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Muscle Structure and Functions of the Muscular System

Muscle Structure and Functions of the Muscular System

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Published by: scadmore on Jan 11, 2011
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Muscle structure and Functions of the muscular system
In this assignment I will look at the structure of the muscular system andthe functions of it.There are 3 types of muscles which are:
Skeletal muscles
Smooth muscle
Cardiac muscleSkeletal muscles are the
muscles that move and support the skeleton. Theymake up fifty percent of your body weight. There are 640 individuallynamed skeletal muscles. A skeletal muscle links two bones across itsconnecting joint. When these muscles contract or shorten, your bone moves.This type of muscle is a voluntary muscle which means it is under consciouscontrol.Smooth Muscle: This is an involuntary muscle that is moved with outthinking about the movement, These muscles work by functioning under thecontrol of the nervous system which is located in the walls of the digestivesystem and blood vessels.Cardiac Muscle: This muscle is found in the wall of the heart. It workscontinuously. This muscle is involuntary, which means it is not under conscious control. This muscle is made up of it’s own tissue which has it’sown blood supply.Function of the muscular systemMuscle must cross the joint they move. When a muscle contracts it exerts a pulling force on the bone s causing them to move together around a joint.In normal circumstances, muscles are in a state of partial contraction, readyto react to a stimulus from the nervous system, but without this muscle tone,the body would collapse and when a stimulus from the nerve supply occurs,muscle fibres work an all or nothing basis .The strength of muscle contraction in response to the stimulus depends onthe number of muscle fibres brought into use, a process known as musclefibre recruitment . During exercise the muscles of an individual uses energyat a rate that is directly proportional to the intensity of the exercise . If theenergy does not get replaced as it gets used up, the muscles are unable tomaintain their work rate and you have to reduce the intensity of the activityor stop it.
Antagonist muscle pairsMuscles do not work in isolation, They are assembled in groups and work together to bring about movement, they act only by contracting and pulling.They are able to contract without shortening so hold a joint form and fixedin position.When the contraction is over the muscle becomes soft but do not lengthenuntil stretched by the contraction of the opposite muscle.Agonist: The muscle that shortens to move a joint is called the AGONIST or “Prime Mover”Antagonist: The muscle that relaxes in opposition to the agonist is called theantagonist. This muscle is responsible for the opposite movement and theone that relaxes as the agonist works. If it did not relax, movement wouldnot be able to take place. Antagonists exert a control over the movement .Synergist- These muscles work together to enable the agonists to operatemore effectively. They work with the agonists to control and directmovement by modifying or altering the direction of pull on the agonists tothe most advantageous position.Fixator: These muscles stop any unwanted movement throughout the whole body by fixing or stabilising the joint or joints involved. These musclesstabilise the origin so that the agonist can achieve maximum and effectivecontraction. An example of a fixator is riding a bike.Fibre typesAll skeletal muscles contain a mixture of fibre types , each individual has amix of fibre types and these varies from muscle groups to muscle groups inthe individual .There are two main type of striated skeletal muscle can be distinguished onthe basis of the speed they conract, type 1 ( slow twitch and type 2 ( fasttwitch).
Type 1 muscle fibresType 1 ( slow twitch) fibres contract slowly with less force. They are slowto fatigue and suited to longer duration of aerobic activities, theyt have arich blood supply and contain many mitochondria to sustain aerobicrespiration. An example of an activity that uses these fibres is a marathonrunner and a long distance swimmer 
Type 2a muscle fibres ( fast twitch fibres) are fast contracting and able to produce a great force, but are also resistant to fatigue , These fibres aresuited to middle-distance events.Type 2b muscle fibres also called fast twitch fibres contract rapidly andhave the capacity to produce large amounts of force, but they fatiguemore readily, making them better suited to anaerobic activity. Thesedepend mostly on anaerobic metabolism and are recruited for highintensity and short duration activities such as a 100 metre sprint.

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