The body can be segmented into some 600+ separate muscles. Biomechanics group these muscles into tracks based on how their connective tissues web together (see photo below).
Our deepest group of muscles is referred to as the Deep Front Line (DFL). The connective tissue, or fascia, of these muscles weave deeply to form a direct path from foot to head.
This deepest track of muscles begins at the arches of the feet. Moving upward from there, the DFL includes:
- the external side of the ankles
- calf muscles
- inner thighs
- rotators of the gluteal muscles group
- pelvic floor muscles
- breathing muscles
- deep neck muscles
When this most intimate line of muscles is conditioned properly, you will have more endurance, control and power in your movements. This happens because:
- In order for these muscles to function as one, the body has to be trained to work while the skeleton is properly aligned. An aligned form is going to produce a more powerful and dynamic movement.
- The deeper muscles of this track have increased slow twitch muscle fibers. Slow twitch fibers fire slowly but have much more endurance than our surface muscles, which are fast-twitch. They have a denser concentration of myoglobin which carries oxygen. Higher oxygen storage = Endurance.
- Deep, intentional breathing patterns are required to have command of this muscle line. Training your breath to control muscle activation automatically increases the power of the muscle mass which you already have.
The Pilates Method is the best way to access and strengthen these deep muscles.
The Deep Front Line of Muscles
This is a photograph of the DFL after careful dissection.
Our fascial tissue weaves these individual muscles into a single, deeply connected track.
Look for the tongue at the top of the photo. The track then moves down through the torso and legs, all the way to the tendons of the Flexor Hallucis Longus that wrap into the arch of the foot.