Anatomy def: Iliopsoas muscles are flexors of the hip joints. Flexion draws together the bones of a joint thereby reducing the angle between them.
Outlander def: Preferring the Highland Fling dismount, Claire and Jamie contract right iliopsoas muscles to hoist their right legs and skedaddle-from-the-saddle.
Learn about iliopsoas in Anatomy Lesson #7: Jamie’s Thighs – Ode to Joy!
Each iliopsoas is a composite muscle formed of iliacus and psoas. These muscles arise in the abdomen via pelvic bone and lumbar vertebrae, respectively. They descend into the thigh, unite and insert via a common tendon into the femur.
As they contract, the thigh is raised toward the torso, or with the thigh fixed (held steady), the torso is flexed toward the thigh. We actually have nine hip flexors for each hip joint, but iliopsoas is strongest!
Fun Fact: If one is a proper anatomist (he he), psoas is more accurately termed psoas major. Why? Because, there is a psoas minor – albeit only 25% of people have one. When present, it’s a pretty dinky muscle. It lies anterior to psoas major and contributes little to hip flexion.
And, just so you know, the “p” in psoas is silent, so the word is pronounced “soas.”
Read about thighs in Diana’s first splendid tome, Outlander! Does she mention iliopsoas muscle? No, but she does mention thighs. Woot!
Claire notices Jamie’s thighs on that wild ride through the night near Cocknammon Rock:
My companion seemed to be having little trouble, in spite of being unable to use his right hand. I could feel his thighs behind mine, shifting and pressing occasionally to guide the horse. I clutched the edge of the short saddle in order to stay seated; I had been on horses before, but was by no means the horseman this Jamie was.
And, later after marriage vows have been made, Jamie recalls his thighs and praises Claire’s bottom <G>:
But then that ride through the dark together….with that lovely broad arse wedged between my thighs…
A deeply grateful,
Photo creds: Starz