What is the muscle group that is forgotten by most of us while training?

5 Muscles You Need to Stop Ignoring

1. Rotator cuff

Deltoids the size of grapefruits won’t do you much good if you tear your rotator cuff which is a group of four muscles that literally form a cuff to stabilize the shoulder joint. Injure it and you’ll restrict your range of motion making overhead movements painful. Shoulders have the most mobility so they’re also the most unstable says Tom Holland, MS, C.S.C.S. author of Beat the Gym: Personal Trainer Secrets Without the Personal Trainer Price Tag. Keep them strong by taking a pre-hab versus a rehab approach. You typically only see people doing these exercises after they’re injured.

Attach light to medium resistance tubing to a door hinge then stand with your left side to it grasping the handle of the tubing with your right hand. Bend right arm at a 45-degree angle to your side your elbow is at your hip and your forearm is at a 90-degree angle in a handshake position then rotate your arm at the elbow pulling the tubing out towards the right side without pulling your upper arm away from your body like a door opening on a hinge. Next stand with your right side towards the door hinge. With your right arm bent at a 45-degree angle next to your side grasp the handle of the tubing with your right hand and rotate your arm at the elbow pulling the handle in towards the center of your body. Repeat 10 to 12 times on each side alternating sides for each set. Start with a light resistance then work your way up.

2. Erector spinae

You probably work your upper back and traps for that wide expanse, but you’re likely neglecting the very muscles that keep you upright. The erector spinae is actually a bundle of muscles and tendons that extend throughout the lower mid and upper back. They’re more about posture than anything says Holland. Weak spinal erectors and poor posture may lead to back pain and sports injuries.

Lie face down over a back extension machine with heels anchored. You can also use a fitness ball if you have a partner to hold down your ankles. Place your hands behind your head with elbows out to the sides. Slowly raise your torso don’t swing just until your body forms a straight line with ears shoulders hips knees and ankles in line. Slowly return back to start. Do three sets of 10-12 reps.

3. Gluteus medius and minimus

Few muscles get as much attention as the gluteus maximus yet it could not reach its full potential without these two lesser-known helpers which serve to stabilize the pelvis especially when standing on one leg says Guy Andrews MA, C.S.C.S., executive director of, They’re vital for any athletic performance and crucial for walking and climbing stairs. Plus when they’re toned they lift up the glutes.

Using a heavy resistance tubing circle step inside the band with both feet and fasten around each ankle. Stand in a wide sports stance knees slightly bent toes pointed straight ahead and hands on hips or out in front. Step out to the side and continue walking sideways for 8-10 steps then repeat in the opposite direction. Perform 2-3 sets, 2-3 times a week.

4. Tibialis anterior

Have you ever suffered from shin splints? If so listen up: Failing to strengthen this vital muscle which runs along the bottom part of your leg next to your shin bone plays a huge role in forming a healthy gait and can increase your risk of getting those nagging lower-leg pains. The tibialis anterior plays a vital role in walking running and sprinting says Andrews.

Do this 2-3 times a week, Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor then keeping your heels on the floor raise your toes off of it for 8-10 reps. To increase the challenge you can balance a small dumbbell 5 lbs on your foot for added resistance. Or you can also sit on a high chair or bench with enough room for your feet to dangle and do the same exercise with a dumbbell between them.

5. Hamstrings

Sure all those squats dead lifts and lunges indirectly hit the hamstrings but not enough. Most guys are quad dominant and ignore their hamstrings says Andrews who notes that naturally hamstrings are only about 60 percent as strong as the quads. So what’s the big deal? Any imbalance of opposing muscle groups like big quads and weak hamstrings can cause unequal pull on the joint. And in this particular case that sets the stage for knee injuries. Just ask Andrews who recently tore an ACL himself while jumping over a puddle during a run.

Prone hamstring curl machines and standing leg curl machines are both effective or try this leg curl move using an exercise ball. Lie on the floor with your heels on top of the ball toes up toward the ceiling and legs slightly bent. 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. Keeping the hips off the ground roll the ball back out to the starting position and repeat. Do 8-10 reps 2-3 times a week.