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Exercises for Commonly Overlooked Muscles

By Genevieve Cunningham

When it comes to exercise, we all tend to focus on the same old muscles. The biceps, quadriceps, the glutes … the muscles that usually get the most attention. We actually have hundreds of muscles in our bodies, and each of them needs some attention. To work some of the most commonly overlooked muscle groups, check out these exercises to add to your routine.

The Obliques

This is a muscle group in the abdomen. They run on each side, and they help to create a small and strong waist. When we usually perform abdominal exercises, we focus on the infamous six pack. To work the obliques and complete your abdominal strength and appearance, try side crunches, bicycle crunches, and side planks. These exercises will place emphasis on the obliques and sculpt the smaller muscles within the abdominal cavity.

The Calf Muscles

The calf is the muscle on the back part of your lower leg. These get a lot of attention by some people, and virtually zero attention from others. If you want a nice sculpted leg, you need to work the muscle from top to bottom. To work the calves, use a simple step. Stand on your toes with your heel hanging off of the step. Then, lift your body as if you are standing on your tiptoes. Lower slowly and repeat for a set of 20. To make it tougher, add sets or hold weights on your shoulders.

The Hip Flexors

You may not realize that you need this muscle group to be strong until it’s too late. The hip flexors are a group of muscles surrounding the hip joint. When they are weak, it causes pain, especially when using the hip joint or even the knees. To work the hip flexors, you have to keep them elongated. Try a series of stretches to make them strong and limber. Stand with your feet apart, turn your body toward one side, and then dip your back knee toward the ground. You’ll feel the stretch at the uppermost part of your leg. If you don’t feel it, dip the knee lower. Make sure that your bent leg (from the knee up) is straight. If not, you won’t feel the stretch in the proper location.

If you want a well-rounded and strong body, you have to pay attention to the big muscles and the little muscles. You have to build balance and give attention to even the smallest places in your body. Give these exercises a try in order to get a more stable and balanced body overall.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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