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Free consultation

free consultation, fitness, bodybuilding, weightlifting, weightloss, sport, training, workout, diet

Until the end of the month I am offering a free consultation. A 15-minute video call where I will answer all your questions about your workouts and diets.

I´m working on a new service and I think this would be a  good first step to get to know how best to implement the apps I´m going to use in this new service: Calendly and GoToMeeting. So I think this is a win-win situation.

Do you have doubts about which training method is best for you? What are the most effective exercises you could do in the comfort of your home? What kind of diet would best suit your pace of life? What foods are sabotaging your results? I will solve any question you have. Do not hesitate and book your free 15-minute consultation.

I think these apps are really easy to use, but I´d really appreciate your feedback.

On the other hand, my fellow bloggers and friends, if you have no questions but want to talk to me and listen to my sweet voice, it will be my pleasure to chat about whatever you want, after 4 years of blogging. I would like to try this in as many countries and with as many people as possible.

I hope you like this initiative and encourage you to participate. Also, feel free to share with any friend of yours that could benefit from this free consultation.

Thank you so much!

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Plan your workouts like a pro

How to plan your workouts, fitness, cardio, strenght, sport, health
Today I´m going to explain how to plan your workouts like a pro. Planning your training sessions is key to succeed. I bet you´ve heard the famous quote “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. When it comes to fitness plans, “failing” means not meeting your goals and expectations. You have to plan ahead to meet your goals because it takes much more than motivation and goodwill to get there.
 
The technical term for this kind of planning is “periodization”. It is the process of dividing an annual training plan into specific time blocks. Each block has a particular goal. This allows us to create hard training periods and easier periods, to facilitate recovery. Periodization also helps us develop different physiological abilities during various phases of training.
 
Let´s say you have found a workout routine that works well for you. That´s great but, lately, no matter how hard or how often you work out, you just can’t seem to progress any further. You’re stuck on a plateau. This is because your body has adapted to the exercise you’ve been doing. You need to “shock” or “surprise” your body, give it a new challenge periodically if you’re going to continue to make progress. Instead of doing the same routine month after month, you change your training program at regular intervals, “periods”, or “cycles” to keep your body working harder, while still giving it adequate rest. That goes for both strength and cardiovascular training.
How to plan your workouts like a pro, training, workout, progress, success, sport, fitness, weightlifting, bodybuilding, health
The goal with periodization is to maximize your progress while also reducing your risk of injury. It also addresses peak performance for competition or meets. Periodization, if appropriately arranged, can peak the athlete multiple times over a competitive season (Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, track and field) or optimize an athlete’s performance over an entire competitive season like with soccer or basketball.
 

Periodization cycles are classified by amounts of time: 

 
The macrocycle is the longest, and includes all four stages of a periodized training program: endurance, intensity, competition and recoveryAll 52 weeks of your annual plan. For example, if you want to peak for an event one year from now, you can mark that date on your calendar and work backward to create a program that allows you to peak at that time. You can use the same process to identify several major events throughout the year and develop a plan that facilitates multiple fitness peaks.
 
The mesocycle represents a specific block of training that is designed to accomplish a particular goal.  Mesocycles are typically four or six weeks in length. For instance, during the endurance phase, you might develop a mesocycle designed to enhance your muscular endurance for six weeks.
 
A microcycle is the shortest training cycle, typically lasting a week with the goal of facilitating a focused block of training. Generally speaking, four or six microcycles are tied together to form a mesocycle.  
 
You can get the most out of your training by having a good understanding of each of the three cycles of periodization and then using these cycles to create a plan that allows you to peak for your most important events throughout the year.
For example, you can alter your strength-training program by adjusting the following variables:
  • The number of repetitions per set, or the number of sets of each exercise
  • The amount of resistance used
  • The rest period between sets, exercises or training sessions
  • The order of the exercises, or the types of exercises
  • The speed at which you complete each exercise

There are many different types of periodized strength-training programs, and many are geared to the strength, power and demands of specific sports.

You should also periodize your cardiovascular training for the same reasons: challenge your body while still allowing for adequate recovery time.
 
For example, you’re a recreational runner, running for fitness, fun and the occasional short race, you’ll want to allow for flat, easy runs, as well as some that incorporate hills and others that focus on speed and strength.
What you don’t want to do is complete the same run every time. If you run too easily, and don’t push yourself, you won’t progress. And chances are you’ll get bored. Conversely, too much speed or high-intensity training will lead to injury or burnout, and most likely, disappointing race results.
 
If you want to improve your time in a 10K or completing a half marathon or even a full marathon, you’ll need a periodized program geared to each type of race.
 
Specially designed periodized training programs are also available for cycling and many other sports.
 
Periodized training will ensure that you continue to make measurable progress, which will keep you energized and interested in reaching your goals.
 

Proven benefits of periodization:

  • Management of fatigue, reducing risk of over-training by managing factors such as load, intensity, and recovery
  • The cyclic structure maximizes both general preparation and specific preparation for sport.
  • Ability to optimize performance over a specific period of time
  • Accounting for the individual, including time constraints, training age and status, and environmental factors.

