17 Nov 2010

Muscles Of The Body

If you become familiar with the muscles of the body you can actually gain great benefits than simply allowing you to talk shop with your mates at the gym when working out. The more information you get on the muscles your working the more you can improve on areas your not doing so well at and improve what your working.

So lets start looking at the muscles of the body :

The lower body muscles -  1. Quadriceps femoris - a group of four muscles at the front of the thigh. They are the vastus lateralis on the outside, the vastus medialis on the inside, the vastus intermedius between them, and the rectus femoris above them. The role is to extend the leg from a bent position. 
                                       2. Hamstrings - found to the rear of the leg and consist of the biceps femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus. They are used to flex the knee in the act of pulling the heel towards the buttocks. 
                                       3. Gluteals - they make up the buttocks and consist of the gluteus maximus covering the hip joint and the gluteus medius and minimus on the outside of the hip. Gluteus maximus facilitates hip extension while the other two lift the leg to the side in an action called hip abduction. 
                                      4. Hip flexors -found opposite the glutes on the front of the pelvis which consists of the psoas major and iliacus and raise the leg to the front. 
                                      5. Calves - consist of the gastrocnemius and the soleus and their role is to extend the foot at the ankle.

The core muscles - core muscles are the key to the muscles of the body and lock down parts of our torsos to give us extra stability when our bodies need it, for example, when throwing a ball or picking up a toddler. The three most important core muscle groups are:

Pelvic floor muscles - they support the pelvic bone and in doing so provide support for the organs like the bladder and maintenance of continence in the urinary and anal sphincters. In women it facilitates birth by resisting the descent of the presenting part, causing the baby to rotate forwards to navigate through the pelvic girdle. 
Transversus  abdominis muscle - helps to compress the ribs and viscera and provides thoracic and pelvic stability.
The multifidus - a very thin muscle deep in the spine which spans three joint segments and works to stabilize the joints at each segmental level.
Abdominal internal oblique muscle - the intermediate muscle of the obdomen in performs two major functions, one it acts as an opponent to the diaphragm and helps to reduce the volume of the chest cavity during exhalation. Second function is its contraction rotates and side bends the trunk by pulling the rib cage towards the hip and the lower back.
Abdominal external oblique muscle - pulls the chest downwards and compress the abdominal cavity which increases the intra abdominal pressure as in a valsalva maneuver.
Rectus abdominis muscle -an important postural muscle responsible for flexing the lumbar spine and assists with breathing and playing an important role in the respiration.
Erector spinae muscles - a bundle of muscles and tendons in the back they allow unilateral flexion and bilateral extension of the spine. 
Diaphragm - functions in breathing, enlarging the cavity which then creates suction that draws air into the lungs.   

Upper body muscles - Upper back muscles - trapezius muscle is a triangular shape that runs from the centre of the back right up to the neck and running across the shoulder blade. It stabilizes the shoulder blade and provides a base for the movements of the arm and creates a shoulder girdle for stability to the upper body.
rhomboids - small muscles in the centre of the back that help maintain good posture.
Shoulder muscles - deltoids are wrapped around the top of your shoulders and split up in three areas, front, side and rear. They give the shoulders their versatility and range of movement.
rotators are four small muscles beneath the shoulders and help to hold your arm in place.
Chest muscles - pectorals, everyone talks about these two large muscles that run across the surface of the chest and generally come into play when you push something or hug someone.
Arm muscles - everyone wants big biceps, they are situated at the front of your upper arm and work when you bend your arm or pick something up.
triceps are at the back of the upper arm and oppose the biceps. They come into play when you want to straighten your arm or push something.
forearms muscles run from the wrist to the elbow and there are loads of them that do many different jobs. 
This is just a short overview of the major muscles of the body and more simple ones for you to know when training.




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