I was really enjoying Rob Zeller’s anatomy demo last night at the Teaching Studios of Art. I was enjoying it so much that I decided to capture the moment on camera. Okay, so I confess that I exerted very little effort and took the picture with one hand while lying down on the model’s platform because I was too lazy to get my ass up, walk to the other side of the room, take a nice photograph and document the lecture in a respectable way. Hey what do you want from me? I was on a break! 🙂
Yes those are my legs in the way. But it’s actually quite appropriate since the anatomical subject of the night was the sartorius muscle. Longest muscle in the body as it turns out. The sartorius runs across and then down the thigh, like a ribbon, and is responsible for lateral leg rotation, abduction, and knee flexion. If you move your leg in a certain way you can make it pop. But it’s not a muscle that is normally visible on the average person. I can get mine out if I stand, turn one foot out (which rotates the leg), lift the heel and lean into the leg with all my weight.
If you can see Rob behind the easel, you’ll notice that he is lifting his leg to demonstrate sartorius movement.
Rob incorporates books, his own anatomy drawings, the model, and the skeleton, in his lectures which are consistently informative, thorough, and really easy to absorb for a subject that can get confusing at times. I really liked when Rob explained how the sartorius got its name. The Latin sartor, means “tailor”, so the sartorius is sometimes called the “tailor’s muscle” because tailors used to sit in cross-legged positions on the floor to do their tailoring. And you can’t sit cross-legged without the sartorius muscle enabling that lateral rotation. Wikipedia has a few more theories on the origin of the name sartorius.
The sartorius travels an impressive anatomical journey in the human body. It originates in the anterior superior iliac spine (the iliac crest of the pelvis), descends down, while crossing over, the thigh, and then turns into a tendon that inserts at the tibia. Without the sartorius, you couldn’t bend your leg at the knee or laterally rotate your thigh at the hip. When men sit and cross their legs “the guy way” – with the foot of one leg resting on the knee of the other leg – they’re using the sartorius muscle for those movements. Not bad, fellas.
Then came my turn to assist Rob in his demo. Picture time was over. I put my camera away, stood up (finally!) and returned to my art modeling duties, which meant that THIS guy went on break. Ha!