Know Your Muscles –The Lower Body
It is beneficial to learn the muscles of the body that you are trying to develop because knowledge can help you make better decisions on what you need to do for specific muscle groups. The lower body muscles listed below are the muscles that we use daily to move with. These are the strongest, largest muscles in the lower body:
- Hamstrings: used in an action that would bring the knee to the back of the body, up to the buttocks. The hamstrings are made of muscles called the semimebranosus. They are also comprised of the biceps femoris and semitendinosus.
- Quadriceps femoris: used to straighten the leg from a bent position, such as when standing up after sitting down. Made up of the vastus medialis on the inside and the vastus lateralis on the outside of the leg.
- Gluteals: used to lift your legs on the side, known as hip extention, or to lift the leg to the side, also known as hip abduction. Made of three main muscles, covering the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.
- Calves– used to stretch the foot, involving the ankle. The muscles here are the soleus and gastrocnemius.
- Hip flexors– used to raise the leg in front of you. They can be found at the front of the groin, just opposite of the glutes. Made of the iliacus and psoas major muscles.
Knowing these lower body muscles above and what they do can help you determine what exercises you want to do and how you are benefiting your body while working them.