Work the Small Muscles, Too
Strength training generally focuses on building up the large muscles in the body, but there are advantages to working the smaller muscles, as well. Smaller muscles will help to add support to larger muscles, increasing overall strength. Toning and firming up smaller muscles will also give you more definition than just concentrating on the larger muscle groups.
What’s the Difference?
The larger muscle groups in the body are identified as the glutes, hamstrings, chest, and back. Smaller muscles are the triceps, biceps, calves, and shoulders. Now, these are all commonly worked. The smaller muscles that often get overlooked are muscles like the serratus anterior on the side of the chest along the ribs, the piriformis next to the glutes, and the psoas that runs through the hips and lower back.
Work Large to Small
According to The American College of Sports Medicine, you should work bigger muscles first, and then move onto smaller muscles. This will help your body to achieve higher intensities. This will also help you to see faster results, as tone in the larger muscles is more readily apparent. When moving on to smaller muscles, you are more likely to be able to bust through plateaus and see improved definition.
Benefits of Working Small Muscles
Working small muscles is not just about the esthetic appeal, though. The small muscles are often the ones that help you to maintain balance, stay in good posture, and continue to have great range of motion and mobility throughout your life. Working these muscles regularly will set you up for greater success with continued fitness efforts and lasting health. Working these muscles can also help you to remain injury free, keeping pain and stiffness at bay.