You’ve perfected the workout: your pecs, biceps, quads and all the other much-talked-about muscles. And yet you still hit that strength and sculpting plateau. Why?
Chances are you’re paying too much attention to the obvious muscles, while neglecting the lesser-known (yet vital) muscles crucial for preventing injury, improving strength and defining muscles.
So, here are 4 neglected muscles to give some extra attention going forward. We’ve included examples of exercises you can bring into your workout to enhance definition and avoid injuries, all while giving your body that all-round attention it requires.
4 neglected muscles you need to stop ignoring
1 – The obliques
Put simply, oblique muscles are located around your waist, helping you twist and bend your torso sideways. The top of the oblique muscle connects to your ribs, and the lower oblique muscles connect with the hip bone. We also have external and internal oblique muscles. Both can be impacted by overusing them, sudden bending or twisting, direct muscle trauma, or unnatural force.
Best obliques exercises:
Building your core strength will help define these important muscles and prevent injury. Don’t “waist” (we couldn’t resist) your time focusing only on the front core muscles — get your side core muscles strengthened too. You can use them all as part of your workout with a good-old plank exercise. Bring sets of side planks and side-plank dips into your workout for the front obliques, then throw in some sit-up twists to strengthen some more.
- Side plank
- Side plank dips
- Sit-up twist
2 – Hamstrings
With all the talk of worn-and-torn hamstrings, you’d think we use them regularly. But that’s not the case, making them a perfect example of neglected muscles. We often forget to exercise our hamstrings which can lead to connected muscle issues and joint damage – knee joints and thigh muscles are particularly prone to be affected if we neglect our hamstrings.
Best hamstring exercises:
What can we do to avoid this – strengthen those hamstrings! Hamstring curls are The One. Try this hamstring curl exercise on EVO’s functional rig or simply lay with your stomach on the floor, place a dumbbell between your feet and perform the hamstring curl movement.
Ever had that bum feeling when you’re doing all you can to strengthen your gluteus maximus, but nothing’s working? That’s probably because you’re neglecting the other vital connecting muscles – gluteus medius and minimus. These muscles are no less significant than their well-known maximus relative – they play their part in firming and strengthening the area.
Best glutes exercises:
Get that resistance band out of the drawer and try lying on your side with knees bent, adding a resistance band around your knees. Raise and lower one bent knee for fully rounded glute-building-goodness.
Want more? Give these 4 glute exercises a go.
4 – Rhomboids
Got the hump? Literally, have you got a shoulder-slouching hump? If your answer is yes, you’re probably ignoring your rhomboid muscles. Rhomboids connect your shoulder blades to your upper spine. When unused, they contribute to poor posture alignment. This can lead to neck, back and shoulder pain, impacting our functioning.
Best rhomboids exercises:
Foam rollers are your friends. Try this foam roll for the upper back exercise to improve mobility in those important postural muscles.