Today, I’m sharing with everyone a great resource when it comes to understanding muscle anatomy. The website is titled Get Body Smart. I have included a link to the muscular system page, but the website actually goes over almost everything pertaining to human anatomy and physiology.
I think the muscular system tutorials are terrific for those needing to buff up their knowledge on muscle origins and insertions. Each section allows for interaction as well as shows the layers in which each muscle rests.
Understanding movement is one of the most important concepts a strength and conditioning professional can have. I believe this is one of the area’s that students entering into the profession understand the least. Schools teach everyone about origins and insertions but students never truly learn how each muscle affects overall movement. I remember memorizing endless origins and insertions but they never really meant anything to me because the concept of how everything ties in together to produce motion wasn’t covered.
Knowing and understanding movement, how and where it is produced helps to determine where imbalances, as well as where deficiencies lie.
For example, the psoas is one the five flexors of the hip. But when the hip flexes, the psoas generally doesn’t even assist in hip flexion until the femur is around 90 degrees and above. From that point on the psoas is now the major player in hip flexion. Knowing this important fact can help us in determining problems when an injury occurs such as a quad strain. If we properly know our insertion point on the femur, we could understand how its possible that the psoas doesn’t activate until we reach parallel with our thigh, or how it actually assists the glutes in external rotation of the hip.
The glute medius is a lateral rotator of the thigh, as well as an abductor. However, if we look closer, the anterior fibers actually assist in internal rotation of the hip.
Or take the pec minor for example. It attaches to the corocoid process of the scapula. If this muscle is tight and overactive, it pulls the scapula into anterior tilt. When the scapula is in anterior tilt, the lower trapezius is put on stretch and becomes inhibited. Having an anteriorly tilted scapula now limits humeral extension, which can lead to a host of problems in the shoulder.
The website really is a tremendous resource not just for the muscular system but for the entire human body. I personally don’t think coaches can understand the function of each muscle and how it ties into overall body motion as it pertains to athletic movement enough. Understanding movement goes a long way in developing strategies to correcting improper patterns and preventing injuries down the road.