Strong calves support running and walking, but they are often skipped to focus on exercises like squats and lunges. You can easily incorporate calf work into your current exercise routine. Place your hands on a wall for balance, stand on one foot, and alternate raising and lowering the heel. Try 12 repetitions and then switch legs.
The rotator cuff is made of four muscles that provide stability to the shoulder and support rotation. This group of muscles plays a role in all types of arm movement from throwing a ball to painting a wall. There is a high risk for injury when the rotator cuff is not strong and flexible. Target the rotator cuff in your training by incorporating exercises like the Supine Rotator Cuff.
The muscles of the forearms are important for grip strength like that used while holding objects, as well in fitness activities such as rock climbing. This area is trained as a secondary muscle group during upper body exercises, but it’s beneficial to give it targeted attention. Add a few wrist curls to your workout by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Sit on a bench with your arms bent at the elbows and palms up with your wrists resting on your knees. Curl the weight up, bending only at the wrist and release. You can also complete the exercise with palms facing down.
When performing ab exercises, we are often told not to use the hip flexors because it takes the stress off of our abdominals. But this doesn’t mean we should skip training these muscles all together. Healthy hip flexors give power to your movement and improve mobility. Weakness in this area has been linked to hamstring, knee, and IT band pain. Training the hip flexors is as simple as sitting on a bench with your feet on the ground and raising the right knee toward your chest and hold for 2 seconds. Lower the foot back to the ground and repeat for 12 repetitions before switching legs.
A strong core is important to reduce the risk of back pain and to move easily, but we often put all of our focus on the abdominals. The lower back is equally important when it comes to a healthy core. Position yourself on your hands and knees. Raise your right arm out and reach towards the wall in front of you as you extend your left leg back. You should be supported by your left arm and right knee on the ground and your right arm and left leg should be extended and parallel to the floor. Lower to the starting position and alternate with the left arm and right leg.