Ever wondered what muscles your pets use when exercising and how to strengthen them?
Well, first you need to know where they are and what they do!
We’re going to do a short series on the major muscles of the dog and the horse any requests let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today we’re kicking things off with the BICEP BRACHII!
The biceps brachii muscle in our pets lies down the front of the forelimb as shown in this video.
In the dog the bicep brachii starts just below the shoulder joint at the supraglenoid tubercle of the scapula and proceeds down the front of the forelimb to the radial tuberosity and proximedial ulna which is just before the elbow joint.
In the horse the biceps brachii starts just below the shoulder joint at the supraglenoid tubercle known as the point of the shoulder and proceeds down the front of the limb to the radial tuberosity just like in the dog but unlike in the dog the bicep brachii in the horse continues down to join the medial collateral ligament via the lacertus fibrosis on the extensor carpi radialis. Which is a fancy way of saying it joins with the extensor of the knee.
The main function of the bicep is to flex the elbow, however, unlike in humans where the bicep flexes the elbow when we do tasks such as picking up a cup and taking a drink, the bicep brachii in our pets is a deeper muscle which actually works more to stabilise and flex the elbow to prevent over extension of the elbow joint and flex it whist our pets limb is on the ground rather than to lift the limb.
The muscle responsible for flexing the elbow to lift the limb over a pole or step, that’s the brachialis’ job!!
So how do we strengthen the bicep?
As it primarily stabilises and flexes the elbow we’re going to be working this muscle every time we ask our pets to move, great right! To challenge the bicep, even more, we can use exercises that test our pets balance these are often referred to as core strengthening exercises but they strengthen almost all postural stabilising muscles.
To find out more check out our complete core guides for your dog or horse at www.fitpetphysio.com/shop