Work those muscles!

By admin
29 July 2013

Give these important muscles groups a good workout for long-term health.

Exercise is the key to longevity, but if your workout routine neglects important muscle groups, serious injury or ill health could creep up on you later in life, warns Johannesburg biokineticist Krystal Theron. We look at how you can stay in tiptop shape by exercising five often-ignored muscle groups:

Transverse abdominals:

If these muscles, which run down the left and right side of your stomach, are weak, you can develop lower back pain or bladder problems.

Exercise: Try clenching these muscles during any exercise. Alternatively, lie on your back with your knees bent, pull your belly button into your spine and contract the muscles you would use to stop urinating. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 20 times.

Hamstrings:

Located at the back of your thighs, weak hamstrings mean your lower back will have to pick up the slack and this can cause lower back and knee pain.

Exercise: Lie on your back, with one leg bent and the other in the air. Use the muscles at the back of your leg to push your butt off the floor. Do three sets of 10 to 20 reps.

Gluteus medius:

If you don’t know where this muscle is, extend your leg to the side and place your hands on your hips. Slide your hands down until you get to the area where your leg extends – that’s where the gluteus medius is. If these muscles are weak it can cause back, shoulder and knee problems.

Exercise: Lie on your side with your knees bent, keeping your feet in line with your butt. Contract your transverse abdominals and lift your top knee while keeping your heels together. Hold for two seconds. Do three sets of 20 reps.

Adductors:

The muscles in your inner thighs support your hips and keep your core strong – this is crucial for overall strength.

Exercise: Make sure you give them a good workout by lying on your side, keeping both legs straight and resting your top leg on a table or chair. Contract your transverse abdominal muscles and lift your bottom leg until it touches the underside of the chair or table.

Shoulders:

Hours spent hunched over a computer screen does a number on your back and a weak shoulder complex can lead to shoulder and lower back problems.

Exercise: Attach one end of a rubber exercise band to a door handle and hold the other end in your hand. Stand straight with your side to the door and keep your elbow bent at a 90 degree angle at your side. Rotate your arm towards your body, while keeping your wrist straight. Do three sets of 20 reps.

If you’re strapped for time, the next exercise works all of the abovementioned muscles.

Place a Pilates ball between you and a wall. The ball should rest against your lower back and your feet should be further away from the wall than your upper body. Hold an exercise ball or pillow between your knees. While squeezing the pillow or exercise ball, squat until your legs are at a 90-degree angle. Do three sets of 20 reps.

Source: Krystal Theron Biokinetic

Find Love!

Men
Women