thumbs up, raise and lower your arms 5-10 times.
Lifting "W": Bend your arms at the height of your elbows so that you form a figure in the shape of "W". Squeeze your shoulder blades trying to bring them closer to each other to lift your elbows off the floor and bring them closer to each other. Repeat between 5 and 10 times.
Lifting "I": Stretch your arms again and point them up your head so that your body forms a straight line, like a capital "I". With your thumbs up, raise your arms as you did for the "Y" and "T" lifts. Repeat between 5 and 10 times.
# 2: Get a better rear view: train your tendons and that rear
We all love our quadriceps. Why? It does not take much work to exercise them.
"You are always activating your quadriceps with your normal everyday things, when you go up the stairs, when you bend over... the activation of your quadriceps is in the skies," says Bret Contreras, CSCS, a strength trainer from Arizona, author known like "The Glute Guy." "Buttock activation is not going that high, so the buttocks remain weak."
We also tend to compensate in compound movements, those that use both quadriceps like tendons, so that our quadriceps work more and the buttocks and tendons continue to weaken. The result: "It puts more weight on the knee than on the hip joint so people do not use their hips," he says.
There is the solution, says Contreras: "You have to do specific gluteus exercises, yes, but it also lightens the weight so you learn to carry them out in a more dominant fashion towards the hip".
Exercise those muscles
Contreras suggests starting with hip movements with weights and movement with halteruses.
Hip movement with weights: Sit on the floor with your shoulders recharged on a bench. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle so that your feet are flat on the floor, near your butt and your butt is on the floor, a long barbell along your waist. In this position, squeeze your glutes to get up, using the bench to hold your shoulders and throwing your hips up.At the top of the movement, your body should be straight from your neck to your knees. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Movement with halteruses: stand holding a halteres in front of you with both hands. Separate your feet a little more than the distance between your shoulders. Fast but in a controlled manner balance the weight back between your legs and keeping your back straight, balance it up by lifting the upper part of your body and extending your hips. Each swing back and then forward counts as a repetition.
For the tendons, Arent adds good days with weights, bridges of stability of the buttocks and an extension and contraction of legs and hips. Extend your arms to the sides and place the palms on the floor. Squeeze your buttocks and lift your hips so that your body is straight from the shoulders to the knees. Move your heels back and turn towards your butt. Pause, then turn your heels outwards. Drop your butt and hips to the floor and repeat.
The best part? Since your quadriceps are always getting stronger, you can not overstress these antagonistic muscles, says Contreras.
"Think of runners, gymnasts and even weightlifters on the west side, they are doing uplifting on their days off with squats and weight lifting, he says," you can train your buttocks every day. "
# 3 Also works your butt muscles that you do not see
There's more to your butt than the outer part.Although you might be trying to work your buttocks, your average buttocks are usually ignored.And that can kill your knees. "The average gluteus prevents the knees from overcoming when you're doing squats, stretches and lifting weights," says Wunsch.This can cause ACL injuries and pain in the knees, as well as affect other parts of the lower section of your knees. body. "When your knee is over, your femur rotates internally and the inside of your knee tightens. As a result, the arch of your foot could eventually collapse. It's a waterfall effect. "
What if you fix it? You'll help protect yourself from an ACL injury but also" you'll be able to lift more weight, "says Wunsch," and if you're a runner, you'll run farther without pain. " Exercise those muscles
Wunsch suggests walking with sidebands, quadruped fire hydrants and shells lying on your side.
Sidewalks: Wraps a heavy rubber resistance band (One that is circular, no handles) around your ankles, stand straight with your knees slightly bent and take steps to the right sideways, as if you were dragging yourself, walk 10 steps to the right and then 10 to the left.
Fire Hydrants: Lie on your knees and hands, with your hands directly below your shoulders, your knees just below your hips and your back straight.Keeping your back straight and the knee bent, lift your right knee to the right side, as if you were a dog in a fire hydrant. Continue lifting the leg until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Go back to the beginning and repeat on the other side. Do 10 repetitions on each side.
Concha lying on your side: Lie on your side on the floor, with your hips and knees bent 45 degrees, almost as if in a fetal position. Keeping your feet in contact, raise the knee from above as high as you can without moving your pelvis (as the name suggests, your legs should look like a shell that opens). Pause and return to the beginning. Repeat 10 times, then turn and try the other side.
# 4: Train your entire back and help undo the damage of your chair
The middle part of your back worries Nick Tumminello.
"Everyone, even those who are engaged in exercise, feel more than ever and these muscles are left forgotten," says Nick Tumminello, a strength and condition coach in Florida and creator of DVDs that include "Strength Training for Fat Loss & Conditioning (Strength training to lose weight and gain condition). "" They do not exercise their contractions, especially low weight, to keep them active and strong. "
These muscles of the middle back are involved at any time when do a rowing exercise, but often they are not used to their full capacity, says Tumminello.
Exercise those muscles
To make sure you're really working this part of your back, slowly do the horizontal rowing exercises to reduce the rebound and try the type of rowing with large handles on the weight bar. Raise the bar as if you were performing normal rowing with the bar but keep your hands away, as far as you would if you were doing a large lizard. Bend at the hips and lower as if you were doing a weight lifting with your legs stiff, keeping your back straight. In this position bend your elbows to pull the bar up until it touches your chest. Lower it with control and repeat 10 times.
# 5: Relieve pain in the lower back by adjusting your hips
Your hips are not just the side of your waist: The muscles that flex your leg in the pelvis around your spine, around your back, through your abdomen and up to the femur, and two of them, commonly known as iliopsoas, shorten, compress and weaken, says Brooks.
As with many of the muscles mentioned above, these problems are created (or at least aggravated) as we sit down and relax in bad posture. There is a direct correlation between the firmness of the psoas (a part of the iliopsoas) and the pain of the lower back: The muscle is connected to your vertebra 12 and to deep tissues inside your hip.
Exercise those muscles
... and a muscle you work on
Men and women want strong, defined shoulders... so we end up working them too much in the wrong way.
"The movements of lifting with shoulders, lifting in an inclined position, front lifting, lifting in a bench, there are a lot of exercises that work the anterior deltoid," says Arent. "People end up ignoring the posterior deltoid and the superior rhomboid. His shoulders are turned forward and hunched. "
If most of your exercises are push movements, make your shoulders look and feel better. Add some cable exercises for your posterior deltoids and try this movement that Arent suggests to strengthen your rotator cuff: Lie face down on a bench with your arms at your sides in the form of a goal post, with your elbows bent at an angle of 90 degrees and open hands with palms towards your ears. In this position, push your shoulder blades towards each other, as if trying to squeeze an orange between them. Go back to the beginning and repeat.