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Need help with muscle anatomy
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Need help with muscle anatomy

Hi, everyone.

I have been working out at a gym to try to get into better shape and maximize the muscle power I have.

Recently I've noticed that the top of my left thigh is feeling very fatigued when using one of the machines. It feels like it is working too hard. I tested this by pushing out on the foot pedal contraption with only my left leg, and I could manage that for a few inches, as it was really tired. When I tried it with my right leg, though, I could barely move at all. So, just as thought, the left leg had been doing all the work.

Well, I have known for years that my right hip flexors were somewhat weak, meaning that when during a test with my legs dangling off the table, I raise my knee and try to hold it up when the neuro presses down on the thigh, I don't do well. Fwump to the table.

So my question is this: Does this new issue mean my hip flexors are getting worse? Or are other muscles joining the fun? It seems to be in the quads, but then I read that one of the hip flexors is the quad in the front. And the actions I am trying to do are different, this time pushing out and down.

We have some knowledgeable folks here, nurses and (maybe former) athletes. Also some PTs, or we did. But many of you just plain know more about this than I do, so please help. Thanks so much.


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At first I was going to talk about my hip flexors, so I googled it, and found this entry in Wikipedia.  Every single one of these muscles has caused me problems!

I figured out how to get to the psoas major - you have to jam your thumb into your side, right above the hip bone, and just about get inside the hip to massage the muscle.

The real question is which machine you're using.  I know there's a foot pedal thingie at the Y, and it's for the calf muscle.  There's another machine that makes you extend your leg out behind you, and I have a hard time with that, because of the muscle weakness in my thigh and knee.

I dunno... it occurs to me that really the muscle isn't weak, it's the nerve that doesn't work.  Of course you know that!  But it sounds like maybe yoga would be better for you than weight lifting... or maybe both?
Join the Weak Hip Flexor club. Isn't it fun? Not!!  I have issues with both sides,i.e. bilateral weak hip flexors. Initially it was only the left , now it's both.

So you do any  home exercises or stretches to strengthen the hip flexors and quads? I have an array of them and they do help. Most of them are simple like standing erect, holding the counter and move your leg out, perpendicular to your body. Usually 3 sets of 10 but to start, one set of 10. There are others which I can scan in and put on my page, when I locate them.

I used to use the machine you are talking about and my PT moved me off of it and used exercises and Thera-bands (those big, different colored rubber bands). They usually do the trick if I'm diligent and not in a relapse.

As for the rest of the thigh muscles, yes when one gets weak another will step in to help out making the problem of weak quads and flexors even harder to gt rid of. MY PT, who everyone knows I adore and applaud her work, hasn't put me on a machine in 3 years and yet my flexors have strengthened as well as the rest of my leg. Not that it's perfect but it's good.

I found a site that demonstrates some of the exercises I do for rehab. They do not involve heavy duty equipment.  The link is :

If you click on the site Jen posted and further click on one of the muscles highlighted , they have a good illustration of all the muscles and how they interact with each other.

Let me know if this was too muddled of an explanation and I'll try to clarify.

Jen was right on with Psoas.  I don't do PT unless it's absolutely necessary, but from a Yoga standpoint,  I MUST stretch Psoas through Warrior I, Pidgeon II (Ekhapadharaja kaposthasnana II), and Danyurhasana variations (wheel).  For me, walking and hiking strengthens these muscles, while the Yoga postures stretch them out to prevent contractures, and calm spasticity.

Works for me, anyway.
Ren is correct... Also besides moving your legs outward move them back and forward too... My PT had me doing lots of those exercises for my weak hip flexors... They do work... I was completely down when he started me on these and got back to using my walker for quite a while...

Wish you the best...
I had a chat with DH who is fast becoming a 'gym junkie' he's doing 300kilo leg weights and he was finding when he was doing both legs together one leg was doing most of the work. His strongest leg was getting stronger and his weaker leg was just as weak as before (ok not quite for the same reasons) but he spoke to his trainer about it.

Now he has dropped the weights by half and only works the machines one leg at a time but does the same number of reps (15) as before. He said his muscle definition is about the same now but one of his calfs is still slightly smaller than the other. It might be worth trying something similar, nix the 300kilos and 15 reps though cause that would kills you and me both lol

My hips dont like it when i lift either leg, and these silly legs spasm and shake continually lol I've been having a bit of trouble working (stretching and building muscle) my inner thighs (adductors) nothing i've been doing is getting any reaction out of them, a year ago it was just the left one playing up now its definitely both. I'm now doing most of my leg exercises with the help of those stretch bands, helps by added resistance and also helps me move them around to where i want them to go, i suppose its also helping my arms too.


btw i can hold my legs behind me a lot easier than i can anywhere else, weird lol  
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