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Use the links below to jump directly to definitions starting with a particular letter.

Within the realms of functional training, corrective exercise, nutrition and rehabilitation there are a lot of words being used that clients and patient may not fully understand. We created this glossary of terms to help our members and visitors to fully understand the meaning of articles and doctor reports, audio clinics and exercise descriptions they may come across.

This is not a final list. Xpand Health will continually add definitions.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


Abduction: A movement in the frontal plane, away from the midline of the body.

Acceleration: The shortening of a muscle when it exerts more force than is being placed upon it. Also known as concentric contraction or force production.

Adduction: Movement in the frontal plane, back towards the midline of the body.

Aerobic: Activities requiring oxygen.

Agonist: Muscles that are the primary movers in a joint motion. Also known as prime movers.

Anaerobic: Activities that do not require oxygen.

Antagosnist: Muscles that act in direct opposition to agonists (prime movers).

Anterior: Refers to a postion on the front or toward the front of the body.

Articulation: Also known as joints. Junctions of bones, muscles and connective tissue where movement occurs.

Arthrokinematics: Joint motion.

Atrophy: Wasting away of any part, organ, tissue or cell.

Autogenic Inhibition: The process of neural impulses that sense tension becoming greater than the impulse causing muscle contraction. Inhibition of the muscle spindle resulting from the Golgi tendon organ stimulation.

Avascular: Without blood supply.


Balance: A state of equilibrium; the ability to sustain or return the body's center of mass or line of gravity over its base of support.

Ballistic: Fast, dynamic movement.

Beta Blockers: Medications used to treat hypertension by blocking the affects of adrenaline in the heart. For more on this, type in "Beta Blockers" in the search field of the Content Library.

Bilateral: With reference to two sides.

Bioenergetics: The study of energy in the human body.

Blood Pressure: The pressure of the circulating blood against the walls of the blood vessels.

Body Composition: Refers to the ratio of an individual's percentage of fatty mass to fat free tissue mass (I.E. muscle, organs, etc.).

Body Mass Index (BMI): A measurement of the relative percentages of fat and muscle mass in the human body, in which weight in kilograms is divided by height in meters and the result used as an index of obesity.

BOSU: An acronym that stands for BOth Sides Up, the BOSU is flat on one side, domed on the other and is used in balance training.

Bursa: A synovial-lined sac existing between tendons and bone, muscle and muscles and any other site in which movement of structure occurs.


Calcium Deposit: Abnormal hardening of soft tissue, usually from repeated injury.

Calorie: The amount of heat required to raise 1 kg of water 1 degree C; unit of energy. Also can be written as "kcal."

Cardiovascular: Relating to the heart and blood vessels.

Carpal Tunnel: The space or "tunnel" between the wrist's flexor retinaculum and carpal bones. Through this tunnel pass the median nerve and the flexor tendons of the fingers.

Catabolism: The phase of metabolism in which energy is produced by the breakdown of complex molecules, such as starches, proteins and fats, into simpler ones.

Center of Gravity: The center of a body's mass. In the human body it is the point, which all parts are in balance with one another. It is dependant on current position in space, anatomical structure, gender, habitual standing posture and if external weights are being held.

Cervical: Of or relating to a neck or a cervix.

Central nervous system: The portion of the nervous system that consists of the brain and spinal cord.

Circuit Training: Selected exercises or activities performed in sequence.

Closed Chain: Exercise Exercise that occurs when the distal segment of an extremity is fixed, such as performing a squat, in which the foot is in contact with the ground.

Concentric: The shortening of a muscle when it exerts more force than being placed upon it. Also know as acceleration or force production.

Collagen:The protein of connective tissue fibers.

Concentric Action (shortening): The force produced by the muscle is greater than the external resistance; therefore the muscle is able to shorten while overcoming the external load.

Connective tissue: The body's supporting framework of tissue consisting of strands of collagen, elastic fibers between muscles and around muscle groups and blood vessels, and simple cells.

Contraindication: A factor (as a symptom or condition) that makes a particular treatment or procedure inadvisable.

Contralateral: Refers to a position on the opposite site of the body.

Coordination: Harmonious interaction; synchronizing movement.

Core: Refers to the lumbar-pelvic-hip complex, thoracic spine and cervical spine. The center of the body and the beginning point of movement.

Core Strength The ability of the lumbar-pelvic-hip complex musculature to control an individual's constantly changing center of gravity.

