Classification of the Five Muscle Chains

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The five muscle chains of each half of the body are composed as follows:

• Three fundamental or vertical muscle chains involving the head and trunk.

• Two complementary or horizontal chains that concern the upper and lower extremities. These are relational chains that relate the person to their surroundings.

These five muscle chains correspond to five psychological constitutions that are likewise categorized into three fundamental and two complementary constitutions.

Interestingly, Struyff-Denys assigned to each of the vertical fundamental chains a region of the cranium. The shape (forward bulge, flattening and so on) of this cranial region is an indication of the dominance of a certain psychological constitution. The vertical chains have muscular extensions into the extremities, just as the horizontal muscle chains are connected by torso muscles with the axial skeleton and thereby with the vertical chains.

Following is a list of the muscle sections of the five muscle chains. For further information, the reader should refer to the original source.''0

The Vertical or Fundamental Muscle Chains The Anteromedian Chain (Fig. 2.1)

Primary Section: Ventral Torso Muscles

• Pelvic floor muscles

• Rectus abdominis

• Lower and median sections of the pectoralis major

• Transversus thoracis

• Intercostal muscles (median section)

• Subclavius

• Scalenus anterior

• Sternal section of the sternocleidomastoideus (SCM)

• Hyoid muscles

Secondary Section: Lower Extremity

• Pyramidalis abdominis

• Median section of the gastrocnemius

• Adductor hallucis longus

Upper Extremity

• Anterior section of the deltoideus

• Brachialis

• Abductors pollicis

The Posteromedian Chain (Fig. 2.2) Primary Section

• Erector trunci muscles

• Long nuchal extensors

Secondary Section: Lower Extremity

• Semimembranosus

• Semitendinosus

Upper Extremity

• Latissimus dorsi

• Pars ascendens of the trapezius

• Infraspinatus

• Back section of the deltoideus

• Long section of the triceps brachii

• Finger flexors

Muscular ChainsDeep Anterior Chain Muscles

Fig. 2.1 Anteromedian chain according to Struyff-Denys. Fig. 2.2 Posteromedian chain according to Struyff-Denys.

The Posteroanterior-Anteroposterior Chain

Primary Section

• Autochthonous or deep paravertebral muscles

• Respiratory muscles

• Splenius capitis and colli

Secondary Section: Lower Extremity

• Vastus medialis

Rectus femoris

• Toe extensors

Upper Extremity

• Pectoralis minor

• Coracobrachial

• Short section of the biceps brachii

• Median section of the triceps brachii

• Finger extensors

The Horizontal or Complementary Muscle Chains

The Posterolateral Chain (Fig. 2.4)

Lower Extremity

Gluteus medius

Biceps femoris

■ Vastus externus

• Peronei muscles

• Gastrocnemius lateralis

• Lateral section of the abductor Upper Extremity

• Pars horizontalis and descendens of the trapezius

• Supraspinatus

• Median section of the deltoideus

• Lateral part of the triceps brachii

• Extensor carpi ulnari

• Flexor carpi ulnari

• Abductor digiti minimi

Muscle Chain
Fig. 2.3a, b Posteroanterior-anteroposterior chain according to Struyff-Denys.

The Anterolateral Chain (Fig. 2.5)

Lower Extremity

• Gluteus medius

• Tensor fasciae latae (TFL)

• Tibialis anterior

• Tibialis posterior

• Interossei plantaris muscles

• Lumbricalis muscles

Upper Extremity

• Pars clavicularis of the SCM, pectoralis minor, and deltoideus muscles:

• Latissimus dorsi

• Subscapularis

• Long part of the biceps brachii

• Superficial part of the supinator

• Brachioradialis

• Extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis

• Palmaris longus

• Thenar muscles

• Lumbricales and interossei palmaris muscles

• Flexor carpi radialis

Chaines Musculaires Busquet
Fig. 2.4 Posterolateral chain according to Struyff-Denys. Fig. 2.5 Anterolateral chain according to Struyff-Denys.

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