Plan your workouts according to your goals.

There are different types of periodization: 
 

Linear periodization

is the most commonly used style of training. This form of periodization gradually increases volume, intensity, and work by mesocycles in an annual training plan. Progressive overload is a major key to the success of this training style. This style is characterized by longer training periods, less reliance on super compensation, and a focus of more general training over specific.

This programming style is useful for building a strong foundation, progressing in one variable, and working towards a peaking point. Recommended for those who are newer to training, it’s definitely the easiest periodization style to understand.
 

Non-linear/undulated periodization

rely on constant change throughout training cycles. As opposed to a linear periodization that focuses on gradual increase of one variable, this style manipulates multiple variables like exercises, volume, intensity, and training adaptation on a frequent basis (daily, weekly, or even bi-weekly). Non-linear periodization is more advanced than linear and incorporates multiple types of stimuli into a training program.
This programming style is an excellent way of individually training one variable and secondarily training others at the same time. It’s often used for those with advanced training backgrounds and longer sport seasons. For example, think about a program that has you train strength one day, then power two days later – this is non-linear.
 

Block periodization

focuses on breaking down specific training periods into 2-4 week periods. It consists of a two-block design, accumulation and restitution.
In the accumulation blocks, the focus is directed toward supporting motor abilities while simultaneously developing certain strength qualities necessary for the athlete with a limited volume load.
The restitution block is essentially the opposite. They support strength qualities in the athlete, while addressing the development of specific, technical motor qualities with a limited volume load. These training loads must target different abilities (max-strength, explosive strength, max anaerobic power, etc.). 
The goal behind these smaller, specific blocks is to allow an athlete to stay at their peak level longer, since most sports call for multiple peaks. Within the training season, athletes will only focus on adaptations they need specifically for their sport, if an athlete doesn’t need endurance, they won’t train for it.
When trying to maintain a high level of athleticism for competition over an extended amount of time, block periodization can be a great tool. By frequently training specific training adaptations you work towards progressing in your sport with the variable you need, and avoid burning out.
 
Periodization has stood the test of time for the simple fact that there are so many progressions and ways to structure your training so that you can be at your best when it matters most. Failing to utilize any form of periodization for your training could lead to overtraining, failure to recover appropriately for progression, and the inability to see the progress you deserve from the time you put into training.

Help for beginners

To start planning your workouts, here is a linear periodization template, for free.

I know that planning workouts for the first time can be complicated, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me and I will help you.

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How can Sports Therapy help you with your fitness goals?

Today I´m delighted to introduce you Anna Pluck, Sports Therapist and owner of Relax Therapies who is going to explain us how sports therapy can help you with your fitness goals.

Are you training regularly with a Personal Trainer?  Or are you just starting an exercise plan?  No matter what your level of fitness an injury could stop you exercising and be very painful.  It could even force you to take time off work! 

Sports Therapy might be just what you need to stay injury free or to rehabilitate an existing injury.

What is Sports Therapy?

Sports therapy takes a holistic approach to treat and prevent musculoskeletal injuries.  It differs from Sports massage because although Sports Therapists use Sports Massage as a technique Sports Therapists are more qualified and trained in treatment of injuries and use other treatments in addition to massage.

In a consultation the Sports therapist will gather lots of information to find out what’s going on in your body.  They might:

  • ask you about your pain
  • look at your posture and gait
  • ask what your current exercise regime is and what your goals are
  • feel for areas of tightness or tension in your muscles
  • measure your joint’s range of movement (ROM) using a special piece of equipment called a goniometer

Using this information they can work out which muscles are damaged or imbalanced and use a range of techniques to help you get better.

One of the main techniques is Sports Massage.  Sports massage uses specialised targeted massage strokes which:

  • Stretch tight muscles and connective tissue
  • Break down scar tissue
  • Increase blood supply to the tissues
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve Range of movement
  • Help speed up healing

Sports therapists can also advise on home treatment for your injury such as using heat or ice packs and some stretching or strengthening exercises to do.  They might also suggest you work with a good personal trainer to ensure you are doing the right workout to reach your goals.

When should you see a sports therapist?

Although most people think of going for treatment only when they are in pain there are many ways sports therapy and massage can benefit you even if you don’t have pain or injuries.  For example:

  • You could go for a tune up before training for an event or increasing your mileage or intensity. This might pick up an issue, for example, tight hamstrings.  If you address this you might be able to prevent a serious injury further down the line. 
  • Regular sessions while training. There are no set rules for this but if you are exercising very hard for a period of time, e.g. training for a marathon you might find it helpful to have frequent sports massages to keep supple
  • After a major event or race. We all know the aching and soreness and day or two after a really heavy gym session or an event.  This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness  (DOMS).  A sports massage can help speed up healing and reduce the pain.
  • You have a job or hobby that stresses your body. Many people are at risk of Repetitive Strain injury (RSI) or other injuries from their work.  Having a sports massage can relieve pain and help improve posture to reduce the risk of injury. 
  • Some people choose to have a sports massage every month as it helps them feel good and recover faster
Anna Pluck

Anna Pluck

Anna is a Sports Therapist, Massage Therapist and founder of Relax Therapies in Wirral, England. She provides Sports Therapy and massage from her clinic in Birkenhead. She works with a wide range of people from marathon runners to desk workers with back or neck pain.

