Skip Nav
Healthy Eating Tips
How Adding Flaxmeal to My Smoothies Helped Me Lose Weight
Holiday Fitness
After the Feast: Managing the Pain and Bloat of Your Food Baby
Your Healthy Guide to Hitting Up New York City

Ligaments and Tendons: What's the Diff?

Ligaments and Tendons: What's the Diff?

When it comes to staying connected to your body, it's important to know a bit about the connective tissues that help hold you together. It's easy to confuse tendons and ligaments, but these two connective tissues are not the same thing and actually perform different functions for the body. Here's what you need to know.

Tendons connect muscle to bone. These tough yet flexible bands of fibrous tissue attach the skeletal muscles to the bones they move. Essentially, tendons enable you to move; think of them as intermediaries between muscles and bones. You've most likely heard of the Achilles tendon (named after the Greek demigod hero with the fatal weakness in his eponymous tendon), which connects the muscles of the calf to the heel bone. This tendon is vulnerable to tearing and tendonitis, so do take care and stretch the calf muscle to keep the tendon flexible too.

Though similar to tendons, ligaments connect bone to bone and help to stabilize joints they surround. They are composed mostly of long, stringy collagen fibers that create bands of tough, fibrous connective tissue. Ligaments are slightly elastic, so they can be stretched and gradually lengthen, increasing flexibility. But if stretched beyond a certain point, ligaments can become overstretched and compromise the integrity of the joint they are supposed to be stabilizing — so stretch with caution. The term double-jointed actually refers to people who have highly elastic ligaments, which allow them to move their joints into more extreme positions than most people. While no ligament plays a major role in Greek myths, the ligaments found in the knee, especially the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), are often talked about on the sports page, since they are prone to tearing, sidelining quarterbacks, soccer stars, and skiers alike.

Image Source: Shutterstock
Around The Web
Join The Conversation
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 9 years
"What's the diff?" Thx, Fit! I feel like I'm ten again! ;)
Benefits of Using a Meal Service
Healthy Pumpkin Recipes
Healthiest Domino's Pizza Orders
Lea Michele's Healthy Recipe Tips
Natural Treatment For Bloating
Jack-o'-Lantern Protein Peppers Recipe | Video
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds | Recipe

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds