8 Steps to Make You Remember Origins and Insertions

8 Steps to Make You Remember Origins and Insertions

This blog will teach 8 steps to make you remember origins and insertions and pass your anatomy exam first time

You’ll discover:

  • Why is learning muscles so overwhelming?
  • A clear 8 step guide to remembering Origins and Insertions
  • How many questions you will have in your exam
  • When should I do the 8 steps?
  • How to simplify your muscle memory learning plan
  • Three Example Mock Questions about Origins and Insertions

Why is learning muscles so overwhelming?

Most trainee FitPros hate learning the muscles and origins and insertions in preparation for your Level 3 anatomy and physiology exam.

I’m convinced that this hate for learning is not a reflection of the topic (muscles) but a reflection of HOW you are revising.

One look at the endless table of muscles in your Level 3 anatomy manual, can make your heart sink, your brain flip in circles and your gut feel horrendous…

It’s daunting and overwhelming

But as with any big project, the easiest way to face something that is daunting

… is… (drum roll)…

break it down into little chunks!

That’s what we do here with our 8 step guide

8 steps to make you remember origins and insertions


Work out how many muscles you need to know for your exam. This is usually 50 at level 3 and 26 at level 2 but can vary depending on your course.

Make sure you get a clear list of all of those you need to learn


Create diary slots of 15 minutes that spread between now and your exam. If you have to learn 50 muscles, then you will need 50 revision slots;


When you start your 15-minute muscle study session, you’ll need a clear image of the muscle.

If you can’t find a decent image of the muscle with labels? Check out our Muscle Memory Sprint HERE

For today’s challenge use this flashcard to learn the Semitendinosis, one of the hamstring muscles:

How to stretch the hamstring - muscle anatomy

Look at the picture of the muscle and burn it into your retina.

Not literally, but really look at it, for a good few minutes

Look for key features of the muscle:

  • where is it on the body (in your words) ?
  • what shape is the muscle?
  • is it big or small?
  • Is there anything distinctive about it?

Close your eyes and try to remember the image


If you’ve got the mental image fixed in your mind, now add the name of the muscle to it and burn that into your memory, so when you close your eyes, you see the muscle and the name of it.

Add the name of the muscle to your mental image


Now in your own words, consider where the muscle starts and finishes, how does it attach to the skeleton?

Indicate where on the image the origin and insertion would be.

Now look at it, commit it to memory.

If when you close your eyes you cannot see all of the detail, then try this a few more times, looking at the image and then closing your eyes.


Once it is committed to memory, you need to believe that you know it, so test yourself once more and tell yourself you know it 🙂


To Seal the deal, do an action that uses that muscle, and imagine the image in your head at the same time.

You can touch the muscle, touch the approximate origin and insertion, and feel the muscle shorten and lengthen as you move.


This step is really important for avoiding overwhelm and fatigue.

Take some time out from learning muscles, go onto another part of revision or do something totally different

Muscle Memory Sprint - how to learn the muscles banner

When should I do the 8 steps?

This is a great task to do on the train if you commute, or on your lunch break (as long as you can get some peace and quiet), or before your morning shower, or even partway through the day whilst the kettle boils.

It will literally take 15 minutes per muscle.

Once you have gradually done all of the muscles you need to know, then go back and summarise/ revise and test yourself, you’ll be surprised what you remember

If you want to use the 8 steps but without the faff of finding images and adding text, then I have a tool for you that will make it super simple.

Check out our Muscle Memory Sprint including the 50 muscle flashcards HERE.

You can download them to your phone to look at on the go, or you can print them out and use them like a traditional pack of flashcards.

The Muscle Memory Sprint also includes a 28-day email sprint where you get an email every day for 4 weeks, to structure your muscle learning and spread it out to avoid overwhelm.

Each day of the muscle memory sprint has at least one flashcard and a 10 minute MP3 file where I talk you through the ins and outs to today’s muscle/group of muscles.

Combine this sprint with the 8 steps above and you are well on your way to Muscle Memory success, I promise.

Muscle Memory Sprint
Muscle Memory Sprint - how to learn the muscles banner

In summary

  • You need to learn 26 muscles at level 2 and 50 at level 3 anatomy
  • Breaking up your muscle learning into 15-minute chunks will help avoid overwhelm and revision fatigue
  • Use these 8 steps to remember the origins and insertions
  • Simplify your muscle memory revision with our Muscle Memory sprint
  • Here’s what Lydia had to say about the Muscle Memory Sprint👇 👇 👇

I can’t recommend Parallel Coaching enough their learning material is fantastic and definitely was a huge factor in me passing my A&P level 3

Lydia Farrant

Test your knowledge with today’s mock questions:

[NOTE: The answers are below the 3rd questions]

QUESTION 1: What is the origin of the Semitendinosus Muscle

A. Ilium
B. Ischium
C. Femur
D. Tibia

QUESTION 2: What is the Insertion of the semitendinosus muscle?

A. Ilium
B. Fibula
C. Tibia
D. Femur

QUESTION 3: What joint action occurs when the hamstring contracts eccentrically?

A. Knee extension
B. Knee Flexion
C. Hip Internal Rotation
D. Hip Extension

What’s the CORRECT answer?


Answers to the mock questions are :

Question 1= B, Question 2 = C, Question 3 = A

If you want more mock questions like this, then you can download more Free Mock Questions: DOWNLOAD NOW

Need More Help with learning the muscles?

How Any Trainee Fitness Professional Can Remember Everything To Do With Muscles In As Little As 15-Minutes Every Day

(Without Getting Overwhelmed Or Forgetting Everything Soon As You Read It)

The Muscle Memory Sprint:

  • Gives You The Confidence To Do Well On Any Muscle Question
  • How To Learn EVERY Muscle You Need To Know For Your Exam
  •  Escape From The Worry And Stress About Muscle Questions And Failing Your A&P Exam
  •  Makes It Easy To Crush Your A&P Exam

Learn with simplicity and stay on track here:


Muscle Memory Sprint

Dedicated to More

Hayley “Origins and Insertions” Bergman

Parallel Coaching

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