6 body areas that we forget to exercise
Workouts shouldn’t be limited to toning our legs, achieving firmer buttocks and developing more defined abs. There are some commonly ‘forgotten’ areas in our body that are considered to be the strongholds of our core muscles.
Here you’ll find a list of body parts that we tend to overlook, plus some recommended exercises to spice up your workout session.
1. Inner elbows
Stretching this part of your arm might be new to many. Employ this short yoga exercise into your arm stretching routine for better muscle toning.
Get down on your hands and knees. Turn your arms around, so that your fingers are pointing towards your knees. Now slowly lower your buttocks towards your heels, keeping your palms flat against the floor. Feel that lovely stretch? Breathe in deeply through your nose as you lean further back onto your heels. Remain in that position for a few deep breaths. Stand up slowly and shake your arms to release any remaining tension from the muscles.
Those tiny wriggling fellows require some exercise too. Strong toes will keep you balanced and contribute to better posture. Integrate toe stretching exercises with your usual leg warm-ups.
This exercise is similar to the previous one. Kneel on your hands and knees, this time curling your toes. Gently sit back onto your heels, keeping your toes bent firmly against the floor. Make sure that even your little toes remain curled.
Another simple exercise is to actually stand on the tip of your toes. Try maintaining your balance for at least 2 minutes.
Yes, your eyes need a bit of stretching as well. Think of those long hours sitting at your computer desk. We’re all familiar with eye related symptoms after a day at the office, the most recurring ones being headaches, fatigue and dry eyes.
Exercising your eyes on a daily basis reduces eyestrain and makes your eyes look fresher and healthier. Follow some of the exercises below at least once a day, ideally during rest breaks at the office or before bedtime.
Before proceeding with the following exercises, make sure you are sitting comfortably with your shoulders back and your head held straight.
- Up and down, left to Right
Move your eyes upward, and hold your gaze. Blink for a few seconds to relax your eyes. Move your eyes downward, hold for three breaths, and return your gaze to the middle. Repeat this exercises several times.
Do the same stretching exercise, this time moving your eyes from left to right. Don’t forget to blink!
This is another good exercise for stretching your eye muscles. Start by moving your eyes in a clockwise motion. Picture a clock in your head and imagine that you’re focusing on each number, starting from 12, 1, 2, and so on. Repeat the procedure, this time moving anticlockwise.
Rub your hands together to warm them up. Keeping your eyes open, place your palms over your eyes. Make sure that no light seeps in through the gaps between your fingers. Take slow, deep breaths and enjoy this wonderful relaxation technique.
Strengthening your wrists is part and parcel of achieving stronger arms. Start by stretching out your left arm. Take your right hand over your left one and gently bend your left wrist by pressing the hand down. Repeat the same thing on the right arm.
Rest your elbows on a table and slowly rotate your wrists. Try keeping your arm still in the process. This is a quick and easy one to do during that 5-minute computer break.
Sturdy and flexible ankles fortify your balance and joint stability and thus prevent injuries. The following ankle strengthening methods are widely adopted by runners.
- Method 1
Sit up straight in a chair and lift one leg up, knee pointing towards the ceiling. Rotate your foot, stretching it as far as possible. Imagine that you’re drawing wide circles with your big toe. Repeat the same exercise with your other foot.
- Method 2
Lie on your bed with your feet hanging off the edge. Start by flexing your toes towards the ceiling and then down towards the floor. Repeat this several times before moving on to the next step.
Flex your feet towards the left and then to the right, stretching them as far as you can. Don’t be shocked if you wake up with sore ankles the next day – it simply means that you need to exercise your feet more often!
6. Pelvic floor muscles
This one’s for the ladies! Weakened pelvic floor muscles can be due to many factors, but are often associated with obesity, ageing and childbirth. By toning your pelvic floor muscles you reduce the risk of developing bladder leakage later in life.
Squeeze your pelvic muscles and tighten them as strongly as you can. Pretend that you desperately need to visit the bathroom and you’re doing your best to hold it in. Remember to breathe. Count to ten and let go. Rest for a few seconds before repeating the contractions.
Your body offers a spectrum of regions waiting to be explored and exploited. Setting up a workout schedule is a great way of establishing self-discipline, but don’t let yourself be lulled into an incessant routine. Varying your exercises plays an important role in leading an active life. Experiment with different techniques. Go on… surprise your body.