True to my inebriated, articulate word, we're doing a leg muscle this week!!! Are you excited? Because you should be. I put a lot of alcohol into these posts and much like everything I do, I do it for youuuu. Ahem.
The muscle of the week, the Mantis Massage Monday Muscle, if you will, is the vastus lateralis!!!
Everyone welcome the vastus lateralis!
Say hi to your vastus lateralis, make sure they're comfortable. Offer them a beverage. Oh wait, you don't know where the vastus lateralis are?
It's okay, I got you, you're safe here. *wraps a blanket around you* *touches you reassuringly but only if human contact is something you're okay with*
THEM'S THE SIDE OF YOUR THIGHS!
So now that we know where they are, let's figure out what they are... Other than muscles because that's been established.
WHAT THEY ARE is, first of all, large and in charge! To my very very very untrained eye, it looks like they occupy the largest portion of the quads so they must be involved with more than just breathing, unlike some muscles I can name. I'm sorry, that was catty. (Okay, real talk time! I was originally going to write this post on the quadriceps but I just found out something very disturbing: the quadriceps are NOT a muscle. They're comprised of other muscles. WHAT. I KNOW. TAKE A SECOND FOR THAT TO SINK IN. So quadriceps are actually four muscles, it's a muscle GROUP, not an actual muscle and everything is a lie. Your family is a bunch of randos, sugar is gr8 for your teeth, and nothing is as it seems. I feel extremely mislead and this calls for more Dunk in this Drunk Anatomy.)
But what does it do exactly?
...what were we talking about? The vastus lateralis, which doesn't have an actual nickname so I'm calling it vasty latty for the duration of this blog post. Deal with it, anatomy nerds! SO the vasty latty, who is a cutie patootie, extends and stabilizes the knee.
If that sounds like nonsense to you--it definitely does to me--that means that you use is it when you're bippin' and boppin' around town! When you're strutting your stuff (did you know that I've been told more than once that I swagger?) or when you're cycling and swerving from getting hit by cars (I am very concerned for your safety, btw)?
How do I love and care for and nurture my vasty latties?
It's foam roller time! Because of its location, you can't really stretch it specifically. I think. I have no idea but I didn't get that impression from the copious amounts of research I did.
First of all, brace yourself. This will make you feel better afterwards but it's not going to be fun. You lay your foam roller sideways and roll your vasty latty every which way until you find the spot(s) that make you want to run away and hide. Unfortunately, tearfully scampering off is not an option. No, you have to stay in that position until it stops being the worst experience of your life. FITNESS IS SOME KIND OF ENCOURAGED SELF-INFLICTED TORTURE. But, oh my word, it's so good for you. You're gonna feel amazing. Like a whole new person that feels fantastic and endorphins are just flooding your body at all times.
Okay, I need to hang out with some pizza and console myself about this whole quads aren't a muscle business. If pizza is even a real thing anymore! Who knows!
And that is a wrap on the vastus lateralis! Tune in next week when I will explain another muscle! Hint: it's a muscle.
Impress your therapist with your anatomy knowledge and ask her to check on your vastus lateralis next time you come in! She will be stunned and you will be the new favorite.
Lindsay is the Office Superhero (check the business cards) at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Outside of random trivia, she has retained nothing from talking with the therapists re: anatomy. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?