How to Train the Muscles That Everyone Forgets

Julian Schratter By Ryan Abel


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Biceps? Check. Pecs? Check. Abs? Check. Legs? Check (grumble). Back? Check. Shoulders? Check!

Okay so that's everything right? Well if you think so then you clearly are forgetting the several thousand other muscles in your body and haven't been in the muscle building game for very long. Don't sweat it though – it's a common mistake to make just it's also one that can be costly. Here we will look at what other muscle groups there are, and why it's so crucial that you train these too (and also of course, how to go about doing it).

The Obliques: The obliques are the diagonal looking muscles that run down either side of the abs. These make the mid section look at whole lot more 'detailed' and are responsible for making you look really ripped in that area. At the same time they're also important for all testing movements where you twist at the waist/torso. That's also how you train them – with twisting sit ups and punching sit ups where you twist while working the abs.

The Serratus Muscles: The serratus muscles are just above the obliques at the sides of the chest and could be considered the 'armpit muscles' almost by their location. Their job is to move the shoulder blade around the back and so to train them you need to practice any movement that does this. For instance doing mini press ups keeping your arms completely straight and just dropping and raising the position of your torso on your arms will work them. They also get hit by some other exercise such as the bench press to a degree.

The Glutes: Men often forget glutes (the bum) which is a mistake seeing as this is such a large muscle belly and can be used to help you burn a lot more fat and produce a lot more growth hormone. Squats will train this area, but it's also a good idea to try doing some clenches – don't be embarrassed!

Traps: The traps are the muscles on either side of your neck and also at the middle of the back (when most people say back they think of the lats down the sides). These are responsible for shrugging movements, so for instance if you hold dumbbells in either hand then just shrug like you don't know the answer to a question then you'll work them. They don't need much work to really grow and they will make you look a lot bigger and more defined.

Forearms: Forearms again are often forgotten but this is odd seeing as they're one of the only muscle groups that you can show off without getting topless. Forearms are also useful for all gripping movements – which incidentally is one way to train them, as is doing wrist curls where you hold a dumbbell and then just curl it by moving the wrist up and down.

Hips: The hip adductors and abductors will make your legs look a lot thicker but they are often forgotten amongst the squats and deadlifts and other macho moves. The exercises you need to do bear the same name so it's easy to find the right resistance machine – don't ignore them!

Nathan Jones is an Australian based fitness instructor. He suggests the use of cross trainer hire for physical training at home.

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