You can find out more on her website www.relaxtherapieswirral.com

These guys could help you in so many ways:

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Recoup Cold Massage Roller

Recoup Cold Massage Roller

The Recoup Cold Roller provides all the benefits of a traditional Self Myofacial Release (foam rolling) in combination with Cryotherapy (Ice Massage). These two forms of muscle therapy help to decrease inflammation, aid in post workout recovery, and allow specific treatment for areas in need.

By applying the pressure with the cold roller the muscle will release metabolic waste products and toxins which become build up in the muscle after exercising. In addition, Self Myofacial Release impacts the Golgi Tendon Organs and allows the muscle to relax. Once the muscle is relaxed the cold aspect of product allows for a decrease in inflammation.

Product Specs

  • Cold therapy + massage recovery
  • 2 hours in the freezer = 6 hours cold
  • Unscrew blue handle to use ball outside of handle
  • Use anywhere on the body
  • 3.4 oz cooling gel for safe travel
  • Handle free rolling
  • Ball 3.15 in. in diameter (a little larger than a baseball)

Injuries this Treats

  • Shin splints
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Tight IT bands, quads, hamstrings
  • Neck pain
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Back pain

Benefits

  • Takes down inflamation
  • Faster muscle recovery
  • Lowers cell metabolism, saving energy
  • Helps to prevent tissue death
  • Stops pain
  • After muscles warm increasein blood flow
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Improve tissue recovery
  • Impruve neuromuscular efficiency
  • Regulate production of cytokines
  • Flush out lactic acid
  • Decrease muscle soreness

Regular price is 39.99$ 

If you want to get it just for 32.79$ send me an email to info@chape.fitness and I´ll get you the discount. As easy as that!

(US shipping only)

These guys could help you in so many ways:

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Weider´s training principles: The isolation principle

Several muscles can be trained as a unit or isolated and trained individually. All muscles are involved more or less in every movement – either as stabilizers, agonist, antagonists or synergistic. If a particular muscle is to be built up, it needs to be exercised as separately as possible from the other muscles.

The isolation principle

The main focus for isolation work is to concentrate fully on using the main muscle to move the weight.
Main Muscles Worked: The muscles that are used the most during the exercise.
Secondary Muscles Worked: Muscles that assist the main muscles in the exercise.
Stabilizers: Muscles that are not worked by movement, but rather assist in stabilizing the body in addition to the weight of the exercise.
Let´s analyze the Barbell Curls, for example:
Main Muscles Worked:
  1. Biceps Brachii
Secondary Muscles Worked:
  1. Brachialis
  2. Brachioradialis
Stabilizers:
  1. Deltoid, Anterior
  2. Trapezius, Upper
  3. Trapezius, Middle
  4. Levator Scapulae
  5. Wrist Flexors
Some people often make the mistake that isolation work is useless and a full compound routine is all one needs to build muscle. While compounds are the quickest way to work your body, they fail to fully exhaust the muscles. This is where isolation work is needed.
While a compound workout is faster, isolations will better target each individual muscle, resulting in a complete workout. This puts more stress on the muscles, and thus makes them grow better than a full compound workout.

What Are Some Of The Benefits Of An All Isolation Workout?

Results: Put in simpler terms, it will give you maximum muscle growth. When body parts are neglected they won’t be able to grow. Isolation movements give you the ultimate edge. You get to hit the muscle group that couldn’t be hit with compound movements, or it wasn’t hit as good and that’s why it’s lacking.
Completely exhausting a muscle. Compounds work multiple muscles at once, yet it is impossible to work each of those muscles to its max with a single compound exercise. One muscle will tire out before the other. Thus the only way to get a complete workout with compounds would be to do a compound exercise for every muscle in your body. And that is not feasible due to energy and time. This is where isolation work shines, each muscle can be worked to its maximum potential that does not take an extreme amount of time or more energy than one has.
Fewer opportunities for injuries: Injuries can arise in all types of workouts, but they are much less common in isolation exercises. This being because compounds are more intense than isolations. They use several muscles at once, which greatly opens the door for one muscle overpowering another, thus resulting in a pulled muscle. Examples are the “Big 3”: squats, deadlifts, and bench press. Squats and deadlifts put a great deal of pressure on your spinal column while bench press puts pressure on your chest and shoulders at once, often contributing to a pulled muscle if the barbell slips.
Fitness woman doing exercises on white background

Who Would Benefit From Using An All Isolation Workout?