Cramp: A spasmodic contraction of one or many muscles.


Decelerate: The lengthening of a muscle when it exerts more force than is being placed upon it. Also known as an eccentric muscle action or force reduction.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): The gradually increasing discomfort that occurs between 24 and 48 hours after activity; a common result of physical activity that stresses the muscle tissue beyond what it is accustomed to.

Diastasis: 1) The abnormal separation of parts (adjacent bones/joints, abdominal muscles during pregnancy); 2) Cardiac diastole's "resting phase," which occurres between the filling of the ventricle and the beginning of atrial cantraction.

Diastolic Blood Pressure: Pressure exerted by the blood on the vessel walls when the heart is in its filling stage (bottom number).

Disc Bulge: A slight outpouching of a spinal disc (soft cushions that rest between the bones of the spine or vertebrae), sometimes causing the disc to push against the spinal cord and spinal nerves.

Discectomy: A partial or complete excision/removal of an intervertebral disk. Also called discotomy.

Dislocation: Displacement of a body part, especially the temporary displacement of a bone from its normal position.

Distal: Refers to a position farthest from the center of the body or point of reference.

Diuretics: A class of drugs used to force the kidney to excrete more sodium than usual. Increased sodium excretion causes increased water excretion, so urine volume increases. The increased sodium excretion is desirable and therapeutic in disorders causing abnormal fluid retention due to heart failure, liver failure or kidney failure.

Dorsal: Refers to a position on the back or toward the back of the body.

Dorsiflexion: The act of bending backward (of the body or a body part). Commonly referring to the turning upward of the foot or toes or of the hand or fingers.

Drawing-in Maneuver: Activation of the transversus abdominis, multifidus,pelvic-floor muscles and diaphram to provide core stability.

Dynamic Exercise:Joint movement resulting from muscular exertion (concentric or eccentric).

Dynamic Posture: The maintenance of the instantaneous axis or rotation of any/all working joints.

Dynamic stabilization: A muscle exerting force equal to the force being placed upon it. Also known as an isometric contraction.


Eccentric: The lengthening of a muscle that exerts less force than is being place upon it. Also known as deceleration or force reduction.

Edema: Accumulation of abnormal quantities of fluid in spaces between the cells of the body. Edema can accumulate in almost any location in the body.

Efferent Neuron: Conducts impulses from the CNS to the effector organ (E.G., motor neuron).

Electrolyte: A charged ion capable of conducting electrical current when in solutions.

Electromyography (EMG): The recording of the electrical activity in the muscle; recording the action potentials in a muscle or in muscle groups.

Endorphins: Any of a group of peptide hormones that bind to opiate receptors and are found mainly in the brain. Endorphins reduce the sensation of pain and affect emotions.

Endurance: The act, quality or power of withstanding hardship or stress.

Endurance Strength: The ability to produce and maintain force over prolonged periods of time.

Energy: The capacity to do work.

Epimysium: The sheath of fibrous connective tissue surrounding a muscle.

EPOC: Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.

Eversion: A movement where the inferior calcaneus moves laterally.

Exhaustion: The result of prolonged stress or stress that is intolerable to a client.

Expiration: Exhalation.

Extension: A straightening movement where relative angle between two adjacent segments increases; dorsal exercises or trunk movements performed in the sagittal plane around a transverse axis.

External Rotation: Rotation occurring away from midline; outward rotation.


Fascia: The outermost layer of connective tissue that surrounds the muscle.

Fascicle: Agrouping of muscle fibers that house myofibrils.

Fast-twitch fibers: Muscles fibers that can also be characterized by the term IIA and IIB. These fibers contain less capillaries, mitochondria and myoglobin. These fibers fatique faster than type I fibers.

Fatigue: The failure of one or more neuromuscular energy system (phosphagen, glycolysis and oxidative systems) caused by repetitive movements (exercising) of given intensities (intrinsic/extrinsic resistance loads, etc.) over specific durations.

Feldenkrais Method: A method of working with the body devised by Mosh Feldenkrais. Its main goal is to deprogram poor postural and muscular habits and reprogram new patterns by gentle awareness through movement exercises.

Fibromyalgia: A syndrome characterized by chronic pain in the muscles and soft tissues surrounding joints, fatigue, and tenderness at specific sites in the body. For more on this condition, please search the PTN Content Library under keyword "Fibromyalgia."

