Glossary of Terms


Anabolic: The building up of tissues or muscles.

Arthrokinematics: Normal joint movement of two joint surfaces on one another during functional movement patterns.


Balance: The ability to sustain or return the body’s center of mass or line of gravity over its base of support

Biomechanics: The study of the mechanics of the body.


Circuit Training System: This consists of a series of exercises that an individual performs for 10-15 repetitions, one after another with minimal rest.

Closed-Loop System: Movement that is initiated from higher brain levels and is transferred to muscle synergies while being monitored by sensory feedback.

Concentric Action: The force produced by the muscle is greater than the external resistance; therefore the muscle is able to shorten while overcoming external load.

Contralateral: Opposite side.

Coordination: Harmonious interaction; synchronizing movement.

Core: Refers to the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex, thoracic spine and cervical spine.

Cumulative Injury Cycle: A cycle whereby an “injury” will induce inflammation, muscle spasm, adhesions, altered neuromuscular control and muscle imbalances.


Davis’ Law: States that soft tissue models along the lines of stress.

Degrees of Freedom (DOF): How the central nervous system coordinates and controls all the possible combinations of joints, muscles and planes of motion that interact to produce a particular movement.


Eccentric Action: The force produced by the muscle is less than the external resistence, but causes the joint movement to occur more slowly than the external resistance would tend to make the limb move.

Efficacy: Ability to produce the necessary results.

Elasticity: Spring-like behavior of connective tissue that enables the tissue to return to its original shape or size when forces are removed.

Empirical: Based on experience.

Ergogenic: Refers to something that increase either aerobic or anaerobic muscular work capacity.

Eversion: Movement of the sole of the foot outward; opposite of inversion.


Feedback: The process whereby the body uses sensory information to reactively monitor movement and the environment.

Flexibility: The normal extensibility of all the soft tissues that all the full range of motion of a joint.

Force Couple: Two forces that are equal in magnitude and, when acting in opposite directions, produce rotation about an axis.

Frontal Plane: Imaginary line that divides the body into anterior and posterior haves, lies at a right angle to the sagittal plane.

Function: Integrated multi-planar movement that requires acceleration, deceleration and dynamic stabilization.


Golgi Tendon Organs: Located within the musculotendinous junction, sensitive to changes in tension and rate of tension change.


Hypertrophy: To increase in size.


Inhibition: To stop something from continuing or developing

Inter-muscular Coordination: The ability of the neuromuscular system to allow agonists, antagonist, stabilizers, and neutralizers to work synergistically in an integrated, multi-planar environment.

Intra-muscular Coordination: The ability of the neuromuscular system to allow optimal levels of motor unit recruitment and synchronization.

Inversion: Moving of the sole of the foot inward. Opposite of eversion.

Ipsilateral: The same side of the body.




Kinetic Chain: Made up of the muscular system (functional anatomy), articular system (functional biomechanics) and neural system (motor behavior).


Length-Tension Relationships: The relationship between the length of the muscle and tension produced by the muscle.


Mechanoreceptors: Sensors in the body that provide neural feedback.

Motor Control: The study of posture and movements, and the involved structures and mechanisms that the central nervous system uses to assimilate and integrate sensory information with previous experiences.

Motor Development: The change in motor behavior over time or throughout one’s life.

Motor Learning: The utilization of these processes [**WHAT PROCESSES??**] through practice and experience leading to a relatively permanent change in one’s capacity to produce skilled movements

Motor Program: Programs that consist of pre-structured commands that determine movement parameters initiated from higher brain centers carried out by lower centers in the form of muscle synergies.

Myotatic Stretch Reflex: When a muscle is stretched very quickly, causing muscle spindle contraction, the tension in the muscle increases as well.


Neuromusclular Efficiency: The ability of the neuromuscular system to allow agonists, antagonists, stabilizers and neutralizers to work synergistically to produce, reduce and dynamically stabilize the entire kinetic chain in all three planes.

Nocioceptors: Small diameter afferents primarily located in articular tissue, sensitive to mechanical deformation and pain.



Plasticity: The property of soft tissue to permanently deform when it is loaded beyond the elastic range.

Pronation: Multi-planar joint motion that occurs with eccentric muscle function.

Proprioception: The cumulative neural input to the central nervous system from all mechanoreceptors that sense position and limb movement.



Rate Coding: A process whereby the same nerve transmits impulses per unit of time.

Recruitment: An impulse transmitted simultaneously over a varying number of nerve fibers.

Reflex: A response to a stimulus which includes a neuron circuit consisting of a sensory neuron, communicating neuron and a motor neuron with its effector muscle.

Repetition: One complete motion, from start to finish, of an exercise.

Rest Interval: The time between exercises.


Sagittal Plane: Imaginary line that divides the body, or any of its parts, into right and left sections.

Sensory Information: The input the central nervous system receives from sensory receptors that distinguish such things as the body’s position in space, limb orientation to each other as well as to the environment, temperature, etc.

Skill: The ability of the neuromuscular system to coordinate the kinetic chain to allow for quick and accurate movements in all directions.

Specificity: The more similar the exercise to the actual task, skill or movement the better the chance for transference.

Supination: Multi-planar joint motion that primarily occurs with concentric muscle function.


Thermogenic: Heat producing.

Training Duration: The time frame from the start of the workout to the finish, not including the warm-up or cool down.

Training Volume: The total amount of work performed within a specific time period.

Transverse Plane: Otherwise known as the horizontal plane, the imaginary line that bisects the body into top and bottom.



Viscoelasticity: The fluid-like property of connective tissue that allows deformation with an imperfect recovery after the deforming forces are removed.