The people who gain the most benefit from an all isolation workout would definitely be people looking for a symmetrical body.
Others who would benefit from an all isolation workout would be older people who may not have the strength or bone support to do squats, deadlifts, bench presses or pull-ups.
Also for beginners, who may not know correct form for the big compound exercises or have enough strength to perform them, would benefit from an all isolation routine.
There are not many people that can do pull-ups on their first day in the gym or can do a set of squats in proper form. An isolation workout would give these people an introduction to weightlifting before they start doing the more advanced exercises. Whatever the reason, an all isolation routine has its place.
Do you need help to achieve your fitness goals? I still have some available spots.
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Weider´s training principles: The progressive overload principle

Training Plan
Joe Weider (November 29, 1919 – March 23, 2013) was a Canadian bodybuilder and entrepreneur who co-founded the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) alongside his brother Ben. He was also the creator of the Mr. Olympia, the Ms. Olympia and the Masters Olympia bodybuilding contests.
Joe Weider
Joe’s most indelible addition to the science and sport of bodybuilding is the Weider Principles: over 30 theories and techniques that forever changed the means by which someone could build a strong, muscular body.

The progressive overload principle

To increase any aspect of physical fitness (muscle mass, strength, stamina, etc.), your muscles need to be continually put under increased stress.
Today, I want to focus on muscle mass, to keep it simple for beginners. To achieve more muscle mass, the number of sets is key.
In the early years of bodybuilding, most experts believed that to increase muscle mass, we should only complete one set of each exercise per workout. If the whole body is to complete twelve exercises, this would mean twelve sets per workout.
Weider saw it differently. He was the first to recommend working out using several sets of one exercise (3-5 sets per exercise) to exhaust each muscle group and to stimulate maximum muscle growth.
Start with three sets of each exercise and continue increasing the number of sets until you make five. This strategy will also help you increase your muscle strength gradually without obsessing with the weight you lift. It´s no magic, it´s the progressive overload principle: once your muscles are used to perform three sets, you have to push them to do four sets and then five.
When you are able to do five series with the same weight with which it was hard to do three series the first week, it is time to add more weight.
I know that most bodybuilders speak wonders and encourage you to lift heavy, and so do I, but in due time. The word “heavy” means “difficult to lift or move” and this is a different weight to each person. Whatever is difficult to lift today for you, it will be easier to lift next month.
First, progress from 3 to 5 sets. Then progress to heavier weights.
The progressive overload principle is the core of all physical training and forms a solid basis for successful training.
Do you need help to achieve your fitness goals? I still have some available spots.
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Six-pack

Six pack has 54M results on Google. Not everybody but a lot of people desires a “six-pack”, others simply need to strength their middle section to relief or avoid pain or bad postures.

AbdomenThe transverse abdominal muscle (TVA) is a very important core muscle which is vital in maintaining good posture. It helps to compress the ribs and viscera, providing thoracic and pelvic stability.

The transverse abdominal and the segmental stabilizers of the spine work in tandem.

Without a stable spine, the nervous system fails to recruit the muscles in the extremities, and functional movements cannot be performed.

The TVA is vital to back and core health. Also has the effect of pulling in the abdomen. Training only the rectus abdominis muscle will not and can not give one a “flat” belly. This goal is achieved only through training the TVA.

Recently, the transverse abdominal muscle has become the subject of debate between kinesiologists, strength trainers, and physical therapists. The two positions on the muscle are:

  1. The muscle is effective and capable of bracing the human core during heavy lifts.
  2. It is not.

Anyway, how to do a stomach vacuum:

Origin:

  1. Front of the iliac crest.
  2. Inguinal ligament.
  3. Costal cartilages of the lower 6 ribs.
  4. Thoracolumbar fascia.

Insertion:

Linea alba.

Rectus Abdominis is the most superficial of the abdominal muscles. It is this muscle which forms the six-pack shape! It is a paired muscle running vertically on each side of the anterior wall of the abdomen. There are two parallel muscles, separated by a midline band of connective tissue called the linea alba.

Origin:

  1. Crest of the pubis.
  2. Pubic symphesis.

Insertion:

  1. Xiphoid process (base of the sternum).
  2. 5th,6th and 7th costal cartilages.

The six-pack flexes the lumbar spine, as when doing a so-called “crunch” sit up. The rib cage is brought up to where the pelvis is when the pelvis is fixed:

or the pelvis can be brought towards the rib cage (posterior pelvic tilt) when the rib cage is fixed, such as:

The Rectus Abdominis assists with breathing and plays an important role in respiration when forcefully exhaling. It also helps in creating intra-abdominal pressure, such as when exercising or lifting heavy weights.

