Muscle Anatomy for Coaches

Muscle Anatomy for Coaches

Muscle Actions

One of the most common beliefs of personal trainers and coaches is that “you don’t need an in-depth knowledge of anatomy to be a good trainer”.

This is completely right, you don’t. In fact, telling a client that their Rectus Femoris originates on the Anterior Inferior Iliac Spine, and inserts through the Patella onto the Tibial Tuberosity will more than likely go straight over their head. However, knowing that the Rec-Fem crosses both the hip and knee joint and therefore, both flexes the hip and extends the knee is an essential part of being a great coach.

Understanding a muscles function leads to a more in-depth knowledge of biomechanics, which will help you to increase your client’s performance, while reducing the risk of injuries or managing current injuries.

In this article, I will not be describing origins and insertions with all the fancy terminology. Muscles origins (can be multiple) and insertions will be described as attachment points.

Instead of describing the attachment points in detail, I will group together the muscles which perform specific actions. From this, you can clearly see which muscles work together and which muscles oppose each other.

·       When you know how a muscle works, you understand how to best target the muscle.

·       When you know what muscles support each other, it helps you to understand why the muscle in question might be under or overworking.

·       When you know what muscle(s) oppose the muscle in question, it helps you to understand why the muscle in question might be under or overworking.

When it comes to the bottom two bullet points, it often requires an experienced therapist to assess which muscles are under or overworking – remember, muscles can be tense because they are strong and overworked or weak and underactive.

However, when working with a “healthy” client (isn’t in need of more specialist care), a decent coach should be able asses through training, what muscles need extra attention. This ability comes from an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology and the ability assess movement – the outcomes/performance of a client during specific exercises i.e. A single leg glute bridge or a squat.

I will start at the neck and systematically work all the way down the body until I get to the feet.

 

I have included pictures of some of the major muscles – See if you can correctly identify them.

 

The Neck

Neck Extensors: Back of Neck

·       Splenius Capitus

·       Splenius Cervicus

·       Upper Trapezius

Neck Flexors: Front of Neck

·       Sternocleidomastoid

·       Scalenes

·       Longus Colli

Upper Extremities

Elevators of the Scapula (Shoulder Blade): Pull Scapula Upwards

·       Upper Trapezius

·       Levator Scapula

Depressors of the Scapula: Pull Scapula Down

·       Pectoralis Minor

·       Lower Trapezius

Protractors of the Scapula: Pulling Shoulders Forward

·       Pectoralis Minor

·       Serratus Anterior

Retractors of the Scapular: Pulling Shoulders Back

·       Middle Trapezius

·       Rhomboids

Upward Rotators of the Scapula: Pulling the Scapula Upwards and the Inferior Angle (Bottom Edge) of the Scapula Away from the Midline (Spine)

·       Upper Trapezius

·       Lower Trapezius

·       Serratus Anterior

Downward Rotators of the Scapula: Pulling the Scapula Downwards and the Inferior Angle (Bottom Edge) of the Scapula Towards the Midline (Spine)

·       Levator Scapula

·       Rhomboids

·       Pectoralis Minor

Internal (Medial) Rotators of the Humerus: Turn Palms to Face Rearwards

·       Anterior Deltoid

·       Pectoralis Major

·       Subscapularis

·       Teres Major

·       Latissimus Dorsi

External Rotators of the Humerus: Turn Palms to Face Forwards

·       Infraspinatus

·       Teres Minor

·       Posterior Deltoid

Flexors of the Humerus: Bring the Arm Forwards

·       Anterior Deltoid

·       Pectoralis Major (Clavicular Head)

·       Coracobrachialis

·       Biceps Brachii (Short Head)

Extensors of the Humerus: Bring the Arm Back Towards the Body

·       Latissimus Dorsi

·       Teres Major

·       Posterior Deltoid

·       Infraspinatus

·       Teres Minor

·       Triceps Brachii (Long Head)

·       Pectoralis Major (Sternal Head)

