Glossary of Specialized Terms

Adhesions

Bands of fibrous scar tissue.

Aerobic exercise

See Cardiovascular exercise.

Anterior

Toward the front, or in front.

Arthritis

Degenerative joint disease characterized by inflammation, pain, damage and or erosion of joint cartilage.

Articular

Relating to the junction between two bones.

Basal metabolism

The amount of energy that used while the body is at rest.

Blood volume

The amount of blood in the body.

Bursitis

Inflammation of the bursa; the fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction between body parts.

Cardiac output

The amount of blood pumped by the heart per minute.

Cardiovascular exercise

Conditioning exercise that increases the amount of work done by the heart and lungs over a sustained period of time. Also called aerobic exercise.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

A condition characterized by pain, tingling, and numbness in the wrist and/or hand.

Cartilage

Tough, shiny, elastic tissue found in the ear, nose, etc.; also covers the articular surfaces of bone.

Cerclage

A suture placed around the cervix.

Cervix

The outer end (neck) of the uterus.

Coccyx

The bottom bone of the spine; the tailbone.

Concentric contraction

Muscular action where muscle fibers shorten during exertion. Opposite of eccentric contraction.

Contraction

See concentric contraction.

Contraindicated

Proscribed.

Core conditioning

Exercise modality that increases strength and stability in the torso and spine.

Core muscles

Deep muscles of the torso.

Diastasis Recti

Abdominal Separation.

Dynamic instability

Characterized by the inability to maintain proper positioning during movement.

Dynamic stability

Characterized by the ability to maintain proper positioning during movement.

Eccentric contraction

Muscular action where muscle fibers lengthen during exertion. Opposite of concentric contraction.

Edema

Swelling caused by abnormal fluid buildup.

Episiotomy

Incision of the perineum during labor.

Erector Spinae

Muscles that extend the back.

Ergonomic

Designed to reduce fatigue or discomfort.

Extension

The act of straightening a limb or joint.

External Oblique

Abdominal muscle primarily responsible for lateral flexion of the spine.

Fetus

The unborn human after the eighth week of pregnancy.

Flexibility

Range of motion at a joint or in the body.

Flexion

The act of bending a limb or joint.

Gluteals

Muscles that extend the hips; the buttocks.

Hamstrings

Muscles on the back of the thighs.

Hydration

The act of supplying water (to the body).

Hypertension

High blood pressure.

Hypertonic

Extreme muscular tension or tightness.

Hypotension

Low blood pressure.

Hypotonic

Extreme muscular weakness or atrophy.

Iliac crests

The frontal protuberance of the ilea, or hipbones.

Iliopsoas

Deep muscles of the lower back and hips that flex the hip.

Intercostal muscles

Small muscles between the ribs.

Internal Oblique

Abdominal muscle primarily responsible for lateral flexion of the spine.

Interval Training

Intense athletic training designed to build speed and power.

Ischium

The bottom bones of the pelvis.

Kyphotic

Referring to the curve of the thoracic spine.

Lateral

Relating to the side.

Laxity

Condition marked by lack of tone or firmness.

Levator Scapulae

Upper back muscles that elevate the shoulders.

Ligament

Elastic, fibrous tissue that connect bones and stabilizes joints.

Linea Alba

Connective tissue at the body's midline.

Lochia

Normal postpartum bleeding.

Longitudinal arch

The arch of the foot that spans the heel to the toes. The instep.

Lordotic

Relating to the lumbar curve of the lower back.

Metabolism

Energy usage and/or processes within a cell to maintain life.

Metatarsal arch

The arch of the foot that spans the base of the toes.

Multifitus

Deepest spinal muscles.

Musculoskeletal

Relating to muscles and the skeleton.

Neck flexors

Muscles that shorten the distance between the chin and the chest.

Neutral spine

Position where the spine is not flexed, extended, twisted or tilted. When standing, the body is symmetrically balanced around the central axis of gravity.

Oblique

Diagonal.

Patella

Kneecap.

Pectoral

Relating to the muscles of the chest.

Pelvic floor

Referring to muscles that cover the pelvic outlet; the pubococcygeals.

Pelvic instability

A condition where the joints of the pelvis display hypermobility.

Pelvic outlet

The opening at the bottom of the pelvis.

Perineum

Strong fibrous connective tissue of the vulva.

Placenta

Circulatory organ that develops during pregnancy to which the umbilical cord of the fetus is attached.

Placenta previa

A condition where the placenta is adjacent to or blocks the cervix.

Posterior

Toward the rear.

Pre-eclampsia

A condition marked by hypertension during pregnancy.

Prolapse

To fall or slide out of place.

Pubic Symphysis

Joint where the right and left pubic bones connect.

Pubococcygeals

Relating to pelvic floor muscles.

Prone

Lying on the front of the body, or face down. Opposite of supine.

Quadriceps

Four-part muscle group on the front of the thigh that flexes the hip and straightens the knee.

Quadratus Lumborum

Deep muscle of the lower back responsible for lateral flexion of the spine. Also called the "hip hiker" muscle.

Rectus Abdominis

Abdominal wall muscle primarily responsible for forward flexion.

Rectus Femoris

Large muscle on the front of the thigh that flexes the hip and extends the knee.

Rhomboids

Upper back muscles that elevate and pull the scapulae closer to the spine.

Rotation

The act of turning around an axis.

Sacroiliac

Joint where the pelvis and lower spine meet.

Scapulae

The shoulder blades.

Sciatica

A condition that causes pain to radiate along the sciatic nerve from the lower back to the legs.

Serratus Anterior

Muscle responsible for scapular depression.

Strength training

Exercise with progressive resistance to increase the endurance and power of muscles.

Stroke volume

The amount of blood pumped by the heart per beat.

Sub maximal heart rate

Heart rate intensity below maximal exertion or below 85% of maximal oxygen uptake.

Supine

Lying on the back, face up. Opposite of prone.

Tendon

Connective tissue that connects muscle to bone.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

A condition that causes pain, tingling and numbness in the arms.

Thorax

Region of the body between the neck and the diaphragm, or the upper back.

Tidal volume

Amount of air taken in by the lungs per breath.

Tone

Firmness of muscle tissue.

Transverse Abdominis

Deepest layer of the abdominal wall. Responsible for abdominal compression.

Trapezius

Muscle that runs from the neck to the middle of the upper back. Responsible for raising the shoulders and head.

Urinary Stress Incontinence

Leakage of urine due to strain.

Uterus

Female reproductive organ.

Vasculature

Blood vessels.

Vena cava

Large vein of the torso that returns blood to the heart.

Vertebrae

The bones of the spine.

Here at BeFit-Mom, you'll find a wealth of free, in depth, expert information and advice about prenatal and postpartum fitness and exercise to help you have the healthiest pregnancy, and the healthiest baby.


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