In our last article, we talked about stabilizer muscles, what they were, and how resistance bands can help you strengthen these lesser-known but highly important muscle groups. Let's focus on what kind of resistance band-based exercises you can do to strengthen stabilizer muscles in the major areas of your body.
Why Are Stabilizer Muscles Important?
When working out, it can be very tempting to put all your time and effort into just building the muscles that will make you look good. These muscles are the major muscles. The importance of stabilizer muscles lies in how much form and posture matter in getting a good lift.
Stabilizers are the muscles in charge of providing support and stability to the major muscles doing the movements. The stronger your stabilizer muscles are, the better form and technique you have. This will lead to a decreased risk of injury and a more rewarding workout session.
Exercises to Improve Stabilizer Muscles
Each muscle group you have has its own stabilizer muscles. In order to effectively strengthen those muscles, it's important to deepen your strategy and workout plan to focus on them during portions of your exercise.
Resistance bands offer a unique advantage in targeting stabilizer muscles across various muscle groups. Let's delve into specific exercises that effectively engage stabilizers in the shoulders, arms, core, and legs.
Shoulders: Engaging the Rotator Cuff
1. External Rotation with Resistance Band
Targeted Muscles: Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor
This exercise specifically targets the rotator cuff muscles. Secure one end of the band to a fixed point at waist height. Having a designated anchor like the Spine Strap is great for this.
Hold the other end in your hand with your elbow bent at 90 degrees. Rotate your forearm outward against the resistance, engaging the external rotators of the shoulder.
2. Shoulder Y-Raises
Targeted Muscles: Deltoids, Supraspinatus
Stand on the center of the band and hold one end in each hand. With arms extended in a Y-shape, raise them overhead against the resistance. This not only works the deltoids but also engages the stabilizing muscles around the shoulder joint.
Arms: Stabilizing Elbows and Wrists
1. Band Pull-Aparts
Targeted Muscles: Brachialis, Brachioradialis
Hold the band with both hands in front of you, arms extended. Pull the band apart by moving your hands laterally, squeezing your shoulder blades together. This engages the muscles around the elbows and wrists.
2. Wrist Flexor Stretch
Targeted Muscles: Flexor Carpi Ulnaris, Palmaris Longus
Anchor the band low and hold one end in your hand, palm facing down. With your arm extended, flex your wrist upward against the resistance, targeting the forearm flexors.
Core: Stability and Control
1. Pallof Press
Targeted Muscles: Rectus Abdominis, Transverse Abdominis, Obliques
Anchor the band to a stationary point and stand sideways to the attachment. Hold the band at chest height and extend your arms, resisting the rotational force. This challenges the core muscles to maintain stability.
2. Anti-Rotation Plank
Targeted Muscles: Internal and External Obliques
Loop the band around a post at knee height. Get into a plank position with the band around your knees. Resist the band's pull to one side, engaging the obliques to prevent rotation.
Legs: Building Stability from the Ground Up
1. Clamshell Exercise
Targeted Muscles: Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus
Place the band just above your knees. Lie on your side with knees bent. Keeping your feet together, lift the top knee against the resistance, activating the muscles on the side of the hip.
2. Lateral Band Walk
Targeted Muscles: Gluteus Medius, Tensor Fasciae Latae
Wrap the band around your ankles. Start with your feet hip-width apart and step laterally against the resistance. This exercise activates the hip abductors, promoting stability.
For more exercises with resistance bands, check out our Training Room for free videos and complete workouts guided by certified trainers.
Wrapping It Up
By incorporating these targeted resistance band exercises for stabilizer muscles, you not only strengthen major muscle groups but also pay attention to the stabilizers that often go unnoticed in traditional workouts. This comprehensive approach contributes to overall joint health, balance, and functional strength.
For more advice, keep following our blog to get the tips you need to keep on your fitness journey.
Check out our line of pioneering safety-sleeved resistance bands.