Body parts upper body part 1. Welcome back English athletes to upper body part 1. You’ll learn how to describe different parts of the upper body for yourself and for people and for things. Okay. So as you know, let’s get ready and let’s go. You need to memorize these forms and you’ll develop a basic command of English description. So, alright. So let’s get to it. Alright. Neck. Ostriches have long necks. Ostriches have long necks. Torso. Most basketball players have long torsos. Lower back. Ah, I don’t have a strong lower back. Shoulder. He has broad shoulders. Elbow. My elbow is hard. Wrist. Her wrists are small. Fingers. You don’t have skinny fingers. Belly. She has a flat belly. Or stomach. They have a big stomach. So do I.
Working out is becoming increasingly popular in Japan.
Probably due to the expanding number of convenient 24 hour gyms, yoga studios, and other trending fitness places that I may not even know about.
Regardless of a gym goer’s fitness level or expertise, most Americans are more than likely to be familiar with most of the individual body parts that are worked out.
I have an inkling this is from the past body building popularity in the U.S.. I’m not quite sure of how popular it is now, with public aware of more and more the side effects of supplements and constant heavy lifting, but I assume that even the average male gym goer can tell me where his ‘tibia anterior’ is (by the way, it’s opposite your calf muscle).
So let’s get to what I wanted to ensure you know today.
Upper body fitness terminology!
This can be helpful if you do any type of physical activity with people who speak English.
We’ll start from the top of the body.
I’m sure most can figure out this English word because well, we have a famous song “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes”, which also is in Japanese.
However people into fitness sometimes refer to this as “the delts”, which is how you refer to individual muscles in the shoulder, the deltoids.
Front delts, mid-delts, and rear delts are what vain little teenagers like me tried to pump up to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Next is the technical part of the arms Arnold was famous for, that Japanese people know in their language but probably rarely use.
Every single American that can speak a couple words of English know this word. I’m exaggerating of course! But if we were to refer to any muscular physiological term that would come first in the minds of people, it would be the biceps.
It’s the vanity muscle. The one you flex and shows people, “I work out, I have some sexy in me.”
Bi = two. The biceps are the two muscles in charge of contracting the arm.
Be careful, because ‘Bi’ pronunciation is like ‘Bye’ (Bye).
Its friend on the opposite side is one I don’t think I’ve heard in Japanese.
This one is made of three arm muscles that extend the arm. This muscle is usually only shown off if you have exceptional arms and wish to impress someone. Otherwise, you’ll flex it and nothing will happen but disappointment. To you and everyone around you.
Tri = three. The triceps are the three muscles in charge of extending the arm.
This has the same pronunciation as the ‘tri’ in ‘triangle’.
A few key terms that experienced fitness participators know about are the two basic movements of muscle:
Contraction and extension
If you are able to pull out these words in a fitness environment, people will assume you’re serious.
I’ve been a little vague about from where the biceps and triceps contract and extend, which leads me to my next body part.
This is the lower arm area between the elbow and the wrist.
Biceps contract the forearms to the upper arms, and triceps extend the forearms from the upper arms.
The muscles in the forearm are in charge of gripping, in addition to assisting the struggles of the biceps or triceps.
The word ‘fore’ means in front.
As in: Before, forecast, forward. All of these words pertain to something happening first.
Wrist and palms
Both of which English speakers use daily. I am sure that Japanese people know these words in Japanese, but I rarely hear word like ‘palm’ used. That could possibly be because I don’t have a Japanese physical trainer.
For the sake of brevity I’ll end with the part of the body where ‘the smaller the better’ (similar to the expression ‘the bigger the better’).
Short for abdominals, the muscles surrounding your stomach.
I rarely hear Japanese reference this. ふっきん I suppose is the term, but more often Japanese people just tell me お腹がでてる. No one seems to be interested in showing off their ‘washboard abs’.
A less vain abdominal term that includes a connection to your lower back is your core.
From what I’ve observed, the average Japanese persons biggest issue with English is pronunciation. Once you can hear and duplicate the pronunciation of words you can start gaining confidence by trying out the knowledge you have already.
I liken this to the average gym goer.
They have strong abs, but a layer of fat covering them. So we are unable to see their greatness, even though it’s there.
I know you’re great, let us help you remove that fat in order to see your abs!
Take a look at our pronunciation video course here. I know you’ll enjoy perfecting your pronunciation with us.