When you begin a new workout regimen, you have to take into account the small muscles. Every workout routine should involve the smaller muscles of the shoulder, the wrist, the elbow and the ankles. These are some of the most popular areas that are overlooked and lead to overuse and repetitive stress injuries. All good programs are going to tell you to warm up with a Cardiovascular Exercise for a minimum of five minutes. Then they tell you to start with the Large Muscle Groups first and work the Small Muscle Groups last. The problem with these programs is that they do not include the Intrinsic Muscles (the muscles that are most commonly involved in injury, or the Smallest Muscle Groups). Missing these small muscle groups will cause pain, swelling, tenderness and injury. These muscles are vulnerable when they are weak or improperly stretches (too tight).
Try to include exercises for these areas a few times a week
- Rotator Cuff Exercises – These are the small muscles of the shoulder that aid in all the major movements of the shoulder and have a high prevalence of injury
- Internal and External Rotation of the Shoulder
- Shoulder Flexion and Abduction
- Shoulder Horizontal Abduction
- Wrist Exercises – Wrist Flexion and Extension are the two most common muscle groups that cause problems at the elbow.
- Wrist Flexion and Extension
- Wrist Rotation (Pronation and Supination)
- Ulnar and Radial Deviation
- Elbow Exercises – The Tricep and Bicep tendons are most commonly involved muscles when it comes to shoulder injuries. Working out hard on a regular basis without focusing on the Full Range of Motion of the elbow will lead to Micro-Traumas (little repetitive injuries).
- Tricep Extension Exercises in the Short Range of Motion and the Long Range of Motion
- Bicep Curls in the Short Range of Motion and the Long Range of Motion
- Ankle Exercises – Working on the small muscles of the ankle will improve your balance, help you respond quicker to a loss of balance and help prevent ‘rolling your ankle’ and ‘Achilles Tendinitis’ (inflammation of the tendon behind the heel/calf).
- Heel and Toe Raises
- Ankle Inversion and Eversion Exercises
- Hip Intrinsic Muscles – These are the small muscles of the hip that promote hip stability, which in turn stabilizes the spine. Avoiding these exercises will lead to Low Back Pain and Hip pain. The important muscles to focus on are the Hip Rotators, Hip Flexors, Hip Abductors and Hip Adductors.
- Hip Abduction and Adduction Exercises
- Hip External and Internal Rotation Exercises with Theraband
- Hip Flexion with minimal resistance
Adding these exercises to your program will avoid the repetitive injuries to the vulnerable areas and make your workouts more enjoyable and successful. If you have any questions, please let us know. We are happy to help!