Looking at some of Kitkats images in other threads, I’ve noticed that even in sprinters whose quad, glute and hamstring development is very similar to my daughter’s, many display a much more developed tensor fasciae latae muscle. I googled it and it seems the primary function is to tighten the fascia lata, thereby enabling the thigh muscles to act with increased power. The ‘increased power’ bit caught my eye. Does anyone here advocate exercises or drills that will strengthen this muscle, especially in those in whom it appears to be underdeveloped in relation to the rest of the posterior chain?
The TFL is not part of the posterior chain. It is a hip abductor, medial rotator and flexor. Hurdle walkovers are a good exercise to strengthen this muscle.
Appearance with the TFL can be misleading.
In many cases it appears defined due to the strong and sizeable muscles surrounding it, but the reality is that in most sprinters it is a very tight ‘muscle’ which can cause trouble at both the knee and hip if hypertonic and therefore training it specfically serves no real use IMO.
agree with you.
By definition, it functions as a “tensor” (tensing) and is often dysfunctional for precisely the reasons no23 outlined.
As its name implies, it tightens the fascia lata, thereby enabling the thigh muscles to act with increased power. It also tightens the iliotibial tract, enabling the gluteus maximus muscle to keep the knee joint in the extended position. In addition. when in the standing position, it steadies the trunk on the thigh and counteracts the posterior pull of the gluteus maximus on the iliotibial tract. FROM: Clinical Oriented Anatomy
STRENGTHENING THE TENSOR FASCIAE LATAE MUSCLE
This is the muscle system that is put into action when lifting the foot and driving it forward. If you put your hand on the muscle in front of the hip joint, you can feel it come into action when you lift your foot. This is not an easy exercise, but it will strengthens the tensor fascia lata.
While in the sitting position, with the legs flat on the ground or floor, lift one foot about six inches, keeping the knee as nearly in the locked position as possible. Then angle the foot so that the toes/foot are pointed toward the inside (right foot, point to the left). Next, move the foot in the direction that the toes are pointed to a position where the knee is directly above the other knee, keeping the toes/foot angled. Then return to the original position with the toes in a pointed up position without allowing the foot to come to rest on the floor. Repeat. Repeat. And, repeat.
This was one of the articles I read that prompted me to post the question. A few articles there mention the importance of strengthening this muscle, but apparently not everyone agrees with that.