Pain and symptoms associated with the Rectus Abdominis muscle
– Pain that runs horizontal across the mid back under the shoulder blade
– Pain that runs horizontal across the low back
– Pain around the sternum between the breasts (not shown)
– Pain in the low abdomen
– Feeling bloated
– Heartburn and indigestion
– Testicle pain
– Pain in the pelvic area
Activities that cause rectus abdominis pain and symptoms
– Over exercising muscles (sit-ups and leg-ups)
– Shallow breathing
– Chronic coughing
– Sitting for long periods of time
– Sitting in a twisted position
– Childbirth
– Abdominal surgery
– Scars from abdominal surgery
– Chronic Constipation
– Carrying a heavy backpack

The external oblique is situated on the lateral and anterior parts of the abdomen. It is broad, thin, and irregularly quadrilateral. It is the largest and the most superficial (outermost) of the three flat muscles of the lateral anterior abdomen. The obliques wrap around the trunk on each side to form our waists and join to the linea alba, a band of connective tissue running down the front of the abdomen.

Origin:

Lowest 8 ribs.

Insertion:

  1. Front 1/2 of the iliac crest.
  2. Linea alba.

The external oblique pulls the chest downwards and compresses the abdominal cavity, which increases the intra-abdominal pressure. It also has limited actions in flexion and rotation of the vertebral column.

The internal oblique muscle is the intermediate muscle of the abdomen, lying deep to the external oblique and just superficial to the transverse abdominal muscle. The internal obliques wrap around the waist and insert into the linea alba, a cord-like strip of connective tissue running down the center of the abdomen.

The internal oblique performs two major functions. First, as an accessory muscle of respiration, it acts as an antagonist to the diaphragm, helping to reduce the volume of the chest cavity during exhalation. When the diaphragm contracts, it pulls the lower wall of the chest cavity down, increasing the volume of the lungs. When the internal obliques contract they compress the organs of the abdomen, pushing them up into the diaphragm which intrudes back into the chest cavity reducing the volume of the air filled lungs, producing an exhalation.

Also, its contraction rotates and side-bends the trunk by pulling the rib cage and midline towards the hip and lower back, of the same side.

Origin:

  1. Iliac crest.
  2. Inguinal ligament.
  3. Thoracolumbar fascia.

Insertion:

  1. Lower 3-4 ribs.
  2. Linea alba.

Pain and symptoms associated with the External and Internal Oblique muscles

– Pain in the side, in the waist area
– Pain in the groin area
– Pain in the low abdomen
– Heartburn and indigestion
– Testicle pain
– Bladder pain and incontinence
– Pain in the pelvis area

Activities that cause obliques muscle pain and symptoms

– Abdominal scars from surgery
– Over exercising muscles (twisting and side bending exercises)
– Rowing
– Raking leaves
– Lifting using tools like shovels or pitchforks
– Chronic coughing
– Sitting for long periods of time
– Slouching posture

The Quadratus Lumborum, or QL, can perform different actions:

  1. Lateral flexion of the vertebral column, with ipsilateral contraction.
  2. Extension of the vertebral column, with bilateral contraction.
  3. Elevates the Ilium (bone), with ipsilateral contraction.

 

Origin:

  1. Posterior iliac crest.
  2. Iliolumbar ligament.

Insertion:

  1. Twelfth rib.
  2. Transerve processes of L1-L4.

This muscle is a common source of lower back pain. The QL connects the pelvis to the spine and is capable of extending the lower back when contracting bilaterally. When the lower fibers of the erector spinae are weak or inhibited, the QLs pick up the slack. Given their mechanical disadvantage, constant contraction while you are seated can overuse the QLs, resulting in muscle fatigue. A constantly contracted QL, like any other muscle, will experience decreased blood flow. In time, adhesions in the muscle and fascia may develop, the end point of which is the muscle spasm.

Pain and symptoms associated with the Quadratus Lumborum muscle

– Pain in the low back, constant deep aching even at rest
– Pain in the hips and buttocks
– Groin pain
– Pelvic pain
– Pain down the front of the thigh
– Low abdominal pain
– Stabbing back and or abdominal pain when coughing or sneezing

Activities that cause quadratus lumborum pain and symptoms
– Lifting heavy objects
– Twisting while lifting
– Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft
– Horseback riding
– Golfing
– Kayaking
– Leg length discrepancy – one leg shorter than other. This can be the way you were born or due to injury. It is often seen after a leg has been in a cast or splint.
– The QL muscles are often affected when you slip and or fall

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The thigh

The thigh is the area between the pelvis and the knee. We divide the thigh into three compartments: anterior, medial, and posterior.

