Human Anatomy in Fitness Terms

Human Anatomy in Fitness Terms

Have you ever wondered why the bicep is called "bicep" or how they came up with the term "Arthritis"?

Well as a fitness professional, I use those terms on the daily basis. Although fitness professionals are not doctors, we are require to have an understanding of the human anatomy.

With knowledge of how important anatomical, directional and regional terms associated with the structures of the body, people often find that most body parts are named quite descriptively.

A few of those anatomical, directional and regional terms are below:

Anterior Front
Posterior Back
Superior Towards the Head
Inferior Away from the Head
Lateral Away from the midline of the body


Below I also added a quick list of common anatomical terminology:

 Root Meaning Term Definition
Arthro Joint Arthritis Joint Inflammation
Bi Two Biceps Two-Headed Muscle
Tri Three Triceps Three-Headed Muscle
Cardio Heart Cardiology Study of the Heart


 Anatomical Position

In order to come up with the names for different body parts, Anatomists had to develop a reference position, which they called "The Anatomical Position" (find below). This position is basically standing upright, feet pointing straight, head, eyes and palms facing forward.

Planes of Motion

There are three major planes of motion:

Sagittal Plane: Divides the body into left & right

Frontal Plane: Divides the body into Anterior (front) & Posterior (back)

Transverse Plane: Divides the body into Superior & Inferior

All of the information above, anatomical, directional and regional terms; anatomical terminology; anatomical position; and planes of motion is used by fitness professionals as myself to understand how the body should move and to come up with different movements for your workout.