Fibrosis: The formation of fibrous tissue. Fibrosis is caused by many factors including injury, inflammation and infection.

Fitness: The state or condition of being physically sound and healthy, especially as the result of exercise and proper nutrition.

Flexibility: Optimum function of all components within the neuromusculosketal system that allows optimun range of motion of a joint.

Flexion: A bending movement where the relative angle between two adjacent segments decreases; anterior exercises or trunk movements performed in the sagittal plane around a transverse axis.

Force: The interaction between two entities of bodies that result in either the acceleration or deceleration of an object.

Force couples: The synergistic action of muscles to produce movement around a joint.

Frontal plane: An imaginary plane that bisects the body to create front and back halves.

Frequency: Rate of reoccurrence.

Frontal Plane: A plane parallel to the long axis of the body and perpendicular to the sagittal plane that separates the body into front and back portions.

Frozen Shoulder: Also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is stiffness, pain and limited range of movement in the shoulder that may follow an injury or health condition such as diabetes or arthritis. The tissues around the joint stiffen, scar tissue forms and shoulder movements become difficult and painful.

Functional efficientcy: The ability of the nervous and muscular systems to move in the most efficient manner while placing the least amount of stress on the kinetic chain.

Functional strength: The ability of the neuromuscular system to perform dynamic eccentric, isometric and concentric contractions efficiently in a multiplanar environment.


Gait: A particular way or manner of moving on foot; locomotion (i.e., walk, jog, run).

Genu Valgum: Knock-knees, defined as a medial displacement of the distal end of the distal bone in the joint.

Glycemia: The presence of glucose in the blood.

Golgi tendon organ: Located within the musculotendinous junction and sensitive to change in muscular tension and rate of tension length.

Gravity: The attraction between earth and the object on earth.


Heart rate (HR): The frequency at which the heart pumps.

Hernia: The protrusion or rupture of an organ or other bodily structure through the wall of the cavity that normally contains it.

High Blood Pressure: A common disorder in which blood pressure remains abnormally high (a reading of 140/90 mm Hg or greater). Also known as hypertension.

Homeostasis: Maintenance of the body's internal environment.

Hyper: A prefix meaning above, beyond or excessive. For example, hypertonic means tone beyond normal.

Hyperkyphosis: Excessive curvature of the thoracic (middle) spine.

Hyperlordosis: Excessive curvature of the lumbar (lower) spine and/or cervical spine.

Hypertrophy: Excessive growth of an organ and/or tissues.

Hypo: A prefix meaning below or deficient. For example, hypotonic means tone below normal.


Iliotibial Band (IT Band): The thick band of fascia that runs down the lateral length of the upper leg from the iliac crest to the lateral condyle of the tibia.

Imbalance: The state or condition of lacking balance. (Muscular imbalances) Lack of balance and normal symmetry within the muscular system.

Impingement: An encroachment on the space occupied by soft tissue, such as nerve or muscle. In this text, impingement refers to nerve irritation (i.e., from pressure or friction) associated with muscles.

Inferior: Refers to a position below a reference point.

Innervation: Nerve stimulation of a muscle.

Inspiration: Inhalation.

Integrated training: The concept that applies all forms of training - flexibility, cardiorespiratory, neuromuscular stabilization (balance), core stabilization, reactive neuromuscular (power) and stregth training.

Intermuscular coordination: The ability of the neuromuscular system to allow all muscles to work together with proper activation and timing.

Internal Rotation: Rotation occurring toward midline; movement inward.

Interval Training: Athletic training that alternates between two different activities, such as walking and jogging, or between two different rates of speed.

Intramuscular coordination: The ability of the neuromuscular system to allow optimal level of motor-unit recruitment and synchronization within a muscle.

Inversion: A movement where the inferior calcaneus moves medial.

In Vitro: Functioning outside of, or detached from the body.

In Vivo: Functioning within the body.

Ipsilateral: Refers to a position on the same side of the body.

Isokinetic Exercise: Contractions performed at constant angular velocity.

Isolation: Normally defined as a single joint motion. It is important to remember that one cannot isolate a muscle while resistance training. For example, immediately following a load application, the stabilizer muscles become partially involved, due to the machine’s assistance. The outside assistance (machine) helps the body or specific joint(s) to remain stable while the prime movers cope with the load. Although we cannot isolate muscles, we can use certain machines to isolate a joint(s), which will emphasize a target area.