Abductors of the Humerus: Bring the Arm Away from the Body (Midline)

·       Supraspinatus

·       Medial Deltoid

Adductors of the Humerus: Bring the Arm Back to the Body (Midline)

·       Pectoralis

·       Coracobrachialis

·       Latissimus Dorsi

·       Teres Major

·       Subscapularis

Horizontal Abductor or the Humerus: Bring the Arms Away from Midline from a Starting Position of 90 Degrees of Flexion

·       Posterior Deltoid

·       Teres Minor

·       Infraspinatus

Horizontal Adductors of the Humerus: Bring the Arms Back Towards the Midline from a Starting Position of 90 Degrees of Flexion

·       Anterior Deltoid

·       Pectoralis Major

Flexors of the Elbow: Bend the Elbow

·       Biceps Brachii

·       Brachialis

·       Brachioradialis

·       Pronator Teres

Extensors of the Elbows: Straighten the Elbow

·       Triceps Brachii

·       Anconeus

Supinators of the Forearm: Rotation of the Forearm so the Palm Faces Forward or Upwards

·       Biceps Brachii

·       Supinator

Pronators of the Forearm: Rotation of the Forearm so the Palm Faces Rearwards or Downwards

·       Pronator Teres

·       Pronator Quadratus

The Wrists & Hands

Flexors of the Wrist: Bending the Wrist so the Palm is Brought Towards the Forearm

·       Flexor Carpi Radialis

·       Flexor Carpi Ulnaris

·       Palmaris Longus

Extensors of the Wrist: Bending the Wrist so the Back of the Hand is Brought Towards the Forearm

·       Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus

·       Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis

·       Extensor Carpi Ulnaris

Abductors of the Wrist:  Bending the Wrist Towards the Thumb (Radial Deviation/Radial Flexion)

·       Flexor Carpi Radialis

·       Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus

Adductors of the Wrist: Bending the Wrist Towards the Little Finger (Ulnar Deviation/Ulnar Flexion)

·       Extensor Carpi Ulnaris

·       Flexor Carpi Ulnaris

Abductors of the Thumb and Fingers: Spread the Thumb and Fingers

Thumb: (1st digit)

Carpometacarpal Joint (CMC)

·       Abductor Pollicis Longus

·       Abductor Pollicis Brevis

Fingers: (2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Digit)

Metacarpophalangeal Joint (MCP)

·       Dorsal Interossei (Index, Middle and Ring Fingers – 2nd, 3rd and 4th Digits)

·       Abductor Digiti Minimi (Little Finger – 5th Digit)

Adductors of the Thumb and Fingers: Bring Thumb and Fingers Together

Thumb:

Carpometacarpal Joint (CMC)

·       Adductor Pollicis

Fingers:

Metacarpophalangeal Joint (MCP)

·       Palmar Interossei (2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Digits)

·       Dorsal Interosseous (3rd Digit)

Flexors of the Thumb and Fingers: Closing Hand

Thumb:

Metacarpophalangeal Joint (MCP)

·       Flexor Pollicis Longus

·       Flexor Pollicis Brevis

·       Palmar Interossei

Proximal Interphalangeal Joint (PIP)

·       Flexor Digitorum Superficialis

Distal Interphalangeal Joint (DIP)

·       Lumbricals

·       Flexor Digitorum Profundus

Opposition of the Thumb: Thumb Touching Each Fingertip

Thumb:

·       Opponens Pollicis

Little Finger:

·       Opponens Digiti Minimi

Extensors of Thumb and Fingers: Opening Hand

Thumb:

Metacarpophalangeal Joint (MCP)

·       Extensor Pollicis Brevis

Interphalangeal Joint (One in Thumb)

·       Extensor Pollicis Longus

Fingers:

Metacarpophalangeal Joint (MCP)

·       Extensor Digitorum

·       Extensor Indicis

·       Extensor Digiti Minimi

Proximal and Distal Interphalangeal Joints (PIP and DIP)

