exercise musclesIt’s the nature of exercising that certain body parts are much easier to target than others. For men, the chest, biceps, abs, and shoulder muscles are the most obvious, and moves like the chest press, bicep curl, crunch, and shoulder shrug help to tone those body parts. Women also like to focus on the arms and abs, as well as the butt. However, men and women alike have other muscle groups that deserve attention too. An equally toned body has better balance and can support itself more effectively in difficult workouts.

For Men: The Adductors

Adductor exercises target the inner thighs, an area of the body that has a more feminine reputation. But the truth is that men also need strong adductors to help the thighs move laterally and perform leg movements like running, climbing the stairs, squatting, and playing sports. Weak adductors are often the secret weapon that destroy lower-body strength. Lateral lunges and exercise band movements are best to target the inner thighs and strengthen those adductors.

For Men and Women: The Upper Back

The back is important for more than just looking good in a tank top. Sitting, typing, and texting often force the back to bend into poor posture stances, which then impact balance and overall body strength. Especially for men, a weak back with a strong chest can create the appearance of a caveman, and a hunched back makes the pecs look like they are falling into each other. Try a seated cable row and cobra back extension to strengthen the back and even out the body’s muscles.

For Women: The Rotator Cuff

It’s often harder for women to build upper-body strength, so it’s important to connect growing upper-body strength with the core of the body. The rotator cuff connects the arms and the trunk of the body, and a stronger rotator cuff will limit shoulder injuries while keeping the body agile. A straight-arm plank into a side plank is a great low-impact way to build the rotator cuff.

By embracing these changes, however small they are, men and women alike can capitalize on their workouts to achieve their best results yet.