The Tensor Fasciae Latae: new Starbucks drink or important muscle of the hip?

Side Clam and Book PilatesFirst of all, we’re joking!  To hear the correct pronunciation of this important muscle of the hip, click here! The correct pronunciation is fash-ē-ē-lā-tē or fash-ē-ə-lā-tə, not “LATTE” as in the coffee drink!  (But don’t you think it would make a GREAT name for a new coffee concoction?)

WePosterior View of Hip Muscles promise to finish our discussion of the gluteus medius and its importance in ground reaction force, but first, we’ll discuss the cousin of the gluteals, the tensor fasciae latae or “TFL.”  The TFL is part of the “gluteal group” of muscles and literally, the name “tensor fasciae latae” means “tensor of the fascia lata.”  Well, that’s not very helpful now, is it?!  Generally speaking, the muscle originates on the iliac crest and the outer portion of the ASIS and inserts into the iliotibial band (click here to read more.)  The tensor fasciae latae abducts the femur and assists with medial rotation and flexion of the hip.  Also, it stabilizes the pelvis on the head of the femur and through its insertion on the iliotibial band, stabilizes the femur on the tibia.

NAnterior View of Hip Musclesow here’s the catch:  when the thigh abducts, the gluteus medius should fire first and the tensor fasciae latae second.  However, in many cases, the tensor fasciae latae fires before the gluteus medius, which simply means the gluteus medius is not doing its job (more on this later!)  Also, though the tensor fasciae latae assists in medially rotating the femur, it should not be the ONLY medial rotator of the femur!  The adductors, specifically adductors brevis and longus and the upper portion of adductor magnus, assist with medial rotation of the femur yet are grossly underused by most of the population.  (More on the adductors later this week!)

EPosterior View of Gluetus maximus and Gluteus mediusxercise bands, small balls and Pilates rings are excellent ways to target both the abductors and hte adductors in the same workout.  Try “Tighten and Tone“, “Sculpt and Shape“, “Stretch and Strengthen” and the “Small Ball Toning Workout” on www.ultimatepilatesoworkouts.com.  For individual exercises, try Episode 112 “Side Lying Clam and Book” or any of our exercises such as Half Roll Down or Half Roll Down with Obliques squeezing the Pilates Ring or a small ball between your knees.

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July 13, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings.

One Comment

  1. pilatesburien replied:

    Great article….very informative!

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