How I Met Sartorius

After a 6 month hiatus, I set out for a ride on my mountain bike. I was grateful for a temperate day although I passed glistening mounds of unmelted snow. While the weather had not been conducive for outdoor biking, I had been keeping in shape with other activities. This bike ride was my cardio workout for the day.

Sartorius appeared while I was riding. The meeting was akward. It felt different and uncomfortable — a feeling in my upper thigh near my hips. It was Sartorius saying hello. As the longest muscle in our bodies, Sartorius was making its presence known as I attempted to lift myself off the floor. “Owwww” I yelled when I tried to get up.

The sartorius muscle starts at the hips and winds around to the inside of the knee. Try to look at the sole of your foot. It is the muscle that you used, amongst others, when you bring your foot inward . That one act uses the sartorius muscle in every capacity that it has; lifting the leg, hip flexion, and bending the knee.

I did not allow my muscles to stretch properly when pedaling when I continued to ride with out adjusting the height of my seat. A muscle that causes you to cry, “owwww” could be an injury. Biopsies of muscle after exercise will show bleeding and tearing of the z bands that cross over when we contract muscles. Blood and tearing equals injury. Muscle soreness is a delayed reaction. It will take at least 8 hours for you to feel it. This is not about the build up of lactic acid as many athletes mistakenly think. You can rid yourself of some lactic acid by cooling down. I was referring to the mechanical breakdown of muscle tissue. Do not do vigorous exercise without warming up, nor abruptly stop without cooling down.

I never knew sartorius existed before that encounter. Now, I am sure to stretch him. If you want to stretch your sartorius try this:

1. Bend on one knee like a man about to propose; both legs should be at a 90 degree angle with your knee over your ankle.

2. Take the sole of your foot and move it straight forward away from your knee.

3. Clasp your hands and reach upwards over your head. The palms of your hands should be facing the sky.

4. Keeping your upper body erect lean towards the knee that is out in front. Feel the stretch of your sartorius muscle in your upper thigh.

5. Do not bounce. Bouncing increases chance of injury. Hold the position for a few moments.

6. Repeat on the other side.

When you reach upwards even higher, and increase the distance between your knee on the ground and the foot in front of you, you get a better stretch.

Regardless of the sport, or your exercise regimen, three things are a big help in an effort to avoid injury; warming up, stretching, and cooling down. These 3 things should never be forgotten. It increases the chances of you and Sartorius having a smooth relationship.