More often than not, we determine the “beach workout” is the workout we need in order to show off our chest, abs, and biceps whenever possible. The first problem to this kind of thinking is that you will develop a bad posture. If you overdevelop these muscles, they will rotate internally which will cause your shoulders to slouch. Additionally, those muscles you want to show off will stop getting bigger. Your body will stop muscles from developing if its antagonist isn’t strong enough. Basically, if your body can’t handle additional muscle strength, your body will know first – regardless of a perfect diet and workout. With this knowledge, we have a list of exercises that many people often neglect, but will maintain your posture and assist you in gaining more muscle:
Your External Rotation
Your Infraspinatus and Teres Minor are two of your primary external rotators. These muscles, relatively small, rest on the top of your shoulder blade and are attached externally to your upper arm. Your Infraspinatus works more than other muscles when you have your arm to your side when you’re externally rotating. Externally rotating with your arm lifted to a 90 degree angle at your side is mainly using your Teres Minor. These two muscles build shoulder strength as well as stability, and a continued development of your pectoral muscles. When bench pressing no longer works, try single-armed seated external rotations. Keep things slow and count to 3 – 5 when you rotate your arm downward in order to properly engage those external rotators.
Your Lower Trap
Most people focus on their upper trap. Sitting, reading, being cold and watching movies often elevate our shoulders. It is a protective mechanism and completely natural. However, keeping a good posture will give you a boost in confidence, which means you want your chest pushed forward with your shoulders held back and down. In order to achieve this, you must strengthen your “Trap 3” (ask your trainer if you need to). So try some bent over workout routines in order to work on your proper alignment. Lean in on something and rest your head on one forearm. Relax your other arm at your side with a dumbbell. Lift your shoulder in a slow shrug motion upwards and then keep the movement going by lifting the dumbbell over your head.
Necks are not typically strong. Being slouched with the forward-head kind of posture is common and weak necks (and your pelvis) are to blame for this. We often sit at desk jobs leaning into our computer monitors or tablets, so our necks are almost seldom properly aligned. They named this craned neck appearance the universally-renowned “Computer Neck Syndrome”.
So that you can gain and maintain or even to regain proper ranges of motions in your neck and upper back, you should foam roll your upper back prior to working out to address your thoracic mobility. After the workout, try a few standing isometric neck work up against any wall in order to work on your neck strength. Tuck your chin in and keep the back of your head pressed up against that wall for perfect alignment. You’ll be more comfortable using a pillow or mat. You should do this for 3 minutes total, in as many sets as you require. As you keep strengthening your neck, step further out from that wall. In time, you’ll require a physio ball. But you need to gradually progress to that.
Everyone wishes to look good. Your foundation needs to be strong and sturdy in order to build up your temple. Make sure you keep working on these neck, lower trap, and external rotations in order to keep developing more muscle and maintaining a better posture and alignment.
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