Anterior compartment muscles

SartoriusIt is the longest muscle in the body. It assists in flexing, weak abduction and lateral rotation of the hip, and knee flexion.
Origin:
anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS)
Insertion:
1. upper medial surface of body of tibia

Pain and symptoms associated with the Sartorius muscle– Burning stinging pain under the skin starting at the outside of the bottom of the hip, traveling down the thigh to the inside of the knee (pain and/0r stinging can occur anywhere along the muscle)
– Inside of knees may be painful or hypersensitive
– Sleeping with a pillow between the knees often eases painActivities that cause sartorius muscle pain and symptoms

– Sitting with legs up and crossed for long periods of time (recliners, sleeping)
– Slipping or a misstep
– Sports that require planting one foot and making a sharp turn (basketball, football)
– Walking with an extended long stride

Quadriceps femoris: It is the knee extensor muscle.  As a group, the quadriceps femoris is crucial in walking, running, jumping and squatting. It´s subdivided into four separate “heads”:


Rectus femoris: It is the only muscle of the group which crosses the hip joint and is a powerful knee extensor when the hip is extended but is weak when the hip is flexed.
Origin:
1. anterior head: anterior inferior iliac spine (AIIS)
2. posterior head: ilium just above the acetabulum
Insertion:
1. common quadriceps tendon into patella
2. tibial tuberosity via patellar ligament

Pain and symptoms associated with the Rectus Femoris muscle

– Knee pain that feels as if it originates under the knee cap
– Pain in the front of the thigh extending down into the inside of the knee
– Weak knee
– Stiff knee
– Inability to fully straighten knee
– Pain walking down stairs
– Restless Leg Syndrome
– Sharp pain deep in the front of the thigh while sleeping

Activities that cause rectus femoris pain and symptoms

– Cycling
– Climbing
– Running and power walking
– Swimming
– Kicking a football or soccer ball
– Swimming
– Wearing high heel shoes
– Sitting excessively

Vastus lateralis or externus: It´s the largest part of the quadriceps femoris.
Origin:
1. greater trochanter
2. lateral lip of linea aspera
3. lateral intermuscular septum
Insertion:
1. common quadriceps tendon into patella
2. tibial tuberosity via patellar ligament

Pain and symptoms associated with the Vastus Lateralis– Knee pain
– Pain on the side of the thigh extending down into the front and back of the knee
– Pain under the buttock extending toward the hip joint
– Pain occasionally descends into the back of the calf
– Locked knee
– Extended walking increases pain in the thigh and kneeActivities that cause vastuslateralis pain and symptoms

– Climbing
– Skiing
– Sitting excessively
– Immobilizing the knee ie. casting, inflexible knee brace.

Vastus medialis: It is the deeper muscle of the quadriceps muscle group. The intern is the most difficult to stretch once maximum knee flexion is attained. It can´t be further stretched by hip extension as the rectus femoris can, nor is it accessible to manipulate with massage therapy to stretch.

Origin:
1. intertrochanteric line of femur
2. medial aspect of linea aspera
Insertion:
1. common quadriceps tendon into patella
2. tibial tuberosity via patellar ligament

Pain and symptoms associated with the Vastus Medialis– Pain on the inside of the knee extending half way up the front of the thigh
– Persistent pain in the knee joint
– Can cause the knee to ‘buckle’ (trick knee)
– People often sleep with a pillow between the knees to relieve the painActivities that cause vastusmedialis muscle pain and symptoms

– Deep knee bends
– Running
– Step masters or running stairs

Vastus intermedius: It contributes to correct tracking of the patella.

Origin:
anterior lateral aspect of the femoral shaft
Insertion:
1. common quadriceps tendon into patella
2. tibial tuberosity via patellar ligament

Pain and symptoms associated with the Vastus Intermedius muscle

– Pain down the middle of the front of the thigh
– Pain increases when walking
– Contributes to weak buckling knees
– Pain greatly increases when climbing stairs
– Problems straightening the knee after sitting
– Stiffness in the knee causes a limp

Activities that cause vastusintermedius pain and symptoms

– Climbing
– Running
– Over exercise of the quadriceps muscles
– Overuse of the knee
– Sitting for long periods of time


Medial compartment muscles

Gracilis: Is the most superficial muscle of the medial side. It adducts, medially rotates and flexes the hip, and aids in flexion of the knee.
Origin:
body of pubis & inferior pubic ramus
Insertion:
1. medial surface of proximal tibia, inferior to tibial condyle

Pain and symptoms associated with the Gracilis muscle– Hot stinging pain under the skin on the inside of the thigh
– Pain is constant even at rest, changing position does not subside painActivities that cause gracilis muscle pain and symptoms

– Sitting with legs crossed for long periods of time
– Horseback riding
– Skiing
– Slipping or a misstep
– Doing the splits

Pectineus: It is the most anterior adductor of the hip. Its primary function is hip flexion. Also, it adducts and medially rotates the thigh.

Origin:
1. pectineal line of the pubis
2. superior pubic ramus
Insertion:
1. the pectineal line of the femur
2. (just below the lesser trochanter on the posterior aspect of the femur)

Pain and symptoms associated with the Pectineus muscle

– Pain in the fold where the leg joins the body
– Groin pain
– Pelvic pain
– Pain increases when walking
– Sleeping with a pillow between the knees eases the pain

Activities that cause pectineus muscle pain and symptoms

– Sitting with legs up and crossed for long periods of time (recliners, sleeping)
– Slipping or a misstep
– Spreading legs too far apart vertically or horizontally
– Power walking
– Gymnastics
– Splits
– Horseback riding
– Lifting with legs spread too far apart
– Hip replacement surgery

The pectineus is often injured when a person starts a regimen of power walking. During power walking, a person will often extend their stride, reaching farther than they would in a normal stride. Overextension, while walking or running, can stain the pectineus.

