Muscle building is not only about building “bigger” muscles. You also have to focus on building “stronger” muscles. You may be hitting the gym every day in the hope of becoming the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, but are you focusing on the right muscles? More often than not, bodybuilders tend to ignore the most important muscles that we use in our daily lives. Strengthening these muscles don’t require heavy equipment. If you ignore these muscles, you may develop issues a few years down the line.

Here are a few muscles that you should focus on during your daily workout regimen:

Hand muscles

Have you ever thought of increasing the grip strength of your hands? Perhaps not, and you are not the only one here. Some studies have shown that your grip strength is a clear signifier of your overall health and longevity. It’s also seen as an indicator of disease-related risks in the future. Plus you are lifting weights, which requires strong hands. Practice ball squeeze, flexion with a dumbbell or pinch gripping weights to give your finger muscles a strengthening workout.

Foot muscles

After your hands, it’s your feet that require a good workout to remain strong. Your intrinsic foot muscles play a very important role in providing arch support to your body. By strengthening your intrinsic foot muscles, you can keep your arches from falling. Collapsing of the arches can cause your feet to pronate and lead to valgus in the knees. You should consider exercises like foot doming while lifting weights so that your feet are correctly aligned with your knees.

Lateral ankle stabilizers

Lifting heavy weights with weak ankles can increase your chances of injuries. Two ankle muscles, namely the peroneus brevis and peroneus longus, cover the ankle and support lateral movements. The tibialis posterior covers your inner ankle and assist in ankle movement and dorsiflexing. As such, you need to strengthen these muscles to stabilize your body. Doing single leg exercises is an excellent way to strengthen these muscles and improve your balance while lifting weights.

Deep cervical flexors

You may not have heard or thought about these muscles much, but they are critical to maintaining the proper position of the head. These include Longus Capitis and Longus Colli, both of which stabilize your neck and improves cervical alignment. People who lead a sedentary lifestyle often have weak deep cervical flexors, causing their head to lean forward. Strengthening the deep cervical flexors can reduce neck pain and headaches. Chin tucks are a good exercise to strengthen these muscles and improve your alignment while lifting.

Transverse abdominis

The rectus abdominis is a core muscle to focus on, but you can’t afford to ignore the transverse abdominis muscle. This muscle covers your upper pelvis and lower abdomen to form a brace. You have to strengthen this muscle to prevent back injuries while lifting heavy weights. Strength exercises and gentle activation is an excellent way to engage these muscles and improve your stability.