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Change Your Metabolism - Learn About Our Largest and Longest Muscles in our Body - Quadricipe Sartoris and Human Legs

Updated on March 13, 2015

Ever wonder how to exercise efficiency? What if you knew the longest and the largest muscles in the human body? Would exercising those muscles generate a higher cardio rate? Would targeting those muscles help with your metabolism and managing your weight? Most certainly.

The human body has over 640 muscles. Both the longest and the largest muscles in the body - for both the female and the male are in our legs. The largest muscle being the quadricep, the longest muscle being the sartorius and are depicted above.

Knee Flap - Thigh Dancing

How to Improve Your Metabolism - Strengthen Your Leg Muscles

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Diagram of muscles in the legDiagram of muscles in the leg with the longest muscle in red - the sartoriusDiagram of muscles in the leg with the largest muscle in red - the quadriceps
Diagram of muscles in the leg
Diagram of muscles in the leg
Diagram of muscles in the leg with the longest muscle in red - the sartorius
Diagram of muscles in the leg with the longest muscle in red - the sartorius
Diagram of muscles in the leg with the largest muscle in red - the quadriceps
Diagram of muscles in the leg with the largest muscle in red - the quadriceps

Sedentary Sickness Kills

Remember clinical studies have proven that "sedentary sickness" can and does kill. Lack of movement increases the likelihood of killer diseases.

Start moving today and keep moving daily!

The Human Body Has Over 640 Muscles

Yet the legs contain both the largest and the longest muscles in the human body.

Ever wonder how to exercise efficiency? What if you knew the longest and the largest muscles in the human body? Would exercising those muscles generate a higher cardio rate? Would targeting those muscles help with your metabolism and managing your weight? Most certainly.

The human body has over 640 muscles. Both the longest and the largest muscles in the body - for both the female and the male are in our legs. The largest muscle being the quadriceps, the longest muscle being the sartorius and are depicted above.

Uneducated Response - Inactivity Verses Wise Response - Mobility/Exercise

As we age, we tend to have back problems and knee problems. The typical "uneducated response" is to lessen the use of our body in order to lessen the pain. However, science has now taught us that decreasing our activity level is oftentimes the exact wrong thing to do! While each case is different and can only be properly diagnosed by a physician,

ALL of us would be better off if we understood the importance of our muscles and how they protect and help us.

And ALL of us are better off with greater mobility.

Protection and Help - Your Body's Armour = Your Muscles

Beautiful and Complicated Tapestry of Muscles

Protecting our back is a beautiful tapestry of complicated muscles. Muscles that protect your back are located not only in your back but also in your abdominal and obliques (the lateral muscle of the torso called quadratus lumborum and the abdominal obliques) - these are the muscles that serve as your back's armor. Additionally, our hamstrings - the muscles that are in the back of our legs serve to protect our back. If our hamstrings are tight, more than likely we will develop back pain. See how this complicated tapestry of 640 muscles actually works? If we more fully understand the interconnection, then we can better manage our bodies.

The essence of the body's needs is muscle and movement. Stretching and strength training are your body's mechanisms for protecting and helping you.

Lower Body Exercises: How to Build Leg Muscles

Saddle Bag Blaster - "Power Pilate"

Quadriceps - The Largest Muscle in the Human Body

The quadriceps femoris (which is a Latin word meaning "four-headed muscle of the femur"), is also commonly called the quadriceps. Other terms include quadriceps extensor and quads. Our quadriceps are a large muscle group on the front of the thigh. It is the great extensor muscle of the knee, forming a large fleshy mass which covers the front and sides of the femur. The "quad extensor" is the strongest and leanest muscle in the human body.

Quadriceps and Quadricipes - Let's Get the Terms Correct!

Wikipedia shares with us that "The proper plural form of the adjective quadriceps is quadricipes, a form not in general use; instead, quadriceps is used in both singular and plural (i.e., when referring to both legs). The form quadricep [sic], though common even in professional contexts, is incorrect. The error may derive from a mistaken belief that quadriceps is a plural noun (rather than an adjective in the singular), since English typically forms its plurals with the addition of the letter s to the end of a word stem."

Legs with Abs

The Sartorius Muscle - The Longest Muscle in the Human Body

The Sartorius muscle as shown above is a long thin muscle that runs down the length of the thigh curving and embracing our quadriceps (as we learned from Wikipedia in the pharagraph above). The Sartorius muscles is the longest muscle in the human body.

Wikipedia shares with us the etymology of the term sartorius is "the Latin word for "sartorial" (i.e. "to do with tailoring", in turn from sartor i.e. "tailor", in turn from sartus i.e. "patched" or "repaired", in turn from sarcio i.e. "to patch", "to repair"), and it is sometimes called the tailor's muscle.

There are four hypotheses as to the genesis of the name: One is that this name was chosen in reference to the cross-legged position in which tailors once sat. Another is that it refers to the location of the inferior portion of the muscle being the "inseam" or area of the inner thigh tailors commonly measure when fitting a pant. A third is that the muscle closely resembles a tailor's ribbon. Additionally, antique sewing machines required continuous cross body peddling. This combination of lateral rotation and flexion of the hip and flexion of the knee gave tailors particularly enlarged sartorius muscles."

The Sartorius muscle assists in what is termed "flexion, abduction and lateral rotation of hip, and flexion of knee" or essentially various movements of the leg.

Take the Torque off the Knees

Just Do It!

