Fitness Dictionary
by Justin French







Abduction is movement away from the central axis of the body. Example: Bringing your arms up to the sides is abduction at the shoulder.

An abductor is a muscle whose contraction results in moving a limb away from the central axis of the body. Example. The deltoids (shoulders) are abductors when they contract and move your arms up and away from your sides.

The muscles of the stomach. Their function is to draw the base of the ribcage and the hips towards each other, as occurs when performing crunches . Note that conventional sit-ups are performed largely by the iliopsoas (hip flexors) muscles.

Slang for abdominals.

a common over the counter analgesic (pain reliever) that is not a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, sold under the brand name Tylenol®, and many others. It may be used when a pain killer is desired which will not inhibit clotting or produce gastric upset, though it will not provide any anti-inflammatory effects, nor may it be substituted for aspirin in the ECA stack.

Achilles tendon
the tendon connecting the lower end of the calf muscle to the back of the heel.

Adduction is movement of a limbtowards the central axis of the body. Example: Bringing your arms towards your sides or your legs together. Opposite of abduction.

An adductor is a muscle that acts on a joint to bring a limb closer to the central axis. Example: The Lats during a Chin-up.

The group of inner thigh muscles is often refered to as the adductors. This group consists of adductor brevis, adductor magnus, adductor longus, pectineus and gracilis.

Adenosine Triphospate, ATP
The basic unit of energy in the body. The molecular "currency" that provides energy within cells for everything from protein synthesis to muscle contraction.

Adipose Tissue
Tissue comprised of fat storing cells. Body fat.

A receptor that responds to hormones (such as epinephrine (adrenaline)) produced by the adrenal gland

With or requiring oxygen. When describing exercise, it refers to a state in which the body is receiving adequate oxygen to metabolise fat as energy.

The doer. The implementer. A muscle or chemical that performs a certain purpose or action. Example: In a bicep curl the agonist muscle is the bicep because it causes the movement. The antagonist muscle is the tricep that contracts to stabilize and slow down the movement.

Amino Acids
Basic building blocks of protein.

branched chain amino acids
essential amino acids

A state in which growth or repair is occuring.

tending to reduce or eliminate pain

Producing or accentuating male sexual characteristics (body hair, deepened voice, male pattern baldness).

Without or not requiring oxygen. Example: When the body produces energy without the use of oxygen this is known as anaerobic metabolism.

The opposition. Antagonist muscles or chemicals oppose and balnce the action of another muscle or chemical (the agonist).

An Antagonist Muscle may also be called a stabilizer or synergist.

Preventing or lessening catabolism

an enzyme responsible for (among other things) converting testosterone into estrogens

Artificial, noncaloric sweetener. Generic name for Nutrasweet

Originally a brand name, aspirin is now a generic term for acetylsalicylic acid (C 9 H 8 O 4 ), a common over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. Side effects include inhibition of blood clotting (so that it may increase internal bleeding and/or the extent of bruising if used when an injury is fresh). Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) may be used when a pain killer without these effects is desired, though it will not provide any anti-inflammatory effects, nor may it be substituted for aspirin in the ECA stack.

see, adenosine triphospate

Avulsion. Tearing away a body part or structure such as tearing a tendon or ligament off of a bone.