Isometric: Iso = same; metric = length - The force produced by the muscle is equal and opposite to the external resistance, therefore, there is no net change in muscle length – no limb movement. Also referred to as static exercise or dynamic stability.

Isotonic Exercise: Exercise involving constant muscle contraction.


Joint: The junction of bones, muscles and connective tissue where movement occurs. Also known as articulation.

Joint Capsule: The thin, cartilaginous, fatty, fibrous, membranous structure that envelopes a joint. Fluid inside the joint capsule lubricates the area, allowing bones to glide smoothly against each other.

Joint motion: Movement in a place occurs around an axis running perpendicular to the plane.

Joint receptors: Receptors surrounding a joint that responds to pressure, acceleration and deceleration of the joint.

Joint stiffness: Resistance to unwanted movement.


Karvonen Formula: A method that uses your age and fitness level to determine your target heart rate training zones.

Kegal Exercises: Exercises designed to gain control of and tone the pelvic floor muscles by controlled isometric contractions and relaxation of the muscles surrounding the vagina.

Kinematics: Area of study that examines the spatial and temporal components of motion (position, velocity, acceleration).

Kinesiology: The scientific study of human movement.

Kinetic: Relating to force.

Kinetic chain: The combination and interrelation of the nervous, muscular and skeletal system. The connection of all the parts of your body to one another, directly or indirectly. Moving one part of your body can affect another body part. Your trunk is where the kinetic chains come together.

Kyphosis: A condition characterized by an abnormally increased convexity in the curvature of the thoracic spine as viewed from the side.


Lactate: A salt of lactic acid, produced during cellular respiration as glucose is broken down.

Lactate Threshold: (i.e., anaerobic threshold) - The point at which there is no longer adequate oxygen for the mitochondria of the working cell(s) to produce ATP energy (i.e., aerobic energy production has failed), and thus, the cell(s) goes into anaerobic energy production (i.e., fast/slow glycolysis and phosphagen systems) for that needed energy. This is also the point at which lactic acid begins to accumulate within the muscle, eventually inhibiting normal contractile ability.

Lactic Acid: A syrupy, water-soluble liquid present in muscle tissue and blood as a result of anaerobic glucose metabolism.

Laminectomy: A surgical procedure which removes the posterior arch of a vertebra. Also called rachiotomy.

Lateral: Refers to a position relatively farther away from the midline of the body or toward the outside of the body.

Lateral flextion: The bending of the spine (cervical, thoracic and/or lumbar spine) from side to side.

Length-Tension Ratios: The relationship between the length of the muscle and the tension produced by the muscle.

Ligament: Primary connective tissue that connects bone to bone to provide stability, proprioception, guidance and limits joint motion.

Limited strength: The maximum force a muscle can produce in a single contraction.

Lordosis: An abnormal anterior curve, usually found in the lumbar region and as such is an exaggeration of the normal anterior curve (avoid use of the term "normal lordosis"); often called "hollow" or "sway back." It is accompanied by anterior pelvic tilt and hip joint flexion. If used without any modifying word, it refers to lumbar lordosis. In the thoracic region, occasionally there is a slight lordosis, which is a reversal of the normal posterior curve. In a typical forward head position, the neck is in a position of extension that is greater than the normal anterior curve and as such resembles a lordosis.

Lower-crossed syndrom: A postural distorion whereby an individual has increased lumbar lordosis and anterior pelvic tilt (decreased hip extention). This condition is characterized with having tight hamstrings, tight psoas (deep abdominal flexor), weak abdominals and weak gluteal muscles. This is a very common presentation for chronic low back pain/buttocks and hip pain.

Lumbo-pelvic-hip complex (LPHC): Involves the anatomical structures of the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spine, pelvic girdle and hip joint.

Luxation: Bones in a joint that are no longer in the correct functional position to each other. Means the same as dislocation.

Lymphatic: Often pertains to the system of vessels involved with drainage of bodily fluids.


Maximal Strength:

Meniscus: A disk of cartilage between the articulating ends of the bones in a joint.

Menopause: The period of natural and permanent cessation of the female menstrual cycle that usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.

Metabolic Equivalent (MET): 1 MET is equal to the amount of energy expended during 1 minute at rest, which is roughly 3.5 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of bodyweight per minute (3.5 ml/kg/min) or 1.2 kcals per minute for a 70 kg (150 lb.) person.

Mobility: Capable of moving or being moved readily. (Joint mobility) Movement around an entire joint.

Motor Neuron: Neurons that carry impulses from the brain and spinal cord to the muscle receptors.

Motor Unit: A motoneuron and all the muscle fibers it stimulates, innervates, or activates. The size of the motor unit is usually related to the degree of control required by the whole muscle.

Movement: A result of the harmonious functioning of the sensory and motor systems in concert with the central and peripheral nervous system.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS): A chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system in which gradual destruction of myelin occurs in patches throughout the brain or spinal cord or both, interfering with the nerve pathways and causing muscular weakness, loss of coordination, and speech and visual disturbances.

Muscle Soreness: Muscles that are painful to the touch or tender.

Muscle Spindle: A stretch receptor found in vertebrate muscle.

Musculoskeletal System: The skeleton and its associated bones, the ligaments, tendons and the muscles.

Myofascial: Skeletal muscles ensheathed by fibrous connective tissue.

Myofascial Unit: A muscle and the fascia, which directly surrounds it.


Nervous System: The brain, spinal cord and all the nerves in the body.

Neural Drive: A measure of the number and amplitude of nervous system impulses to a muscle.

Neuron: A conducting cell in the nervous system that specialized in generating and transmitting nerve impulses.

Neutral Posture: A halfway zone between a person's ability to flex and extend. Neutral posture involves a minimal amount of stress and strain, and is conducive to maximal efficiency of the body. (Also called Ideal posture)

Neutralizer Muscle: A muscle responsible for eliminating or canceling out an undesired movement.


Obesity: An excessive accumulation of body fat, generally speaking over 25% for men and over 30% for women, with a wide range of causative variables including and not limited to: stress, nutrition, dehydration, toxicity, poor sleep/wake cycles and genetics.

Oblique: A diagonally arranged abdominal muscle on either side of the torso [syn: external oblique muscle]

One Repetition Max: The greatest amount of weight a person can lift one time in good form.

Open Chain Exercise: Exercise that occurs when the distal segment of an extremity is free, such as performing a knee extension exercise.

Osteoporosis: A decrease in bone density.

Overload: Stressing the body or parts of the body to levels above what is normally experienced.

Oxidation: The combination of a substance with oxygen.


Patella: The flat, movable bone at the front of the knee, also known as the kneecap. Path Variable Many path options.

Pattern Overload: Many repetitions performed in the same pattern can lead to overloading soft tissues beyond necessary stimulus.

Pelvic Girdle: The two hip bones.

Pelvis: Composed of the two hip bones, sacrum and coccyx.

Perimysium: The connective tissue enveloping bundles of muscle fibers.

Periodization: An approach to training where a workout schedule or program is broken into cycles throughout the year.

Periosteum: The fibrous connective tissue, which surrounds the surface of bones.

Peroneal: Of or relating to the fibula or to the outer portion of the leg.

Pilates: A method of physical and mental exercise involving stretches and breathing that focus on strengthening the abdominal core.

Piriformis: A muscle that arises from the front of the sacrum, passes out of the pelvis through the greater sciatic foramen, is inserted into the upper border of the greater trochanter of the femur and rotates the thigh laterally.

Piriformis Syndrome: A condition in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve. This referred pain, called "sciatica," often goes down the back of the thigh and/or into the lower back.

Planes: The three basic planes of reference are derived from the dimensions in space and are at right angles to each other. Types of planes: Sagittal: Is vertical and extends front to back. It may also be called anterior-posterior plane. Coronal: Is vertical and extends from side to side. It is also called the frontal or lateral plane, and divides the body into anterior and posterior sections. Transverse: Is horizontal and divides the body into upper and lower portions. It is also termed the horizontal plane.

Plantar Fasciitis: Inflammation of the plantar fascia (arch of the foot) causing pain during gait.

Plantar Flexion: Movement of the foot that flexes the foot or toes downward toward the sole.

Plyometrics: A type of exercise using explosive movements to develop muscular power, esp. bounding, hopping and jumping.

Popliteal Space: The space behind the knee joint. The space is bounded by ligaments and contains soft tissue including nerves, fat, membranes and blood vessels.

Posterior: Behind, to the rear. Opposite of anterior.

Postpartum: Existing or occurring after birth.

Postural Response: A change of body position that leads to a change in the projection of the center of mass.

Power: Ability to exert muscular strength quickly.

Prenatal: Existing or occurring before birth.