·       Dorsal Interossei

The Torso

Torso Flexors: Bend the Spine Forwards

·       Rectus Abdominis

·       External Obliques

·       Internal Obliques

·       Transverse Abdominis

Torso Extensors: Extend the Spine Backwards

Erector Spinae:

·       Iliocostalis – Cervicis / Thoracis / Lumborum

·       Longissimus – Capitis / Cervicis / Thoracis

·       Spinalis – Capitis / Cervicis / Thoracis

·       Semispinalis – Capitis / Cervicis

Bilateral Contraction: Both Sides

·       Quadratus Lumborum

Lateral Flexion and Extension: Side Bending and Extending of the Spine

Unilateral Contraction: One Side

·       Quadratus Lumborum

·       External Oblique

·       Internal Oblique

Torso Rotators: Rotating the Spine

·       External Obliques

·       Internal Obliques

·       Multifidi

·       Rotatores

Lower Extremities

External (Lateral) Rotators of the Hip: Turn Toes Outwards (Away from Midline)

·       Piriformis

·       Gemellus Superior

·       Gemellus Inferior

·       Obturator Internus

·       Obturator Externus

·       Quadratus Femoris

·       Gluteus Maximus

·       Sartorius

Internal (Medial) Rotators of the Hip: Turn Tows Inwards (Towards Midline)

·       Gluteus Medius

·       Gluteus Minimus

·       Tensor Fascia Latae

·       Adductor Magnus (Anterior Head)

Flexors of the Hip: Raise Knee Up

·       Psoas Major

·       Iliacus

·       Pectineus

·       Tensor Fascia Latae

·       Adductor Brevis

·       Adductor Longus

·       Adductor Magnus (Anterior Head)

·       Rectus Femoris

·       Sartorius

Extensors of the Hip: Straighten Hip

·       Gluteus Maximus

·       Biceps Femoris (Long Head)

·       Semitendinosus

·       Semimembranosus

·       Adductor Magnus (Posterior Head)

Abductors of the Hip: Bring the Leg Away from the Body (Midline)

·       Gluteus Medius

·       Gluteus Minimus

·       Tensor Fascia Latae

·       Sartorius

Adductors of the Hip: Bring the Leg back to Body (Midline)

·       Adductor Magnus

·       Adductor Longus

·       Adductor Brevis

·       Gracilis

·       Pectineus

External (Lateral) Rotator of the Knee: Turning the Knee Outwards (Away from Midline)

·       Biceps Femoris

Internal (Medial) Rotators of the Knee: Turning the Knee Inwards (Towards Midline)

·       Semitendinosus

·       Semimembranosus

·       Popliteus

·       Gracilis

·       Sartorius

Flexors of the Knee: Bend the Knee

·       Biceps Femoris

·       Semitendinosus

·       Semimembranosus

·       Sartorius

·       Gracilis

·       Gastrocnemius

·       Popliteus

Extensors of the Knee: Straighten the Knee

·       Vastus Lateralis

·       Vastus Intermedius

·       Vastus Medialis

·       Rectus Femoris

·       Tensor Fascia Latae

Dorsiflexors of the Ankle:  Point Toes Up Towards Shin

·       Tibialis Anterior

·       Extensor Digitorum Longus

·       Peroneus Tertius

·       Extensor Hallucis Longus

Plantarflexors of the Ankle: Point Toes Down Towards the Floor

·       Gastrocnemius

·       Soleus

·       Plantaris

·       Peroneus Longus

·       Peroneus Brevis

·       Tibialis Posterior

·       Flexor Hallucis Longus

·       Flexor Digitorum Longus

Inverters of the Foot: Sole Turned Inwards

·       Tibialis Anterior

·       Tibialis Posterior

Evertors of the Foot: Sole Turned Outwards

·       Peroneus Longus

·       Peroneus Brevis

·       Peroneus Tertius

Thanks for reading

Jay

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By |2019-02-06T14:49:41+00:00April 10th, 2018|Categories: Articles|Comments Off on Muscle Anatomy for Coaches
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