Sunday 21 January 2018

Getting back to basics to work those muscles

Getting back to basics can really help you to hit stubborn muscle groups.
Getting back to basics can really help you to hit stubborn muscle groups.

Siobhan Byrne

Heavy poundage strength training has always been my favourite way of training, and adding in interval sprints has really topped off my training in recent weeks. However, getting back to basics can really help you to hit stubborn muscle groups.

It's fair to say that some muscles just need a little more work in order to really hit the muscle. Take, for example, glutes; quite a difficult muscle to hit very effectively and definitely easier for men.

You should find that a nice deep squat should engage the glute without fail. As I will have often said, if you are failing on hitting the glute, taking the quads to exhaustion first with some heavy lunges or leg press, then hit in with some deep squatting – provided you don't have any underlying knee injuries.

However, all this said, sometimes the best way to hit those lazier muscle groups can be to bring it back to basics. Bodyweight exercises are very effective for this.

Sometimes bodyweight circuits are a great time saver and have been very effective for really targeting that lazy area.

So why is this? Sometimes, form can be compromised by the use of heavy weights, causing the exercise to be less effective.

Now, that's not to say that you should drop the heavy weights. I wouldn't be an advocator of that at all but, as you get to know your own body better through your strength training programme, you may feel that some muscles are a little weaker for some reason.

This is the time to look at focusing on these muscle groups and bring in a bodyweight circuit to really effectively hit them.

I cant recommend enough glute builders like jumping split squat, kickbacks, lying leg raises, lunges and deep bodyweight squats to really help target the glute area.

Adding in one bodyweight circuit a week can really help to improve the appearance of the area and help to engage it for other strength training workouts.

Don’t forget to pick up FIT Magazine every Monday with the Irish Independent. And you can now join in online at for all the tips, race reports, advice and stories from the fitness world.

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