Prognosis: Prediction of the course of an injury or disease, including its end result.

Prolapse: The falling down or slipping of a body part from its usual position or relations.

Prone: Lying face downward.

Proprioception: The neurological sense that allows one to know not only where one is in space, but also the position and location of each individual part and joint.

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF): A method of promoting a response of neuromuscular mechanisms through the stimulation of proprioceptors in an attempt to facilitate increased range of motion, increased strength and movement pattern control.

Protraction: The act of moving an anatomical part forward.

Proximal: Nearer to the center or median line, or to the thorax.

Psoas: Either of two muscles of the abdomen and pelvis that flex the trunk and rotate the thigh.

Pyramidalis: A small muscle, triangular in shape, placed at the lower part of the abdomen, in front of the rectus and contained in the same sheath with that muscle. The pyramidales are tensors of the linea alba.

Pyramiding: Done in two ways: 1. Beginning with sets that use a lighter load and higher rep count, progressing to heavier load and lower rep count. 2. Beginning with sets that use a heavier load and lower rep count, progressing to lighter load and higher rep count.


Q-Angle: The angle formed by the longitudinal axis of the femur and the line of pull of the patellar ligament.


Range of Motion: The range, measured in degrees of a circle, through which a joint can be flexed and extended. Active range of motion: Voluntarily moving a joint through a controlled range of motion; active movement of a joint. Passive range of motion: Having an external force move a joint through its range of motion.

Reciprocal Inhibition: The concept of muscle inhibition caused by a tight agonist, which inhibits its functional antagonist.

Repetition: The act of repeating an action/movement.

Resting Heart Rate: A measure of heat beats per minute when the body is completely at rest, such as in the morning right out of bed.

Retraction: The act of drawing back or in; shrinking.

Rotation: Exercises or trunk movements performed in the transverse plane, around a longitudinal axis, to the left or right.

Rotator Cuff: A group of muscles and tendons attaching the shoulder to the scapula (shoulder blade) that provide stability to the shoulder joint and act to rotate the arm.


Sacroiliac Joint (SI Joint): The joint or articulation between the sacrum and ilium that forms the junctions between the spine and each side of the pelvis. Like the vertebrae in the lower back, the SI Joints bear the weight and stress of the torso, which makes them susceptible to injury.

Sagittal: The Sagittal plane (otherwise known as the anterior/posterior plane), is an imaginary line that divides the body into right and left halves. Sagittal plane exercises lie on the frontal axis.

Scaption: Is a shoulder movement that is in-between a shoulder lateral raise and a front raise. You raise your arm at a 45-degree angle from your body, so it's not straight in front (front raise) of you or straight out to the side (lateral raise) AND the thumb is pointing upward. This allows the greater tubercle of the humerus to avoid impingement with the acromion process.

Scapulohumeral Rhythm: The movement relationship between the humerus and the scapula during arm raising movements.

Self Myofascial Release (SMR): A "self-massage" technique generally performed by moving the desired muscle(s) over a foam roller with the goals of increasing flexibility via the general decrease of muscular adhesions.

Set: A series of consecutive repetitions, of a given exercise, performed as a group.

Soft Tissue: Usually referring to myofascial tissues, or any tissues that do not contain minerals (such as bone).

Soy Protein: A high-protein product made from soybeans, used as a supplement and as a meat substitute or extender.

Spasm: A sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles.

Speed: Ability to move the whole body quickly.

Spina Bifida: A congenital defect in which the spinal column does not fully grow closed and remains exposed so that a portion of the spinal cord cover (meniges) or the spinal cord itself may protrude, often resulting in neurological disorders.

Spondylolisthesis: A condition in which one bone in your back slides forward over the bone below it. It most often occurs in the lower spine. In some cases, this may lead to your spinal cord or nerve roots being squeezed, causing back pain and numbness or weakness in your legs. Spondylolysis: Spondylolysis is essentially a stress fracture of part of the spine. It occurs in the posterior part of the spine known as the pars intrarticularis. It can be unilateral (involving one side) or bilateral (involving both sides). Although the defect can be found at any level, the commonest vertebra involved is the 5th Lumbar vertebra (or L5). Spondylolysis is the most common cause of spondylolisthesis.

Sprain: A stretch and/or tear of a ligament, the fibrous band of tissue that connects the end of one bone with another.

Stability: Remaining consistent and steady. Joint stability: Integrity of the entire joint.

