What is Muscular System? | Types, Definition, Structure, Function & Facts

What is Muscular System?

Muscles are how we move and live. All body movements are controlled by muscles. Some muscles work without us thinking about them, such as our beating heart, while others are controlled by our thoughts and allow us to do things. and move around. All of our muscles together make up the musculoskeletal system of the body.

There are more than 650 muscles in the human body. They are under the skin and cover our bones. Muscles often work together to help us move. We don’t really have to think about moving individual muscles. For example, we only think about running and our bodies do the rest.

How Muscles Work

Muscles work by contracting and relaxing. Muscles have long, thin cells that are grouped into bundles. When a muscle fiber receives signals from its nerves, proteins and chemicals release energy to contract or relax the muscle. When the muscle contracts, it brings the bones to which it is connected closer together.

Many of our muscles come in pairs. An example of this is the biceps and triceps in our arms. When the biceps muscles contract, the triceps relax, allowing our arms to flex. When we want to straighten the arm, the biceps relax and the triceps contract. Muscle pairs allow us to move back and forth.

Types of Muscles

Skeletal Muscles – These are the muscles we use to move. They cover our skeletons and move our bones. They are sometimes called striped muscles because they appear as long bands of dark and light fibers and look like stripes. These muscles are voluntary because we direct them with signals from the brain.

Smooth Muscles – Smooth muscle is a special type of muscle that is not connected to bones, but controls the organs in our body. These muscles work without us having to think about it.

Cardiac Muscle – This is a special type of muscle that pumps our heart and blood throughout the body. Close


Tendons help establish the connection between soft muscle cells and hard bone cells.

Muscle Memory

When we practice over and over again, we get what’s called muscle memory. It allows us to become more proficient in certain activities such as sports and music. As we practice, our muscles adapt to become more precise in their movements and do exactly what our brain wants them to do. So remember, practice makes perfect!

Muscles and Exercise

When we exercise, we work our muscles so that they grow bigger and stronger. Exercise helps keep your muscles strong and flexible. If you don’t use your muscles, they can atrophy or contract and become weak.

Fun Facts about Muscles

Chills are caused by hundreds of muscles contracting and relaxing to generate heat and keep us warm.

It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 muscles to frown. More reasons to smile instead of frowning!

Our longest muscle is the Sartorius. It goes from hip to knee and helps us bend our knees and twist our legs.

The strongest muscle is located in our jawbone and is used for chewing.

The smallest muscle is found in our ears and is called the lats. It is attached to the smallest bone in the body, the stirrup.

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