Healthcare and Medicine Reference
The Front Functional Line
The Front Functional Line (FFL) begins at about the
same place as its complement, with the distal attach-
ment of the pectoralis major on the humerus passing
along the lowest fibers of that muscle to their origin on
the 5th and 6th ribs (Fig. 8.1 B). Since the clavipectoral
fascia containing the pectoralis minor also connects to
the 5th rib, the FFL could be said to be an extension of
both the Superficial and Deep Front Arm Lines.
These pectoral fibers form a fascial continuity with
the abdominal aponeurosis that links the external
oblique and rectus abdominis muscles, and the line
passes essentially along the outer edge of the rectus or
inner edge of the oblique fascia to the pubis. Passing
through the pubic bone and fibrocartilage of the pubic
symphysis, we emerge on the other side with the sub-
stantial tendon of the adductor longus, which passes
down, out, and back to attach to the linea aspera on the
posterior side of the femur.
From the linea aspera, we can imagine a link to the
short head of the biceps, and thus to the lateral crural
compartment and the peroneals/fibularii (Spiral Line,
Ch. 6, p. 139). This, however, would involve passing
through the intervening sheet of the adductor magnus,
which is not allowed by the Anatomy Trains rules. We
will therefore end the FFL at the end of the adductor
longus on the linea aspera (see Fig. 2.6).
Fig. 8.4 The Front Functional
Line in a tennis serve. The
stronger and more vertical the
serve, the more the Superficial
Front Line will also participate in
driving the ball.
Our description of these lines required several approxima-
tions, not only because of individual differences but also
because movements along these lines often sweep across the
fans of muscle and sheets of fascia. In other words, bringing
back a javelin for a throw will pass through the precise BFL
only for an instant as the force sweeps from the lateral outer
edge of the latissimus around to its upper inner edge. Hurling
the javelin a second later will likewise occasion a sweep of
force across the fans of the FFL in the pectoralii, abdominal
obliques, and inner thigh muscles (see Fig. 8.3).
Let us illustrate the versatility of these lines with a tennis
volley. The serve involves a sharp pull directly along the FFL,
involving principally the pectoralis major, but perhaps also the
pectoralis minor in a connection to the abdominal muscles,
whose sharp contraction adds to the force of the serve and
the expulsion of air and sound that often accompanies the
serve, and finally the adductor longus or its neighbors who act
to keep the abdominals from pulling the pubic bone up (Fig.
The return shot a moment later might be a straight forehand
shot, with the arm out relatively horizontally from the shoulder.
In this case the linkage would go up the Superficial Front Arm
Line from the palm that holds the racquet, to pass from one
pectoralis across the chest to the pectoralis and Superficial
Front Arm Line on the opposite side (Fig. 8.5). This connection
can be felt across the chest in such a shot, or observed in the
movement of the opposite arm forward to help impart momen-
tum to the ball.
The backhand required a moment later could pass across
from one latissimus to the other along their upper edges (Fig.
8.6). A side-swiping forehand might be carried across the
body, essentially on the Spiral Line, to the opposite anterior
Fig. 8.5 A tennis forehand connects the Superficial Front Arm Line
to its partner directly on the opposite side - one of several angles
that the arms can transmit force to the front of the torso.