Fun Facts about Your Muscles
By Sara Butler
Your muscles literally carry you through the day. No matter the task ahead, your musculoskeletal system has your back as well as your neck, arms, legs, shoulders, feet, and – you get the point. There’s a lot to know about your muscles, so here are a few fun facts to help you get familiar with them!
Different Types of Muscles
You have three types of muscles in the body – skeletal, smooth, and cardiac. Smooth muscle is the kind that makes up your involuntary systems such as blood vessels or gut. They work without you thinking about them. They’ve simply got a job to do and they do it!
Cardiac muscle is pretty self-explanatory – it’s the muscle that makes up the heart. Skeletal muscles attach to bone and help you move through the activities of your day. Skeletal are the muscles you control, such as your biceps when you’re flexing at the gym to impress your friends.
You Have a lot of Muscles in Different Sizes
Your body has more than 600 muscles in it. Yes – 600! They support the 206 skeletal bones you have, as well as other muscles. It's literally muscles on muscle everywhere! The largest muscle in your body is called the gluteus maximus – also known as your buttocks. Its main task is supporting your upper body to help you maintain proper posture, but it also helps to propel your body forward when walking. The smallest muscle in your body is in the inner ear – it’s called the stapedius and it connects your eardrum to the inner ear.
Your muscles are also made up of special fibers that can contract and lengthen as needed. This contractibility is what allows your body to move as amazingly as it does.
Muscle Movement is Controlled by the Motor Cortex
The motor cortex on one offside of the brain controls the movement of muscle on the opposite side of the body. So, the muscles on the left side of your body are controlled by the right side of your motor cortex with the opposite being true of the left. A pretty amazing feat!
Muscles Like to Pair Off
Muscles generally work in pairs. When one muscle lengthens, the corresponding muscle in your body shortens. A great example of this is the bicep. When you curl your bicep, it shortens. On the other side of your arm, your triceps muscle has to lengthen in order to straighten out. Amazing how it all works together!
The more you know about your body and the way it works, the better care you can take of it! So learn all you can to help your body function at its very best!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lake Forest, Calif.