I never would have guessed that I had any secret weaknesses. But I knew there was something wrong when the rest of the class did a pike crunch, and I just flopped back to the floor like a fish.
I work out five days a week. I’ve been lifting for years. Decades! How is it that everyone can do this but me?
Because I had failed to tone my lower abs, that’s how. I might have obliques of steel, but my gut muscles suck. I had uncovered a hidden weakness.
You probably have one too. Most of us do the same range of familiar moves week in and week out, likely leaving at least one muscle untapped. Maybe it’s your forearms. Maybe it’s your hip flexors. Maybe it’s your gluteus medius. (Did you even know you had those?) Often it’s a subset of a muscle group that requires a special move to exercise.
So why do you care?
Because that’s likely where you’ll get hurt. Think about a chain-link fence with a rusty spot. When you lean against it, where will it snap first? Muscle balance is key to ensuring you avoid injury. And it’s necessary if you ever want to achieve next-level fitness, get faster or reshape your appearance.
How to Find and Fix Them
The best way to find your secret weakness and fix it is to get out of your comfort zone. Tops on my list: Trying a range of group fitness classes. Yoga, Pilates, Body Combat and Cycling all will target a wide range and variety of muscles in different ways. And both men and women can benefit! Guys, I think you’ll be *amazed* by how sore you are in new and different ways after a “simple” yoga class.
Next, try out every weight machine you’ve never used. If you don’t know how something works, ask one of our fitness consultants at the front desk; we’re happy to give you a quick demo. Don’t be afraid to stop and read the guidelines posted on the machine, too. They tell you about form, hand grip and the muscles you should be feeling/working during the move.
Finally, if you haven’t already, sign up for your *free* fitness assessment and consider scheduling some personal training to learn new moves that’ll target areas you don’t often tap. Even the fittest among you will find yourselves struggling at some point, struck by just how hard this one move is…
As for me, I’ll be over here doing pike crunches to naturally suck in my gut, and standing rear leg raises to strengthen my gluteus medius. (That’s your upper backside, in case you were wondering.) I need to fix these secret weaknesses before I try cycling…and find a new one!