Learning anatomy terms: a painful process

Over 20 years ago, I studied law for 7 years and became a lawyer. At that time, I thought study times were over for me and for good. I had a lot of time to study since it is all I was doing and my hard disk – a.k.a. my brain – was pretty new.

Recently, I decided to deepen my knowledge of yoga through the yoga teacher certification. I had no idea that this would imply learning a new language: the anatomy language. We have over 200 bones and over 600 muscles in our body. How to understand learn and memorize all those new concepts? I had to use some mnemonics to help me.

Please find below some of the tricks I am using to remember muscles names and location:

“Peanut butter leaves me greasy” is a funny acronym for remembering the adductor muscles in order of insertion, from proximal to distal:
• peanut stands for Pectineus
• butter stands for Brevis
• leaves stands for Longus
• me stands for Magnus
• greasy stands for Gracilis

The rotator cuff muscles: four rotator cuff muscles run from the scapula to the humerus and work together so you can rotate your arm. They’re usually remembered by the acronym SITS:
• S for Supraspinatus
• I for Infraspinatus
• T for Teres minor
• S for Subscapularis

Ordering the abdominal muscles: one way of remembering the names of the abdominal muscles is to think of a spare tire, which is the nickname for the extra fat that can build up around a person’s abdomen. The word TIRE stands for the four abdominal muscles:

• T for Transversus abdominis
• I for Internal abdominal oblique
• R for Rectus abdominis
• E for External abdominal oblique

Please share and pass along.

Carole A.