It’s easy for us to get caught up into working the areas we “like” on our bodies. Maybe we have great arms, so we continue to work on those, with bicep curls happening all the time. Perhaps it’s that we like our legs and work out the quads, but neglect our upper body. As much as we may enjoy working a certain muscle group, we need to make sure we work all parts of a muscle.
When we work a certain muscle, for instance the bicep muscle in a bicep curl, we need to also focus on the tricep muscle. These are considered a muscle pair, with an agonist and antagonist muscle. The agonist muscle is the one being worked (ex. bicep) while the antagonist is the muscle that opposes the agonist. It must relax (not be used) for the agonist to work properly. However, we can’t forget about those muscles! Working only one muscle of the pair can lead to other parts that are weaker, creating a muscular imbalance, and can lead to improper body alignment and injury.
Here is a list of muscles that oppose each other and both need worked on for a well rounded workout.
- Biceps and Triceps
- Deltoids (shoulders) and Upper back
- Abs and Lower Back
- Chest and middle back
- Hips and Butt
- Abductors and Adductors
- Quads and Hamstrings
- Shin and Calf muscle
On that note, I am not so great at working my lower back. I’m not even great at working my core, but better at that than my lower back. Great reminder to add those moves in!
This week, I’m focusing on the lower body! I love squats as they are easily adaptable to wherever you are, can be added in to everyday movements (brushing teeth), and can be as easy or hard as you want them to be. Some other benefits of squats are they burn tons of calories while raising your heart rate, they work many muscles, and are a functional movement, which means they translate to things you do in your everyday life. Let’s get the butt ready for those bikinis making appearances soon!
With this workout, feel free to add it on to another leg workout, or do this on your own. This is a lot of squatting, so you may not want to repeat it, but feel free to repeat one or two more times if you would like. I wouldn’t repeat more than 3 times total, though. It will place too much stress on your knees.
Please remember to keep good form. Don’t continue doing the exercises just to get to a number if you can’t do it with proper form. I would rather you adjust the numbers to fit what works best for you! Let me know if you have any questions, or if you give it a try!
What’s your favorite lower body exercise?
What is a muscle you aren’t so great at working?