Whether you're a man or a woman, no matter your fitness level, we all tend to play favorites with muscle groups at some point in our fitness journey. For me, personally, when I was younger and less informed, I always favored Back & Bicep day, and like many men, I absolutely dreaded Leg Day!
In my experience as a Strength & Conditioning Specialist, whether it's been 1 on 1 training, virtual training, or group sessions, I can tell you, I've seen a common theme in neglected muscle groups.
Honestly, it caught me by surprise how many people, at different age groups and fitness levels, still managed to leave these out of their workout routines. More-so, how their previous trainers completely failed at incorporating them in their programs. So without further ado, I'm not here to build suspense, let's get to that list!
Top 3 Neglected Muscle Groups:
You know those hip adductor and abductor machines in the gym that men rarely go on? You're missing out on something great fellas!
(Granted I prefer banded or cable hip adduction and abduction)
This makes the top of my list as I've trained athletes who focus more on power and speed over hip mobility, which could be the missing link in their explosiveness. Strong hip flexors increase mobility and durability in any sport. Plus, who doesn't want to be more mobile and reduce stiffness in their everyday life? This one is a no brainer that fly's under the radar for many, so PLEASE, don't leave it out anymore!
2. Calves :
Let's talk Leg Day! Of course you're hitting squats no matter which variation. You've waited all week so you're attacking the glutes, hamstrings, quads. Some people overload the squats and leg extensions, maybe throw in some leg curls or donkey kicks, but somehow manage to leave out the calves! I admit, I love the burn of a good calf raise, especially when hit from different angles. Have fun with it, but don't neglect it! No one wants massive quads with pencil calves. Give your legs the well rounded work they so graciously deserve!
Now for the finale!
3. FOREARMS (brachialis muscle)
Easily overlooked! You work your biceps and triceps until you feel like your arms will fall off, but many don't even think about their forearms. It's such a small muscle group, so why even target it specifically?
Well, first and foremost, the brachialis muscle is the primary mover of elbow flexion and generates more than 50% power than the biceps.
So you can imagine how strengthening your forearms can come with considerable perks, one being improved grip strength. Being able to firmly hold your weights in the gym is VITAL for your safety and the safety of the public. Also, working the forearms will act as a support system for other muscle groups. Pull specific exercises such as Lateral Pulldowns, Rows, Deadlifts, etc. will be improved with increased forearm strength. Push specific exercises will also be positively affected, such as pushups, bench & shoulder presses. Let's not forget that stronger brachialis' means more durability in the wrist and elbow when lifting!
I truly hope this blog is helpful for you all!
So get out there and incorporate some hip adduction/abduction exercises, some weighted calf raises, and some farmers walks or forearm curls. Whether you're utilizing a barbell, dumbbell or cables/bands, it all works!
Stay focused, but most importantly,