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The muscles in our body are essential to build. Although some are more prominent than others, you should focus on the neglected ones when possible.
When people hit the gym, “vanity muscles” like the biceps and chest tend to take center stage. However, it’s important to remember that a well-balanced workout regimen should also target neglected muscles to improve overall physique, strength, and health. Consider working out these neglected muscles and creating a uniform muscular shape for your body.
1. Latissimus Dorsi
The latissimus dorsi, or “lats,” are a large muscle group spanning the mid to lower back. They’re crucial in maintaining good posture, supporting the spine, and helping with various movement patterns like pulling and reaching overhead. If you’ve ever seen someone with a well-developed V-shaped torso, they’ve likely paid close attention to their lats.
To include the latissimus dorsi in your workout routine, try incorporating lat-strengthening exercises like wide pull-ups, seated cable rows, and dumbbell pullovers. These moves improve your back strength and contribute to a more balanced and symmetrical upper body.
2. Gluteus Medius
We all know the gluteus maximus, but let’s not forget about its smaller sibling—the gluteus medius. This essential muscle on the side of the hip helps with hip abduction and stabilization during walking, running, and other activities.
Underdeveloped gluteus medius contributes to hip imbalances and even knee pain. Avoid these issues by incorporating exercises like side-lying leg lifts, clamshells, and lateral band walks into your lower-body workouts.
3. Serratus Anterior
The serratus anterior is a fan-shaped muscle that wraps around the ribcage and is pivotal for stability in the scapular, or shoulder blade, area. When developed, it provides your shoulders with a strong support system, ultimately improving shoulder performance and preventing related injuries.
Try exercises like scapular push-ups. Make sure push your upper back toward the ceiling at the top of the push-ups. Other exercises, such as serratus wall slides, are also great ways to work on your serratus anterior.
4. Tibialis Anterior
Located in the front portion of the lower leg, the tibialis anterior is responsible for the movement of lifting your toes, called dorsiflexion and ankle stabilization. Strong tibialis anterior muscles are vital for runners, hikers, and individuals who engage in high-impact sports.
Exercises that target the tibialis anterior include heel walks, toe raises, and using a dorsiflexion resistance band. Focusing on this underrated muscle group will enhance your lower-leg strength and stability, making your overall leg day more effective.
There are numerous muscles in the body, and each is valuable, even the smaller ones we don’t often notice. Consider working out these four neglected muscles in your routine for a balanced and symmetrical physique. Give these unsung heroes some much-deserved love and attention, and focus on them as much as you do your other muscles.