The muscles are the main contractile tissues of the body involved in movement. They cause motion and produce force that the body uses to move and manipulate the body. There are both conscious and subconscious movements of muscles in the body system of a human as a whole. Each muscle also has its own blood supply, arteries and veins, alongside its own nerve connections. Depending on the class of muscles we are looking at, or taken as a whole, the human body consists of around 640+ skeletal muscles. As we are just looking at the basics to help understand where they are in relation to the major skeletal elements, I will not go into an in-depth discussion here just yet.
There are three kinds of muscles we need to know.
A) Firstly there is the skeletal muscle, which is used for locomotion and skeletal movement. These muscles are often anchored by Tendons. A tendon is simply a fibrous connective tissues, from the muscles to the bone elements. A Ligament is often found in the joints of the body, and are connective fibrous tissues from bone to bone. The movement of skeletal muscle is often a conscious decision. The major muscles of the bum, the gluteal muscles, are some of the largest in the human body and are classed as skeletal muscle because they help locomotion of the thighs during ambulation.
B) The second type of muscle is the Smooth Muscle. The smooth muscles are often found within the organs and structures of organs. These movements tend to be subconscious, and help in the normal regulation of the human body. An example of smooth muscle movement is in the use of swallowing food down the esophagus when eating, which involves the peristalsis movement.
C) The third type of muscle is the Cardiac Muscle. As these muscles are only found within the heart, inside the pericardium sac; therefore detailed knowledge of this muscle collection is not needed when studying osteology. The cardiac muscles are similar to the skeletal muscles. However, they are subconscious as the heart beats at a fast and steady rate.
Below is the basic diagrams of the main muscles used in the movement of the modern human body…
Although this post was originally wrote a fairly long time ago, I have now finished the anatomy module of my MSc course here at the University of Sheffield. This module composed of dissecting a human cadaver to help understand the vital soft tissues (muscles, nerves, arteries and fat) that are vital in the movement of a human. I cannot say how vital this experience was in understanding the isolated, and even fully laid out, human skeleton. It is vital in my opinion that practitioners of human osteology are given the chance to see how the flesh articulates, combines and moves with the skeletal anatomy. Indeed, understanding the neuronal impulse from the brain, that then flows along the nervous system to engage the muscles to move, and the skeleton to sustain and support that movement, is really key to understand the different elements, or systems, that make up the human body.