Nike Motivational Quote

How to Start Exercising Our Leg Muscles - Target the Longest and the Largest

The complexity of the human body and your personal health make the starting point unique for each individual. On a general basis, if we experience low-back pain, daily moderate exercise is recommended.

Everyone is different but one fact remains - some sort of daily movement is the very best. Aim for 3 times a week of cardio, aim for adding resistance training. The main item is to start! If you can manage to start small and keep up the consistency - you are ahead of the game compared to gung ho and stop and start again.

If you can afford a personal trainer - he/she will save you time and money. A great personal trainer is someone who will keep you motivate and on track and injury free. Talk to friends, ask at your club. Negotiate. Most importantly, don't sign up for something you cannot afford. Be realistic with your financial and physical goals.

Below are a couple of my favorite videos for our legs. My knees won't allow me to do the thigh dancing but all of the others are within my abilities. The last video is advanced - not recommended for everyone but you must watch!

Try each exercise out - pick your favorite and try to do a couple of repetitions daily or work these exercises into your regular routine. Just do it!

Lateral Step Up - Inner Thigh Muscles - Advanced Movement

Weight Loss and Cardio

Weight loss is best achieved through a combination of cardio, resistance training, stretching, diet and continual motivation! Keep your mind, all these are critical. Exercise alone will not give great results. And that four letter word "diet" is mandatory for weight loss. Keep you eye on the target, play at it every day!

Your Body and Your Mind Love a Challenge - Follow Nike - Just Do It!

Your body was made for movement. Your muscles were designed to be pushed. Your muscles and your mind love a challenge!

Follow Nike's advice - just do it! Simply make a small daily commitment and stick with it will take you farther by building your confidence and feeling the changes in your body. Just do it!

Did you know the longest and largest muscles were both in the legs?

See results

© 2010 Kelly A Burnett

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    • Easy Exercise profile image
      Author

      Kelly A Burnett 3 years ago from United States

      Hi Bill,

      Thank you for sharing. Perhaps I phrased portions of this article incorrectly, the largest group of muscles is the quadriceps, on a singular basis, the glutes would be, however, when we work the leg muscles and when we work the quads, we don't work the quads in isolation. When we work the abs, we have a greater ability to work the abs in an isolated fashion. Therefore the largest muscle or group of muscles that we engage would be the quads.

    • profile image

      Bill 3 years ago

      Some info here is incorrect, The largest muscles are your glutes, not quads

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      purpleangel47,

      I love the exercise but you hit upon my weakness - portion control. I bought all the fast pitched advertising and my portions are out of control.

      Off to walk and exercise. Thank you for stopping by and contributing - greatly appreciate it.

    • purpleangel47 profile image

      purpleangel47 6 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      Oh my goodness! I admire your steadfast attention to detail GmaGoldie! We all definitely need this information. I know so many people my age who are too comfortable sitting. It's easy to get in that mode: you're working hard and tired but it's unhealthy. And the larger problem is, with all that sitting there should be a change in diet - lesser portions, watching fat - but that's not happening. Our metabolism can be our enemy or our friend. Thanx for sharing! Peace and blessings :)

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Sofs,

      You are right - it is work but the work has expotential rewards.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Awesome, You have definitely put in so much work into this hub it shows..I really need to get my metabolism up and that means work.. Thanks Gma Goldie for sharing this with us!

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 6 years ago

      This is great i am just starting to eat more healthy and desperately need exercise. Hard to get motivated, but this hub is great, just what i needed.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      2besure,

      Wow - this is the greatest compliment to motivate you to walk - thank you very much. If I can help one person regain their health - what a true joy.

      Keep up that walking.

      RESTING HEART RATE - NUMBER ONE FITNESS TOOL!

      Also you might want to check out monitoring your resting heart rate - a walking program can change the efficiency of your heart. I have entitled that Hub - The Number One Fitness Tool - no money, just time and effort and tracking. Don't be discouraged, the heart rate will change after weeks - but it will improve - the body is really miraculous - it loves exercise and your muscles especially your heart muscle will reward you. Take care my friend and thank you very much!

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      You hub has enlightened and fightened me. I sit at my computer all day. Rarely going out except to go to the market or an appointment. I already have several heath problems. I will start walking again.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Fastfreta,

      Thank you for your words of praise. I love it when someone notices the hard work I put in. It took me years and loads of research for this one. I am very appreciative that you noticed. Thank you!

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Fastfreta,

      Thank you very much for your high marks. It took me allot of time and research - good eye - I greatly appreciate it when someone notices. Thank you very much!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      This is the kind of hub that catches my attention, because I've had trouble with my metabolism for years now. This is very good information. Lots of hard work GmaGoldie. Very good hub, and very good advice.

    • profile image

      Suzanna Aaring 7 years ago

      Warm-up your organs prior to your working the large long muscles and watch your metabolism go over the top... http://www.bodyfitlife.com/page/407731618

    • dugger62 profile image

      Deborah Dugger 7 years ago from Colorado

      Thanks for sharing GmaGoldie, I really need to get back into shape. Excellent Hub

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Sherbet Penny

      You are absolutely correct! Participating in classes you can learn allot and add that level of motivation. The human body is fascinating - the only machine that can build and heal itself! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experiences.

    • Sherbet Penny profile image

      Sherbet Penny 7 years ago from Galway, Ireland.

      Interesting hub, I've been training years, not as a profession, but personal, and over the years I have tried studying the human body and muscle, because as you see here, It's important to know. I think even if you can't afford a personal trainer, participating in classes can be as rewarding. Great hub.