Muscular System of the Human Body

Muscles work together with the skeleton in various ways to keep it well structured and help with the ease of movement. The movement is particular for pulling as well as there being more intricate variations of the human body movement.

Muscles heavily rely on and so are dependent on the nervous system to control them as well as blood circulation which provides them with the necessary aspects of energy and oxygen. In fact the actions of the muscles are controlled almost entirely by the nervous system.

Human Body Muscles

Human Body Muscles

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Muscle components are made up of the following:

  • Skeletal Muscles – these are attached to the bones
  • Smooth muscles – within the organs such as stomach
  • Tendons – (Sinew) connects muscles to the bones
  • Cardiac muscle of the heart

There are about 642 muscles in the human body with various sources suggesting even 700. Muscles comprise about two fifths of the body weight in total, becoming heavier in people who work out, thus making their muscles stronger, bigger and heavier. Invariable almost each muscle is part of a pairing meaning that there are 320 pairs of muscles altogether in the entire body. This area or research is however debatable with various interpretations questioning if certain muscles are classed as “single” or in “groups”. The muscles can be further broken down into specific categories relating to head and neck, torso, upper limbs and lower limbs.

Stable muscles (origin) are attached securely nearer the centre of the body and have little movement. The muscles which are known as insertion are placed around the peripheral part of the body, allowing more contraction i.e. movement.  Some muscles divide which allows them to attach themselves to different bones.

The three main types of muscles:

The first type of muscles we often refer to are in actual fact skeletal muscles, meaning that these particular sets of muscles join onto the skeleton and cause voluntary movement at our will so that these muscles are controlled by us. They move according to how we want them to.

The second type of muscle is known as smooth muscles, the name reflecting the appearance of the muscle which is smooth looking.  They exist in places such as airways, the stomach and the blood vessels. These muscles are involuntary as they work automatically compared to the skeletal muscles which are voluntary.

The third and final type of muscle is known as the cardiac muscle. This is because this muscle makes up the walls of the heart. As such the importance of this muscle is central to the main function of the heartbeat as it never tires because it continuously beats throughout our lifetime. This particular muscle is therefore automatic and constant. In appearance it is short and branching.

The names of muscles correspond to the type of move the muscle makes. For example: Erector Spinae is found in the backbone and the Flexor muscles, as the name flex suggests – bend a limb.

Furthermore the names of muscles are also classified by shape and size. For example the rhomboid major muscle is diamond shaped and the triangular shaped muscles are known as the deltoids.

Size is further used to distinguish between certain regions of a muscle. For example Gluteus minimus – small, Gluteus medius – medium and Gluteus maximus – large.

For healthy muscles consider the chart below:

Food for Muscles

Food for Muscles

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For more information on muscles:

Part of the Human Body Series: | Skeletal System of the Human Body | Nervous System of the Human Body |

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2 thoughts on “Muscular System of the Human Body

  1. Hello,
    Thank you for asking!
    I am currently in the process of writing the 11 basic body systems. If you go to the BODY page I have listed the order I will be doing these posts.
    I will however be writing a further more detailed post about the muscles as this particular post is a general overview and I would like to go into detail into each body system further and that is when the hamstring along with other important muscles will be featured.
    I hope this answers your question.
    I will keep you posted.

    Ms April Showers

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