The Deep Front Line

The Deep Front Line makes up our myofascial "axial core." This means that out of all the myofascial meridians, it is the deepest and has the function of maintaining our core alignment and core stability. Not to say that other muscles and structures are not also important in maintaining our core, but the Deep Front Line is a key component of all things core.

The Deep front Line begins on the sole of the foot with the distal phalanges and the flexor digitorum longus and flexor hallicus longus. Also a part of this origin is the posterior tibialis, which has attachments to all of the metatarsal bases and most of the tarsal bones (ankle bones), except the talus. These tendons, together with the anterior tibialis and peroneus longus "stirrup", help to lift the arches of the foot.

The Deep Front Line continues along these tendons and muscles up the back of the leg, including the popliteus muscle behing the knee.

From the attachment of the popliteus on the medial condyle of the femur, the Deep Front Line continues upward via the adductor muscle group. This group is comprised of the adductor longus, adductor magnus, adductor brevis and pectineus. These muscles, along with the intermuscular septum, insert at the ischiopubic ramus of the pelvis.

From here the Adductor Group continues through the ischiopubic ramus to the obturator fascia and unite with the pelvic floor, which consists of the levator ani muscles, and then on to the anterior sacral fascia. Another aspect of the Deep Front Line connect from the pectineus to the Iliopsoas, which makes its way upward along the transverse processes via the quadratus lumborum and the vertebral bodies via the psoas and anterior longitudinal ligament.

The anterior sacral fascia unites witht the anterior logitudinal ligament on the front of the lumbar vertebral bodies and then travels upward. The Deep Front Line now splits into three portions, anterior to posterior. The anterior portion follows the respiratory diaphragm anteriorly and attaches to the back side of the sternum and upward to the hyoid muscles. The middle portion follows the crura of the respiratory diaphragm to the pericardium to the pharyngeal raphe and upward to the scaleni muscles. The third and deepest component of the Deep Front Line follows the anterior longitudinal ligament up the front of the spine all the way to the longus colli and longus capitus muscles.

The functional implications of this are vast. The involvement of the respiratory diaphragm as an integral part of our core stabilization, and therefore our breath. This also eludes to the core stabilizing function of the hyoid muscles, the core implications of our pharyngeal raphe (throat) and scalene muscles, and lastly the importance of the activation of the longus colli and longus capitus in anterior neck stabilization. The Deep Front Line is not only complex, but is perhaps the most important myofascial networks in our body. The last important piece is the connection of the pelvic floor to the pubic bone (via the pubococcygeus muscle) and on to the linea alba up to the umbilicus (navel). At the deepest level, this connection wraps around the entire abdomen via the transversus abdominis muscle (the deepest of the abdominal muscles). This then completes the Deep Front Line's core connection through the entire body. Below is a visual summary:

Deep Front Line

Yoga Applications

The Deep Front Line is the "up" line in yoga. As in "lift the inner arches" ; "activate the inner thighs" ; "lift the pelvic floor" (mula bandha) ; "draw the navel in and up on the exhales" (uddyana bandha) ; "deep diaphragmatic breath" with "ujjayi pranayama" ; "scoop the chin in and up" and "grow tall through the crown of the head." All of these cues are associated with axial core support and the Deep Front Line.

Massage Applications

I usually associate the Deep Front Line with an active support system, so the only time I see myofascial release as appropriate is in the case of overuse of some portion of the line. As in the case of overuse of the adductor muscle group, which could use some release of tension or perhaps overly tight psoas from too much sitting. It is important not to just randomly use myofascial release techniques, but the techniques should be used specifically for specific reasons. This is why in-depth hands-on courses are the cornerstone of application of this advanced anatomy information.

The Functional Lines

These lines are more involved in functional movement and thus the name reflects this. They are seen as myofascial continuations of the Arm Lines.

The Front Functional Line begins with the pectoralis major and its connection to the lower ribs, where it has myofascial continuity with the rectus abdominis to the pubic bone and down via the contralateral adductor longus. This forms a functional line of mechanical connection during movement activities.

The Back Functional Line begins with the latissimus dorsi muscle and connects into the lumbosacral fascia and crosses over to the gluteus maximus on the contralateral side. The line continues into the iliotibial band and vastus lateralis muscle on the lateral thigh.

Yoga Applications

The Front Funtional Line is considered active mainly in asymmetrical contraction of the mover muscles on the front of the body, especially in sports-related activities like the tennis serve, pitching a baseball, etc. In yoga, we use the Front Functional Line symmetrically in a criss-cross fashio in navasana (boat pose). Follow this link to see navasana...Bandha Yoga click on navasana

The Back Functional Line is considered active mainly in asymmetrical contraction of the mover muscles on the back of the body, especially in sports-related activities like the motion of making a layup in basketball. In yoga, the pose that activates the Back Functional Line is virabhadrasana I (Warrior 1 pose). Follow this link to see virabhadrasana I... Bandha Yoga click on virabhadrasana I

Massage Applications

In massage, the most practical release for the Front Functional Line will be the pectoralis major and contralateral adductor magnus in athletes or others who overuse these muscles and have myofascial tension, especially with asymmetrical activities like the tennis serve where the dominant arm and contralateral leg will have the tension. Likewise, the Back Functional Line can be released in people who perform a lot of asymmetrical activation of the back of the body. The main access points are the lumbosacral fascial attachment of the latissimus dorsi and the iliotibial connection of the gluteus maximus into the lateral thigh (ITB) and vastus lateralis.

This concludes the Advanced Anatomy: Myofascial Meridians course. To receive a Certificate of Completion for Continuing Education documetation, simply click on "TAKE THE TEST" link, pass the short test with a score of 75% or better, and you will be able to pay on-line and automatically receive your Certificate via email. You will be able to access the course content during the test.

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