5 Muscle Groups You Shouldn't Forget To Exercise, According To Experts

Fitness
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Alexandra Lozovschi

Keeping fit is about both being healthy and looking your best -- but more often people tend to prioritize esthetics in training their bodies. While you might be proud of your grapefruit-sized deltoids, exercising the smaller stabilizing and assisting muscles -- in this case, the rotator cuff -- is just as important for an effective workout that is injury-free.

The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint, making it crucial for mobility. To train these muscle groups, Men's Journal recommends an easy at-home workout involving tubing attached to a door hinge.

Turn your left side to the door and grasp the tubing handle with your right hand, bending your arm at a 45-degree angle. Rotate your arm at the elbow and pull the tubing out towards the right side. Do 10 to 12 reps, then switch sides.

Here are four other typically ignored muscles that you shouldn't forget to exercise, according to experts.

Hamstrings

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Hamstrings are another vital four-muscle groups you need to exercise properly in order to prevent injury. This muscle is located on the back of your thigh and traverses two important joints -- the hip and the knee -- making them essential for basic movements such as walking, squatting, bending your knees, and tilting your pelvis.

While it's true that your hamstrings get some action when you're doing lunges, squats, and deadlifts, they also need to be trained separately.

Here's how to do it.

"Lie on the floor with your heels on top of an exercise ball. Lift the hips by pushing down on the ball with your heels, then roll the ball towards you by pulling your heels towards your seat, kneecaps pointed towards the ceiling," says Men's Journal, which recommends 8-10 reps two-three times a week.

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Gluteus Medius & Minimus

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We understand the hype about having perfect glutes but you should be paying attention to more than just your gluteus maximus. Make sure to focus on your gluteus medius and minimus as well, since these important muscle groups play a big role in stabilizing your pelvis.

“They’re vital for any athletic performance and crucial for walking and climbing stairs. Plus, when they’re toned they lift up the glutes,” Guy Andrews, executive director of ExerciseEtc.com, tells Men's Journal.

To exercise these muscles, use a resistance tubing circle. Step inside it with both feet and stand in a wide sports stance, with your hands on your hips and your knees slightly bent. Step out to the side and walk sideways for 8-10 steps, then switch sides. Do 2-3 sets, two-three times a week.

Forearm extensors

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You can't do a proper biceps and triceps workout without exercising your forearm extensors. These are the muscle groups used for gripping and which allow you to hold a dumbbell or barbell.

If your forearm extensors are weak, you can't train any of your larger arm muscles, which will weaken your entire workout, says Irv Rubenstein, exercise physiologist and founder of S.T.E.P.S.

“We get the forearm flexors with all pulling moves or curls or even tricep presses but nothing other than reverse biceps curls hits those muscles."

The good news is you can train these muscles while watching TV. All you need is a tennis ball that you can squeeze and release. Do three sets of 10 reps two-three nights a week.

Erector Spinae

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When working your upper back and traps, make sure you're not neglecting your erector spinae. These are the muscle groups that keep you upright and are responsible for posture and for the movements of your vertebral column, or spine.

"The erector spinae is actually a bundle of muscles and tendons that extend throughout the lower, mid and upper back," notes Men's Journal, detailing a simple workout that targets these muscles.

The exercise requires either a fitness ball or a back extension machine. Lie face down over it and place your hands behind your head, stretching your elbows out to the sides. Slowly raise your torso until your body forms a straight line -- make sure not to swing -- then return to your starting pose. Perform three sets of 10-12 reps each.

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