Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ooh My, What Lovely Scalenes You Have!

Well those may not have been my physical therapist's exact words, but she was impressed with my scalenes. Well frankly, who wouldn't be, right?

She told me my scalenes were highly toned, even waxed on to say my scalenes might be the most well-developed scalenes she's ever seen! Concerned she might swoon, I offered her a seat on the PT table. She declined.

But come on now, my neck muscles? I would  love to hear about my highly developed hammys (I wish!) or my quads (Nope) or even my calves (uh uh), but no such luck in the actually-making-a-bicycle-travel-forward muscular department.

My physical therapist (she's actually the substitute PT, so what does she know anyway?) hypothesized that it might be that cycling and keeping my head up is what has sculpted (my word, not hers) my lovely scalenes. My wife (DartreDame when she posts here) postulated a different idea. She claims that when I am stressed out or put on my stubborn pants, that I "set" my jaw in that certain way, and that it requires lovely scalenes for proper "jaw setting".

The only consolation I have drawn from this is that at least I now know that with proper training (holding my head up or stressing out) I do have the ability to tone my muscles. That is news, and from that I will draw hope that even my muscles are potentially toneable.

When I was about eight years old or so, my older brother started a gym club in our basement. From a few Weider weights, a whole bunch of muscle mags, "Willie's Gym" tee-shirts, and a healthy dose of imagination my brother launched his endeavor. But to give you a sense of our family genes, my brother drew a picture of an arm attempting to flex its bicep right under the words "Willie's Gym". The bicep, however, was completely flat and the tricep drooped down pathetically, the antithesis of a sculpted arm.

We were building our "mushles" we claimed. We had enough self awareness, even then, to know we'd never be mesomorphs, so like ectomorphs the world over we tried to make up for our wimpiness with wit of the self-deprecating kind.

But at least I have muscles to be admired, and I don't even have to take off my clothes. Just get those scalenes in the right light and with a little jaw flexing I'll be admired by all those with discriminating tastes in muscular elegance.

As for my substitute PT, she is a good one. As with my regular PT, I gain a great deal of knowledge and...well challenging exercises. Everything but neck exercises. Come to think of it, if I extrapolate from all the body parts for which my regular and substitute PTs design exercises...let's see now...yes, my neck is the ONLY muscle they haven't tried to improve! And as for my regular PT tells me repeatedly that my butt is underdeveloped. Great! Underdeveloped butt, and overdeveloped neck. Sheez!

Pictures courtesy of Wiki. The lower pic actually features the scalenes in red. But according to Substitute PT, my scalenes are even better than the Wiki guy's!

Keep it sculpted,



  1. hey, i have to say i've actually noticed those scalenes -- i just didn't have a word for them.

    go here for a picture:

  2. Nice post! However you first pic (and the one shown in kyana's pic) is really your SCM (Sterno-cleido-mastoid). However, your PT may be correct as your scalenes do act as a stabilizer for the cervical spine which would certainly come into play in a biking posture.

    Hey, here's a riddle. The smaller they are, the harder they are. The bigger they are, the softer they are. What are they? MUSHLES!

  3. I should have known! Aha! It is my old mushlizer kin himself posting a PT-informed comment! Long live mushles!