By now we are all well acquainted with the muscles that help perform pushing movements – movements in which you push the weight or resistance away from your body. We are also very familiar with the muscles that help generate pulling movement – a movement in which the muscle pulls weight or resistance toward your body. We also know that there are certain muscles in the human body (like deltoids and gluteals) that help push and pull at the same time. But did you know you have many muscles that help swing? The muscles that help swing are the subject of this post.
Your midsection or core is made up of more than two dozen muscles that stabilize your spine, as well as bend your torso forward, backward, from side to side, and – in the case of any swinging exercise – rotate it in every possible direction. Here are these critical muscles, in no particular order.
Human muscles involved in swinging movements
Your abdominals are comprised of four muscle groups. Your rectus abdominis – the long sheet of muscle in front – isn’t just responsible for giving you that six-pack look. He is also responsible for pulling your torso toward your hips. Its other, equally important job is to act as a counterbalance against the muscles that extend your spine so that your posture is perfect.
The next two muscles are your obliques – external and internal. Your external obliques run diagonally down from your lower ribs to the front top of your pelvis and pubic bone. Your internal obliques, which are found underneath, are running diagonally to your external obliques. Together, their main jobs are rotating your torso and lateral flexion (bending your torso in toward your hips).
The final of the four is your transverse abdominis. Running deep beneath your obliques, this thin muscle layer, which stretches from your lower ribs to your pubic bone, pulls your abdominal wall inward. This protects your internal organs while helping to support your spine.
HOW THEY WORK: Together, all four support and assist in moving your torso through various planes of motion. For example: bending your body from side to side, twisting right and left, and lowering and raising your torso. Note: When talking about the “core,” we’re including the muscles of the lower back. This is because they work together with the abdominals to support the spine.
Although the muscles that make up your lower back are many, the major group that men focus on is the erector spinae, or spinal erectors. These deep muscles rest along both sides of your spinal column, starting at the back of your skull and attaching to your pelvis.
HOW THEY WORK: With the help of other smaller muscles, both erectors extend your spine—straightening it after it’s been flexed forward – as well as bend your spine posteriorly (arch your back). They are also responsible for helping to support your spinal column all day long.
Located along the fronts of your thighs, your hip flexors are actually divided primarily into two muscle groups: the iliacus (which starts at your pelvis and attaches to your thighbone) and the psoas major (which originates on your lumbar vertebrae and also connects to your thighbone).
HOW THEY WORK: Their main task is to pull your thighs toward your midsection. When you’re standing, it’s these muscles that help raise your thighs up, but when you’re lying flat, it’s these same muscles that also lift your legs toward your torso or lift your torso into a sit-up position.