Home / Workouts / Two-Jointed Muscles of the Lower Body: What They Are and How to Train

Two-Jointed Muscles of the Lower Body: What They Are and How to Train

Are you even conscious you possess muscle tissue that carry out a couple of joint purposes? This is, a commonly-known flexor at one joint can be a flexor or extensor at every other joint. Those muscle tissue are referred to as two-jointed muscle tissue (TJM), also known as biarticulate or biaxial muscle tissue. Our our bodies are wonderful machines, and TJM’s give a contribution to this amazement.


A two-jointed muscle crosses two joints, thus making it slightly extra complicated in its purposes. Curiously, all primary joints of the physique – the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles – are ruled by way of a minimum of one TJM. Listed below are 3 lower-body two-jointed muscle tissue, the joints they serve as at, and their movements:



  • Muscle: Semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris (lengthy head)
  • Joints: Hip and knee
  • Motion: Hip extension and knee flexion


  • Muscle: Rectus femoris (one of the most quadriceps)
  • Joints: Hip and knee
  • Motion: Hip flexion and knee extension


  • Muscle: Gastrocnemius (calf)
  • Joints: Knee and ankle
  • Motion: Knee flexion and ankle plantar flexion


Ahead of we move additional it’s important to grasp this normal rule: Taking a TJM out of one among its purposes maximizes the muscle’s possible when acting the opposite serve as. Acting each purposes concurrently weakens the mixed effort.


Here is a sensible instance with the hamstrings. In a status place, prolong your proper leg backward as if you are kicking your heel backward. Now, concurrently flex your knee by way of bringing the heel of that proper leg to the buttocks. Ouch! That cramp sensation is a results of the hamstrings expressing either one of their purposes concurrently: hip extension and concurrent knee flexion. Those movements are susceptible for the reason that muscle is being compelled to accomplish double-duty.


Consider this: why do sprinters incur hamstring trauma all through an all-out dash? There’s lightening-fast hip extension (flooring push off) adopted by way of a fast knee and hip flexion (restoration segment of that limb). It is a unstable state of affairs that may compromise the hamstrings and why the notorious “pop” may also be heard when an athlete tears hamstring muscle fibers. Whilst we are at the hamstrings, let’s move into extra element and talk about the consequences for coaching them.


Correct Hamstring Coaching


two jointed muscles, two-jointed muscles, hamstring training, quad trainingAll 3 hamstring muscle tissue (apart from the fast head of the biceps femoris) go two joints – the hip and the knee. They originate on the tuberosity of the ischium (pelvis) and insert on tibia (semitendinosus and semimembranosus) and fibula (biceps femoris lengthy head). Once more, they help with knee flexion (heel to buttocks) and in addition hip extension (extending the thigh backward). The quick head of the biceps femoris is a unmarried joint muscle that originates at the higher a part of the femur and inserts at the fibula.


To maximally goal the TJM hamstrings of their knee flexion function they want to be got rid of from their function as hip extensors. Google of a antique leg curl gadget from years in the past. What you’ll see is a flat floor the exerciser laid vulnerable upon. The flat floor used to be no longer utterly efficient as it positioned the hips in a longer place. As we all know, complete hip extension minimizes the opportunity of the hamstrings to maximally deal with knee flexion.


Input any modern day fitness center and you’ll be able to solely see vulnerable leg curl machines that experience “A-frame” mendacity surfaces. This building puts the hips in a extra flexed place, thus maximally addressing knee flexion possible. In case you see a seated leg curl gadget, the exerciser is sitting upright which naturally flexes the hip joint and permits simpler knee flexion hamstring paintings.


To maximally goal the TJM hamstrings of their hip extension function they want to be got rid of from their function as knee flexors. Then again, to attenuate lumbar (low again) rigidity, a slight knee flexion will have to be used. For instance:


Romanian Deadlifts or Stiff-Leg Deadlifts

  1. Again arched, chest unfold, head up, and a slight flexion on the knees. Lock them in.
  2. Decrease the resistance (barbell, dumbbell, or gadget fingers) by way of pushing the buttocks backward and protecting the enforce close to the thighs.
  3. Glance up and decrease your self to a place the place the again is parallel to the bottom.
  4. Don’t flex the knees (i.e., squat) when acting the workout.
  5. Assume “pull” with the hamstrings when returning to the beginning place.


Correct Quadriceps Coaching

two jointed muscles, two-jointed muscles, hamstring training, quad trainingThe quads. Sure, they prolong the knee joint. However wait, a type of 4 muscle tissue additionally flexes the hip. It is the rectus femoris. The rectus femoris originates on the iliac crest (pelvis) and inserts at the tibia (decrease leg), thus it crosses two joints. The vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and vastus lateralis originate at the femur (thigh) and insert at the tibia, thus making them single-joint muscle tissue.


To maximally goal the TJM rectus femoris as a decrease leg extensor, the perfect workout is the sissy squat (hips prolonged, knee flexion emphasis). I consider the rectus femoris is discriminated towards as a result of maximum leg extension machines have an upright (or reasonably declined) again relaxation which places the hips in flexion whilst knee extension is tried. Preferably, the leg extension can be achieved mendacity whole supine (torso parallel to the bottom), however those units are extinct. As a result of 3 of the 4 quadriceps muscle tissue are unmarried joint, the upright leg extension workout is a moot level for those knee flexing-only muscle tissue. The bulk regulations, sadly, for the hip-flexing rectus femoris.


Correct Gastrocnemius Coaching


Need to paintings the calves? Assume heel raises or toe presses. It’s easy stuff, however there’s slightly extra to it. The gastroc originates at the condyles of the femur and inserts by means of the Achilles tendon at the heel, therefore, its two-jointed nature. Get up to your ft (ankle plantar flexion) and you’re employed the gastroc. Then again, this additionally flexes the knee so there are different steps to take to be able to maximize its purposes.


two jointed muscles, two-jointed muscles, hamstring training, quad trainingTo maximise gastroc process in knee flexion, the ankle will have to be dorsiflexed (toe pointed towards the shins) when acting gadget leg curls. Grasp that dorsiflexed place all through the workout. Take a look at plantar-flexing the ankle whilst acting a leg curl and also you’ll know what I’m speaking about. Calf cramp!


To maximise the gastroc’s ankle plantar flexion serve as, carry out heel raises or toe presses (on a leg press gadget) with the knee prolonged (eliminating the gastroc from its function in knee flexion). Status heel raises on a calf gadget or with a barbell or dumbbell are ideal for this.


What about calf raises on a seated calf gadget? Smartly, let’s do the maths: the knees are flexed so the gastroc is compromised as a plantar flexor. So, the seated calf carry is essentially a soleus match. The soleus is single-joint, originating at the tibia and fibula and putting with the gastroc at the heel.


Smartly, there you’ve gotten it. Now slightly extra about your muscular machine and the way to maximally goal TJM. On this article I deal with the TJM of the higher physique.


About Weightraining Hub

Check Also

The Keto Diet: Fajita Rollups

The Keto Diet: Fajita Rollups

  The ketogenic vitamin is on a roll and there’s truly no query why it’s …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: