Recently I came across Muscle & Motion. I was interested in getting a program for 3D muscle animations and exercise analysis, and someone tweeted about it, so I thought I'd check it out. Below is my review of the program. Please note that I do not receive any commission for sales, I'm reviewing the product for my readers benefit.
First, there are two options when purchasing the program. You can either buy Muscle & Motion or All About Strength Training. I have All About Strength Training. Here is the difference in the two programs:
When you open the program you'll come to the following screen:
It's very well organized and easy to use. Since there are so many options - and since All About Strength Training has more than Muscle and Motion - I'll just click the kinesiology tab, which both programs have. I found the Kinesiology tab the most useful because it draws information from the muscular anatomy and skeletal system sections and allows a very structured view of movement.
From here on in I found that the power of the program can really be seen. By click on any of the joints you will get a list movements, such as flexion, and what plane they occur in. When you click on the action a 3D animation will play. This animation will show you the full range of that movement and give you the option to view the active muscles, and from there you can continue to deconstruct the movement.
Clicking on each of the active muscles to learn the origin and insertion of the muscles, their action, and animations of how they are involved in each action. Just a massive amount of information.
I love how easy to use the program is. The animations are beautiful and accurate - which is always a plus. The Skeletal system is great for actually seeing the structure of bones and where the muscles attach.
Finally, the energy mechanisms section is great as well, giving you concise information basic physiological principles like Huxley's sliding filament theory and anaerobic vs aerobic processes. Clicking on each process will play a short video explaining the processes and some will have interactive bits for further learning.
And that's basically the program. It's really simple to use and getting to see the actions of each muscle really helps apply the anatomy. In all honesty, the program is so extensive that I've not managed to explore every function, but everything I have seen is great. It's a tool that I think students will find extremely helpful for learning musculoskeletal anatomy because the animations really help in the understanding of movement. I know I would have loved to have a program like this when I was doing my undergraduate degree.
If you spend the little extra money for All About Strength Training you will get the very extensive exercise encyclopedia which will give you a video of the exercise being performed, information about target, agonist, and synergist muscles, and a guide to proper form. Most of the exercises will also have a 3D analysis of the exercise.
I do have just a few criticism of the program, and these are very minor. First, the videos have no sound - this doesn't really matter for the videos of different exercises, but it would be nice for the education videos in the sections like energy mechanisms. Secondly, some of the text in a few videos has not been translated to english. I'm sure this will be rectified in the future, as I've been assured by the creator that updates every month and that the amount of content is always growing.
All in all the program is fantastic and very educational. It would make for a great teaching resource and be very useful for personal trainers and physical therapists alike.
If you'd like to have a free trial of the program then go here: Download Muscle and Motion
Below are the prices for the full version of the programs.
All About Strength Training
Muscle and Motion
They also offer a complimentary subscription to professors and instructors for educational use. For more information click here: complimentary offer