Stabilization: The ability to control the body both statically and dynamically.

Stabilizing Muscles: Muscles that support or stabilize the body, while the prime movers and synergists perform movement patterns.

Static Posture: The position of the body at rest, sitting, standing or lying.

Static Stability: An ability of the neuromuscular system to coordinate low amplitude perturbations in order to resist significant displacements through the skeletal system.

Strain: A twist, pull and/or tear of a muscle and/or tendon, the fibrous cord of tissue that attaches muscles to bone.

Stress: A physiological or psychological response to a stressor beyond what is needed to accomplish a task.

Stressor: Any stimulus or condition that causes physiological arousal beyond what is necessary to accomplish the activity.

Stretch Reflex: A reflex contraction of a muscle in response to stretching of an attached tendon or of the muscle itself. Important in maintaining erect posture.

Subluxation: Incomplete or partial dislocation of a bone in a joint.

Submaximal: Being less than the maximum of which an individual is capable.

Super Set: 1. Two exercises involving ANTAGONISTIC muscles performed back-to-back. (i.e., overhead press/pull-ups) OR 2. Two exercises involving the SAME muscle group performed back-to-back. (i.e., overhead press/lateral raise)

Supine: Lying with the face upward.

Synchronization of Motor Units: A neural factor that could increase force production. The greater the synchronization, the greater the number of motor units firing at any one time.

Syndrome: A set of symptoms occurring together, the sum of signs of a morbid (sad, melancholic) state.

Synovium: A thin layer of connective tissue with a free smooth surface that lines the capsule of a joint. Synovial fluid lubricates and facilitates movements of the joint.


Tactile: Pertaining to touch.

Tempo: The rate of speed of a repetition.

Tendons: A cord of dense, tough tissue connecting a muscle with a bone or part.

Testosterone: Primary male hormone responsible for skeletal muscle development.

TFL (Tensor Fasciae Latae): A muscle of the hip and leg. Origin - Iliac crest just posterior to the ASIS. Insertion - Tibia by way of the Iliotibial tract (IT band). Function(s) - Concentric - Hip flexion, hip Abduction, hip internal rotation. Isometric - Dynamic stabilization of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex. Eccentric - Deceleration of hip extension, hip Adduction, and external rotation.

Thermogenetic: Generation or production of heat, especially by physiological processes.

Thoracic: The chest or rib region of the trunk consisting of twelve vertebrae.

Thorax: The region between the neck and abdomen.

Thyroid Gland: A two-lobed endocrine gland found in front of and on either side of the trachea in humans. It produces various hormones such as triiodothyronine and calcitonin.

Tightness Shortness: Denotes a slight to moderate decrease in muscle length; movement in the direction of lengthening the muscle is limited.

Transverse Abdominus: Muscle inserting on the last six ribs, iliac crest, inguinal ligament, lumbodorsal fascia, linea alba and pubic crest; increases intra-abdominal pressure.

Transverse Plane: A plane across the body at right angles to the coronal and sagittal plane and perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of a body or object OR a plane dividing the body into an upper and lower section. Also called horizontal plane.

Triathlon:An athletic contest comprising three consecutive events, usually swimming, biking and distance running.

Trunk: The part of the body to which the upper and lower extremities attach.


Unilateral: Pertaining to one side.

Upper Cross Syndrome: Exhibited by an individual with a forward head, rounded shoulder posture.


Valsalva Maneuver: A common technique used in lifting weights, where the breath is held during a forced exhalation to increase thoracic pressure.

Venous Return: The flow of blood from the venous system into the right atrium of the heart.

Vertebrae: Individual bones that comprise the spinal column.

Vertically Load: To place force upon a structure in a vertical plane, parallel to the line of gravity.

Vestibula:r Of or relating to the vestibule of the inner ear.

Viscosity: The degree to which a fluid resists flow under an applied force.

VMO: Otherwise known as the vastus medialis, the division of the quadriceps muscle that covers the inner anterior aspect of the femur.

VO2 Max: The highest volume of oxygen an individual's body can use/consume during exercise, otherwise known as maximum aerobic capacity.

Volume: Refers to total work load done within the context of a training session and/or particular time frame (i.e. total sets, reps, load, etc.)


Work: The product of force and distance.



Yoga: Freedom of the self from its temporary state through methods such as exercise and relaxation.

Yogi: A person who practices yoga.


These definitions have been taken from different sources:

NASM, PT on the net

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