SMF Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 2

The Lower Body: Anatomy and How To Optimally Train It

Did you know that leg muscles greatly depend on our genes and genetic makeup? Of course we can manipulate these genes a bit more through diet, exercise and even couch sitting time.

The way we manipulate these muscles are completely dependent on how hard we work them. So let's chat a bit about what muscles are in our legs. We all have the same main leg muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, shins, and calves. These muscles work together to allow us to have basic body functionality.

Here is a breakdown of where each muscle is located and its main function:

  • Hamstrings: These muscles, which form the back of the thigh, flex your knee, extend your hip.

  • Quadriceps: This muscle at the front of your thigh is made up of four sections and is the main mover when you extend knees.

  • Calves: The gastrocnemius is the uppermost of your two calf muscles, it gives your feet push-off power with each step. The soleus works with and lies underneath the gastrocnemius. The tibialis posterior is a very small muscle deep inside the calf that helps stabilize your foot.

  • Glutes: These muscles are considered to be one of the strongest muscles in the body! They are mainly responsible for movement of the hip and thigh.

In order to move optimally we have to train our lower body. Regular lower body exercise also increases bone strength and helps to improve our balance and stamina. Along with all these benefits, a strong lower body helps slow the physical weakness that is part of the aging process.

Take a look at my favorite exercises to do at home or at the gym to work all your major lower body muscle groups.

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