👣 A single muscle just might not be doing what you think it is… and may be capable of so much more.

 👣 A single muscle that attaches to bone with three dimensional potential is at the mercy of the movement of those bones.

👣 For instance, take the glute, always a useful example as most everybody knows what it is supposed to do. The anatomy book says that the glute extends, abducts and externally rotates the hip. With the hip in this position the glute must be short in all three dimensions and so to stretch it we simply flex, adduct and internally rotate the hip…. a spectrum of opposites.

👣 AND YET in the human gait cycle the hip rarely attains these two three dimensional shapes, what this does mean is that for the vast majority of a stride, the hip is not doing either of these two described motions….. but it is doing what it needs to do in order to accommodate the required position of the whole body. In these moments it is doing any three of six available motions…. This suggests that in the other phases of the walking cycle, the glute must be lengthening in some dimensions of hip motion while shortening in others (since it is only fully short or fully long at just two moments).

👣 For instance you can fully shorten the glute by extending, abducting and externally rotating your hip and then simply change one of the movement dimensions to be the opposite (say hip IR) and all of a sudden you are now asking the glute to do something weird (/different?). Or not … since glutes and hips have been doing this since the dawn of mankind when man started walking upright and moving around the planet.

👣 Muscles simply respond to bone and joint motion… we should focus our attention there and worry less about the tissue. Tissue is compromised only where joint motion is limited. And the full tissue expression is available when joint capacity is optimised. 

👣 My Closed Chain Biomechanics of the Lower Limb course invites you to start looking at many more muscles to better understand them in this way as we overlay them onto and dissect the motion of the bony anatomy so we may glide effortlessly through life 😃

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