The adductor muscle group is used pressing the thighs together to ride a horse, kicking with the inside of the foot in soccer or swimming. They contribute to flexion of the thigh when running or against resistance (squatting, jumping…)


Adductor brevis: immediately deep to the pectineus and adductor longus, the adductor brevis pulls the thigh medially. Also stabilizes the movements of the trunk when standing on both feet,m or to balance when standing on a moving surface. Primarily known as a hip adductor, it also functions as a hip flexor.

Origin:
body & inferior ramus of pubis
Insertion:
superior portion of linea aspera

Pain and symptoms associated with the adductor brevis muscle

– Groin pain during activity, pain subsides with rest
– Pain in the front of the outer upper thigh near the hip joint
– Deep pain in the hip joint
– Stiffness in the hip especially when turning the leg outward
– Pain above the knee
– Pain can descend down into the shin
– Pain increases while carrying objects
– Restricted movement in the hip and thigh

Activities that cause adductor brevis muscle pain and symptoms

– Sitting with legs crossed for long periods of time
– Horseback riding
– Slipping on ice or slick surfaces
– Moving legs too far apart horizontally or vertically

Adductor longus: Adducts the thigh and medially rotate.

Origin:
anterior surface of pubis, just inferior to the pubic tubercle
Insertion:
medial lip of linea aspera on middle half of femur

Pain and symptoms associated with the adductor longus muscle

– Groin pain during activity, pain subsides with rest
– Pain in the front of the outer upper thigh near the hip joint
– Deep pain in the hip joint
– Stiffness in the hip especially when rotating the knee outward
– Pain above the knee
– Pain can descend down into the shin
– Restricted movement in the hip and thigh
– Pain is greater when carrying something

Activities that cause adductor longus muscle pain and symptoms

– Sitting with legs crossed for long periods of time
– Horseback riding
– Slipping on slippery surfaces
– Moving legs too far apart horizontally or vertically

Adductor magnus: Powerful adductor of the thigh made especially active when the legs are moved from a widespread position to one in which the legs parallel each other.

 Origin:
1. anterior fibers: inferior pubic ramus
2. oblique fibers: ischial ramus
3. posterior fibers: ischial tuberosity
Insertion:
1. proximal 1/3 of linea aspera
2. adductor tubercle

Pain and symptoms associated with the adductor magnus muscle

– Groin pain during activity, pain lessens at rest
– Pain in the front of the inner upper thigh
– Pain and stiffness in the hip and knee that is often felt throughout the inner thigh
– Deep and or sharp pelvic pain that can affect the vagina, rectum, prostate, and bladder

Trigger points in the adductor magnus can cause pain deep in the pelvic area. Pain may present as a dull ache or a sharp stabbing pain. Those suffering from adductor magnus symptoms often sleep with a pillow in between the knees to ease pain.

Activities that cause adductor magnus muscle pain and symptoms

– Sitting with legs crossed for long periods of time
– Climbing stairs
– Horseback riding
– Skiing
– Slipping on ice
– Moving legs too far apart horizontally or vertically

Posterior compartment muscles
Biceps femoris: It has two parts or “heads”. Both heads perform knee flexión. The long head (1 of the three hamstring muscles) is involved in hip extension. It is a weaker flexor when the hip is extended as well as a weaker hip extender when the knee is flexed. When the knee is semiflexed, the biceps femoris rotates the leg slightly outward.
Origin:
1. long head: ischial tuberosity
2. short head: lateral lip of linea aspera and the lateral intermuscular septum
Insertion:
1. head of fibula
2. maybe to the lateral tibial condyle

Pain and symptoms associated with the biceps femoris muscle– Pain in the back of the knee
– Pain toward the outside of the knee going up the outside of the thigh
– Pain worsens while walking
– Pain in the back of the leg when rising from a sitting position
– Persistent sitting can cause pain in the anterior thigh and deep in the buttock
– Pain when rising from a sitting positionActivities that cause biceps femoris muscle pain and symptoms

– Sitting for long periods of time
– Sitting on a chair with a small seat in which the edge puts pressure on the thigh
– Sitting on a hard surface putting pressure on the hamstrings
– Poorly conditioned athletes frequently injury the hamstrings
– Football
– Soccer
– Swimming
– Cycling

Semimembranosus: It helps to extend the hip joint and flex the knee. Also medially rotates the femur when the hip is extended. It can counteract the forward bending at the hip joint.

Origin:
ischial tuberosity

Insertion:
1. posterior medial aspect of medial tibial condyle
2. fibers join to form most of oblique popliteal ligament (& medial meniscus)

Pain and symptoms associated with the Semimembranosus muscle– Pain just below the buttock
– Pain down the back of the thigh and into the knee, occasionally going into the upper calf
– Pain intensifies while walking
– Deep aching pains in thigh and knee while sleeping
– Deep pain in the back of the thigh when rising from a seated positionActivities that cause semimembranosus muscle pain and symptoms

– Sitting for long periods of time
– Sitting on a hard surface putting pressure on the hamstrings
– Poorly conditioned athletes frequently injury the hamstrings
– Kicking a ball (football, soccer)
– Hurdles
– Doing the splits

Semitendinosus: It lies between the other two muscles. Collectively flex the knee and extend the hip.

Origin:
ischial tuberosity

Insertion:
1. medial aspect of tibial shaft
2. contributes to the pez anserine

 

Pain and symptoms associated with the Semitendinosus muscle

– Pain just below the buttock
– Pain down the back of the thigh and into the knee, occasionally going into the upper calf
– Pain intensifies while walking
– Aching pain down the back of the thigh while sleeping
– Deep pain when rising from seated position

Activities that cause semitendinosus muscle pain and symptoms

– Sitting for long periods of time
– Sitting on a hard surface putting pressure on the hamstrings
– Poorly conditioned athletes frequently injury the hamstrings
– Kicking a ball (football, soccer)
– Hurdles
– Doing the splits


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Lower leg muscles

The gastrocnemius is in the back of the lower leg. Deep to the gastrocnemius (farther from the skin) is the soleus muscle. They share a common insertion via the Achille´s tendon.

Gastrocnemius

Origin:
1. medial head: just above medial condyle of femur
2. lateral head: just above lateral condyle of femur

Insertion: calcaneus via lateral portion of calcaneal tendon

Action:
1. plantarflex the ankle
2. knee flexion (when not weight bearing)
3. stabilizes ankle & knee when standing

Pain and symptoms associated with the Gastrocnemius muscle

– Pain in the arch of the foot
– Pain toward the outside of the back of the knee
– Pain toward the inside of the back of the knee
– Pain going down the inside of the inside of the lower leg
– Pain around the inside ankle
– Pain on the inside of the foot in the high arch

Activities that cause gastrocnemius pain and symptoms

– Walking uphill
– Climbing
– Climbing stairs
– Cycling
– Jumping
– Swimming with toes pointed (flutter kick)
– Wearing high heels
– Tight banded socks or stockings
– Using footstools and recliners that put pressure on the back of the calves
– Sitting in a chair with knees pressed against the seat
– Sleeping with the covers tucked in too tightly requiring the toes to remain in a pointed, downward position
– Immobility of the lower leg due to a cast or brace

Soleus is a powerful muscle in the back part of the lower leg (the calf). It runs from just below the knee to the heel, and is involved in standing and walking. It is closely connected to the gastrocnemius muscle and some anatomists consider them to be a single muscle, the triceps surae.

Origin:
1. upper fibula
2. soleal line of tibia

Insertion: calcaneus via medial portion of calcaneal tendon

Action: plantarflex the foot

Acting via the Achille´s tendon, the gastrocnemius and soleus cause plantar flexion. That is, they increase the angle between the foot and the leg. The soleus plays an important role in maintaining standing posture. Together, the gastrocnemius and the soleus are involved in walking, dancing, running, jumping…

Pain and symptoms associated with the Soleus muscle

– Pain in the heel often to the point of not being able to put weight on the heel
– Pain in the ankle
– Pain in the calf sometimes extending into the back of the knee
– Deep aching in the back of the knee
– Deep pain in the low back
– Hypersensitivity to touch in the lower back
– Poor circulation in the lower legs and feet
– Pain in the jaw and on the side of the head

Activities that cause soleus muscle pain and symptoms

– Walking uphill
– Climbing
– Climbing stairs
– Cycling
– Jumping
– Wearing high heels
– Using footstools and recliners that put pressure on the back of the calves
– Immobility of the lower leg due to a cast or brace

A calf muscle tear is graded from 1 to 3, with grade 3 being the most severe.

Grade 1 symptoms

Grade 1 calf strain is a minor tear with up to 10% of the muscle fibers affected. The athlete will feel a twinge of pain in the back of the lower leg. They may be able to carry on playing or competing in mild discomfort. There is likely to be tightness and aching in the calf muscles two to five days after injury.

Grade 2 symptoms

Symptoms of a grade 2 strain will be more severe than a grade one with up to 90% of the muscle fibers torn. A sharp pain at the back of the lower leg will be felt with significant pain walking. There is likely to be swelling in the calf muscle with mild to moderate bruising. Pain will be felt on resisted plantar flexion or pushing the foot downwards against resistance. There may be tightness and aching in the calf muscle for a week or more.

Grade 3 symptoms

There will be a severe immediate pain at the back of the lower leg. The athlete will be unable to continue and unable to walk. There will be considerable bruising and swelling appearing and the athlete will be unable to even contract the calf muscle. In the case of a full rupture, often there is deformity where the muscle can be seen to be bunched up towards the top of the calf. A grade three is a near, or complete rupture of the muscle.