What muscle groups do you focus on most when you head to the gym? Is it your biceps and triceps? Your glutes and your quads? Or maybe you’re an abs girl? Notice I didn’t mention the muscles of the back there? Despite the fact that the back muscles are often an area that men focus on more than women, it is actually a really important group of muscles that shouldn’t be neglected by anyone!
Your back plays an incredibly important role in the movement and function of your entire body. It is attached to your abdominals, hips, chest, shoulders and neck and enables your to bend, lift, pull, twist, walk and stand still. By strengthening your back muscles you not only have the benefit of increased movement and strength in your whole body, you also improve your posture, decrease your risk of injury and have a sexy sleek back you can show off in the right outfit!
Here is a breakdown of the main muscles of your back, and the role they play in your everyday life:
Trapezius - The muscles of the neck and upper back
Running across your upper back and connecting it with your shoulders and neck, these muscles are in constant use. They support and assist in turning your neck and head as well as balancing you when you are carrying your bag over one shoulder!
Erector Spine - The Spinal Extensors
This group of muscles and tendons run along your spine, supporting it. They are more prominent, or notable, in the lower back region. They play an important role in maintaining the alignment of your spine, supporting your posture and flexing and extending your spine as you go about activities such as picking shopping up and carrying it.
Rear Deltoid - The Shoulders & Mid Back
These muscles run from the lower lip of the posterior border of the spine scapula and out over the shoulder. They are incredibly important when it comes to good posture and by working to strengthen these muscles you will help support an upright posture by naturally encouraging your shoulder blades closer together.
These muscles run along the sides of your chest, from the 1st to the 8th rib, attaching to the entire anterior length of the medial border of your scapular. They play an important role in movements such as throwing your arms forward with force (boxing) or lifting weight above your head. They also work to stabilise your shoulder girdle, protect your scapular and assist in respiration.
Shoulder Rotator Cuff - The Shoulder Joint Muscle
These are the muscles that surround your shoulder joint and hold your arm into your shoulder socket. By keeping these muscles strong, you not only reduce the risk of injury as you undertake any resistance training that involves pushing or pulling weight with your arms, you also help define this area giving you a sleek, toned and sexy shoulders.
Hip Rotator Cuff - The Hip Joint muscles
These muscles run horizontally from your outer and upper hip joint, attaching to the centre of your gluteals, laying underneath your gluteus maximus. They are not only responsible for rotating your upper thigh muscles, they also work to balance and protect your hip joint when you jump, kick or climb up or down stairs.
So make sure you don’t overlook your back when you are considering what resistance training to incorporate into your weekly workouts. Because a strong back will keep you active, mobile and flexible as well as looking and feeling fab!