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The study of Functional Anatomy in Sport and Exercise

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

The study of Functional Anatomy in Sport and Exercise

Anatomy is the study of the structures of the body. Functional anatomy is a sub-discipline of anatomy which studies the structures of the body that are needed to perform human movement and is the type of study that is usually covered by coaches, athletes, and sports doctors. Having a good knowledge of functional anatomy, especially of the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, and other important structures can help with the understanding of how human movement occurs, and how different muscles or muscle groups can generate different movements. For example, if an athlete complains of knee pains, a physio will perform a series of tests where s/he moves the athlete’s leg in different directions to assess joint mobility and to check for damage to the ligaments, bone structures, and surrounding muscles. With these tests, the physio can determine the cause of the pain and can give treatment to the athlete. Similarly, a coach can use the study of functional anatomy to determine which muscles are needed for a specific performance and develop a training programme to strengthen those muscles.

Thanks for reading, and as always stay fit!

Coach Darren


Piggott, B., Müller, S., Chivers, P., Papaluca, C., & Hoyne, G. (2019). Is sports science answering the call for interdisciplinary research? A systematic review. European journal of sport science, 19(3), 267-286.

Winnicki, K., Ochała-Kłos, A., Rutowicz, B., Pękala, P. A., & Tomaszewski, K. A. (2020). Functional anatomy, histology and biomechanics of the human Achilles tendon—A comprehensive review. Annals of Anatomy-Anatomischer Anzeiger, 229, 151461.

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