The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 1

Here's an extensive glossary-like listing of terminology of and related to muscle-building, and training in general, to broaden and deepen your knowledge. Some of the terms are listed in this chapter precisely as they are in Chapter 8 — where the essential terms are covered — but most of them are either unique to this chapter, or presented here in greater detail. Some terms have multiple interpretations, and lack definitions that have universal acceptance.

Descriptions of exercises, and the muscles of the body, aren't included in this chapter. They are covered in Chapters 12 and 23 respectively.

Throughout this book, strict anatomical definitions of arm, forearm, thigh, and leg are used. This means avoiding ambiguous terms such as lower leg, upper leg, lower arm, or upper arm, and not using arm and leg to encompass undetermined portions of the upper and lower extremities respectively. The leg is the portion between the foot and the knee, the thigh is the portion between the knee and the hip, the forearm is the portion between the hand and the elbow, and the arm is the portion between the elbow and the shoulder.

The word flex is used in this book only as the opposite of extend. Flex is commonly used to mean make tense but not necessarily with flexion.


One-rep maximum, or a single. The most weight that can be used in a given exercise for a single repetition.



The portion of the body between the pelvis and the thoracic or chest cavity.


The movement of a bodypart away from the midline, such as lifting of a leg to the side. The midline is the vertical plane that divides the body into symmetrical halves.


A muscle whose contraction results in abduction.


Abbreviation for the abdominal muscles.

Achilles tendon

Tendon that attaches three posterior calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus).

Active Release Techniques®

ART® is a patented, state-of-the-art, soft-tissue system that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves — developed, refined, and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP.


Something that occurs quickly, and may be sharp or severe in effect.


The movement of a bodypart toward the midline, such as lowering an outstretched arm.


A muscle whose contraction results in adduction.

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)

Source of cellular energy for physiological reactions, especially muscle contraction.


An abnormal joining together of parts of the body, by fibrous tissue.

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