The Gracilis is a caudomedial muscle superficially running in the inside thigh closer to the tail of the cat than it's cranial counterpart, the sartorius.


gracillis_cat_copy.jpg

Origin - Lower pubic body, near the pubic symphesis.

Insertion - Upper medial surface of the tibia (pes anserine insertion)

Action(s) - Adducts hip, Flexes knee, Internally rotates the hip when the knee is flexed.

Strengthening -
Squat - Effective way to strengthen the gracilis is the body weight squat. [[#|Start]] with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms at your sides or on your hips. Bend your knees and lean your torso slightly forward, keeping your back straight to squat down. [[#|Push]] your buttocks out behind you as if sitting down in a chair. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Focus on clenching the inner thighs and backs of your legs to target the gracilis muscle as you straighten your legs and return to your starting position, Perform 10 to 15 repetitions, take a 30 second break and do two more sets.

Leg Curl - This exercise can be performed using a leg curl machine or an all fours with no equipment needed. For the latter variation, begin on all fours with your feet and knees shoulder width apart. Extend one leg backward, keeping your back and leg straight and aligned with each other. Bend your knee slowly bringing the foot down toward the buttock. You should feel the muscles in your inner thigh and on the back of your leg working. When you have brought your foot as close to your buttock as possible, straighten your leg to return to your starting position. Perform the exercise 10 times and repeat on the opposite leg, perform two additional sets.

Aerobic Exercises - Forward and lateral hurdle runs, set up a row of small floor hurdles about 1 foot tall, evenly spaced to match a comfortable stride. Run forward, lifting your knee to move your body forward jumping over each hurdle. Turn around and jump the hurdles one at a time to return to your starting position. You can then tun your body sideways and approach the hurdles in a side to side hurdle to concentrate on the gracilis muscle of the inner thigh.

Rehabilitation -
Stretching:
The alternative to stretching the adductor muscle group is to use 'isometric stretching'. This is done by squeezing a football, rugby ball or netball.
The ball is then squeezed to the point of discomfort but not pain. The contraction is held for 10 seconds and the legs are then moved up to the next position, 45-degrees knee flexion.
this is held for 10 seconds and the legs are then lifted to the 90-degree hip flexion position and contraction repeated for 10 seconds. Back down to legs straight and start again. This can be done five times in each position.


Strength Retraining:
-lying supine with knees and hips bent to 45 degrees. Place theraband around knee and attach to leg of table. Let the leg fall out to position of abduction and contract back to knees together position. This can be progressed into greater range, greater speed and greater resistance.
Lunges; feet together, step out in front (12 o'clock) and take weight via a lunge action. Push back to start position. Step out to the side (3 or 9 o'clock position) and back, then step backwards (6 o'clock) and back. Again, do BOTH legs.
Swiss ball squats: on a Swiss ball, either stand (for the vertically challenged) or perform a partial squat. This is a great isometric-adductor strength exercise.
Lateral step ups: place a knee-height box or chair about three feet at your side. Step up on to the box sideways and down again. Again do both legs. Progress by increasing speed.

Running/Training:




Straight line running: distances can be progressed in pyramid fashion. That is, 10m, 20m, 30m, 40m and so on. Overall maximum distance will depend on the individual athlete's requirements (sport and position). Speed needs to be progressed sensibly and always on the basis of presenting symptoms (pain) and clinical signs (adductor squeeze and palpation). Aim to reach full top-end speed before reaching flat-out acceleration and deceleration.
Sideways shuttles: stand on a line. Side-step five times to the right and then sprint forward 10 metres. Rapidly stop and then side-step five times to the left.
Sprint 10 metres again and repeat the process to the right. This can continue for as many 10-metre segments as desired.
Cone drills: place five cones out in a random order over a 10-x-10- metre square. The idea of this drill is for the athlete to sprint to one cone, rapidly stop and reach down to touch the cone, look up at the tester who points at another cone for the athlete to sprint towards. This continues for 20 seconds and can be repeated as many times as desired.




Fun/Interesting Facts -

The Gracilis Muscle is the second longest muscle in the body.

Tissue is taken from the Gracilis for reconstructive surgery.