I have a lot of iOS anatomy apps. I use them on my iPad for research for anatomy drawings, on my ipod to quiz myself on the train, and next to my favorite anatomy books to get another perspective. Along with apps for drawing and illustration, they’re the main apps I’ve spent money on over the years. I often get requests from other yoga teachers and anatomy lovers to give recommendations and share my favorites.
I’ve been interested in how to best teach anatomy for some time. I don’t usually say, “get an app”, since I’d rather students and fellow teachers get sucked into the fun anatomy vortex in real time in their own bodies [see below for anatomy vortex visual!]. But anatomy books and apps on an iPad are great tools. They give us visuals and spacial reference to apply to the body. They definitely have their place. [EDIT: stay tuned for upcoming post on recommendations of anatomy books.]
So here are my reviews with some thoughts on each.
The BEST anatomy apps (i.e. the ones I turn to the most):
Muscle & Bone Anatomy 3D – Real Bodywork — iPad only / (for iPhone see below)
This is an excellent app for musculoskeletal anatomy. It has clear art which highlights the selected muscle or bone. For the muscles, it has effectively lists action, origin, insertion, nerve so it’s a nice reference. This app excels in the “actions” section where you can watch animations of the actions on each major joint along with the muscles involved (and the summary of info about each muscle).
For folks who are already more knowlegeable, this app is a really great education tool to show your students or clients. Instead of just mentioning the piriformis, you can show your student a visual of the muscle and how it laterally rotates the femur at the hip.
MB anatomy also has good quizzing capability. It lets you easily create tests for bones and muscles. For muscles you can control the location (arms, legs, torso, etc) of focus and whether to test the muscle names, action, origin, or insertion. Quiz style is 1 picture which you have to match to 1 of the 4 given text prompts.
Also, Learn Muscles : Anatomy Quiz & Reference – Real Bodywork — ipod only
This is basically the same app as above except as an iPhone only version. It’s slightly cheaper.
In sum: If you’re new to the anatomy world, want a solid reference for muscles that can grow as your knowledge grows, and want something fairly inexpensive, I recommend this one.
This is a stunning app. It’s basically a 3D viewer where you can swipe, zoom into everything in the body with as much detail as you’d like. This is the kind of app you show off on an iPad because it just WORKS. The panning and zooming is incredibly smooth and fast; it feels like you are in the future. Read More