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2 Smaller Muscles That Need Your Attention-Ep 31

I ended the week appreciating my cup of morning coffee from Capt. Curts Coffee Shop and ended it with a blast of Covid. Self-isolation, binge watching Netflix and sleeping ALOT filled up the hours in the day. But I did not want to miss out on creating this podcast, although short and sweet.

We work so hard to stay strong by training our back, chest, legs and glutes - the powerhouse muscles, that we forget the little guys that contribute to the daily function of walking and grabbing.

I am talking about the WRIST EXTENSORS (forearm) and ANTERIOR TIBIALIS (shin muscle).

You may have had shin splits or perhaps tennis elbow? But more importantly, these 2 muscle groups contribute to our ability to walk and to hold onto object with force (like opening a jar).

The anterior tibialis stabilizes the ankle and helps to lift the foot off the ground. With overuse, like running too much on hard surfaces, improper footwear, excessive jumping load - it become inflamed. But it also needs to be strong to work in alignment with the calf to keep the lower leg in check, so how can yo easily strengthen it ?

TOE TAPS or TOE LIFTS - sit in a chair, raise your toes off the floor hold 1 second - do about 15-20 reps per side - no weight required

HEEL WALK - keep weight on the heels, toes lifted and walk across the floor 20 sec, rest 10 and repeat 2 more times - can be done with or without shoes

Next up is training grip strength. We take the ability to grab things, open jars, swing a paddle or club, carry luggage and more for granted - many times overuse can cause tendonitis aka tennis elbow. So here is my recommendation to help strengthen the wrist extensors (Note, there are many exercise choices, I chose the easiest one to do anywhere).

WRIST CURLS (multiple directions) - use a clenched fist or a weight up to 5lbs. Sit and rest your arm on your leg so your wrist is hanging over the knee with the palm up. Curl your wrist only up and down 10-12 reps, flip so the palm is face down and rev the motorcycle 10-12 reps, then flip so thumb is up and go right to left like a windshield wiper. These are very basic and purposeful.

It is always beneficial to do gentle self-massage of the calf and shin by using a foam roller or percussion massager. The forearms can be massaged manually and also with a percussion massager.

Don't get trapped into just training the big guys, these small muscle groups help us do great things everyday!

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