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Chapter Objectives
At the end of this chapter, the student should be able to:
-List the general characteristics and functions of skeletal muscle tissue.
-Describe the structure of a muscle
-Describe the connective tissue components of skeletal muscles
-Briefly describe how muscles contract
-List the substances needed in muscle contraction and describe the function of each
-Differentiate between isotonic and isometric contractions
-Define the following terms: origin, insertion, synergist, antagonist, and prime mover
-Define the different bases employed in naming skeletal muscles dentify the principal skeletal muscle in
different regions of the body by name, action, and innervations.
The muscular sstem
!he term muscle tissue refers to all the contractile tissues of the body: skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle. !he
muscular system, however, refers to the skeletal muscle system: the skeletal muscle tissue and connective
tissues that makeup individual muscle organs, such as the biceps brachii muscle. "ardiac muscle tissue is
located in the heart and is therefore considered part of the cardiovascular system. #mooth muscle tissue of the
intestines is part of the digestive system, whereas smooth muscle tissue of the urinary bladder is part of the
urinary system and so on. n this chapter, we discuss only the muscular system. $e will see how skeletal
system produce movement and we will describe the principal skeletal muscles of the human body% their action
and innervation.
!u"cti#"s #$ muscle tissue
!hrough sustained contraction or alternating contraction and rela&ation, muscle tissue has three key functions:
producing motion, providing stabili'ation, and generating heat.
(. M#ti#": )otion is obvious in movements such as walking and running, and in locali'ed movements, such as
grasping a pencil or nodding the head. !hese movements rely on the integrated functioning of bones,
*oints, and skeletal muscles.
+. Stabili%i"& b#' p#siti#"s a"' re&ulati"& the v#lume #$ cavities i" the b#'( Besides producing
movements, skeletal muscle contractions maintain the body in stable positions, such as standing or sitting.
,ostural muscles display sustained contractions when a person is awake, for e&ample, partially contracted
neck muscles hold the head upright. n addition, the volumes of the body cavities are regulated through the
contractions of skeletal muscles. -or e&ample muscles of respiration regulate the volume of the thoracic cavity
during the process of breathing.
.. Therm# &e"esis /generation of heat0. As skeletal muscle contracts to perform work, a by-product
is heat. )uch of the heat released by muscle is used to maintain normal body temperature. )uscle
contractions are thought to generate as much as 123 of all body heat.
Phsi#l#&ic Characteristics #$ muscle tissue
)uscle tissue has four principal characteristics that enable it to carry out its functions and thus contribute to
(. E)citabilit /irritabilit0, a property of both muscle and nerve cells /neurons0, is the ability to respond to
certain stimuli by producing electrical signal called action potentials /impulses0. -or e&ample, the stimuli that
trigger action potentials are chemicals-neurotransmitters, released by neurons, hormones distributed by
the blood.
+. C#"tractilit is the ability of muscle tissue to shorten and thicken /contract0, thus generating force to do
work. )uscles contract in response to one or more muscle action potentials.
.. E)te"sibilit means that the muscle can be e&tended /stretched0 without damaging the tissue. )ost
skeletal muscles are arranged in opposing pairs. $hile one is contracting, the other not only rela&ed but also
usually is being stretched.
4. Elasticit means that muscle tissue tends to return to its original shape after contraction or e&tension.
Muscle structure
A* C#""ective Tissue C#mp#"e"t
A skeletal muscle is an organ composed mainly of striated muscle cells and connective tissue. 5ach skeletal
muscle has two parts% the connective tissue sheath that e&tend to form speciali'ed structures that aid in attaching
the muscle to bone and the fleshy part the bell or &aster. !he e&tended speciali'ed structure may take the form
of a cord, called a te"'#"% alternatively, a broad sheet called an ap#"eur#sis may attach muscles to bones or to
other muscles, as in the abdomen or across the top of the skull. A connective tissue sheath called $acia
surrounds and separates muscles /-igure 6-(0. "onnective tissue also e&tends into the muscle and divides it
into numerous muscle bu"'les /fascicles0. !here are three connective tissue components that cover a skeletal
muscle tissue. !hese are:
(. 5pimysium7a connective tissue sheath that surrounds and separates muscle.
+. ,erimysium7a connective tissue that surrounds and holds fascicles together.
.. 5ndomysium7a connective tissue that surrounds each muscle fibre.
+* Micr#sc#pic structures
!he muscle bundles are composed of many elongated muscle cells called muscle fibres. 5ach muscle $ibre is a
cylindrical cell containing several nuclei located immediately beneath the cell membrane /sarc#lemma0. !he
cytoplasm of each muscle fibre /sarc#plasm0 is filled with myofibrils. 5ach myofibril is a thread-like structure
that e&tends from one end of the muscle fibre to the other. )yofibrils consist of two ma*or kinds of
protein fibres: acti"s or thin m#$ilame"ts, and m#si" or thick m#$ilame"ts.
!he actins and myosin myofilaments form highly ordered units called sarc#mers, which are *oined end-to-end to
form the myofibrils /see -igure 6-(0. #arcomere is a structural and functional unit of muscle tissue. !he ends of a
sarcomere are a network of protein fibres, which form the ,-li"es when the sarcomere is viewed from side.
!he 8-lines form an attachment site for actins myofilaments. !he arrangement of the actin and myosin
myofilaments in a sarcomere gives the myofibril a banded appearance because the myofibril appears darker
where the actin and myosin myofilaments overlap. !he alternating light /I-ba"'0 and dark /A-ba"'0 areas of the
sarcomers are responsible for striation /banding pattern0 seen in skeletal muscle cells observed through the
!he sarcolemma of a muscle fibre forms blind-ended sacs or T-tubules which penetrate the cell and lie in the
spaces between the myofibrils. !he !-tubules contain interstitial fluid and do not open into the interior of the
muscle fibre. $ithin the sarcoplasm of the muscle fibre there is an e&tensive network of branching and
anastomosing channels, which forms the sarcoplasmic reticulum /this structure is a modified endoplasmic
reticulum0. !he channels of the sarcoplasmic reticulum lay in close contact around the ends of !-tubules, and
contain stores of calcium.
Muscle c#"tracti#"s
!he thick myofilaments are composed of a protein called myosin. 5ach myosin filament has small regular
pro*ections known as cr#ssbri'&es. !he crossbridges lie in a radial fashion around the long a&is of the
myofilament. !he rounded heads of the crossbridges lie in apposition to the thin myofilaments.
!he thin myofilaments are composed of a comple& protein called actin, arranged in a double stranded coil. !he
actin filaments also contain two additional proteins called tr#p#"i" and tr#p#msi".
!i&ure .-/* Structure #$ a s0eletal muscle /-rom )emmler, 9uth Lundeen et al: !he human body in :ealth and disease,ed. 1,
;ew <ork,(==6,Lippincott.0
n a resting muscle fibre the myosin crossbridges are prevented from combining with the actin filaments by the
presence of troponin and tropomysin. $hen a nerve impulse reaches a muscle fibre it is conducted over the
sarcolemma and in to the !-tubules, then to the sarcoplasmic reticulum. !he sarcoplasmic reticulum releases
calcium ions into the sacrcoplasm. !he liberated calcium ions combine with troponin causing it to push
tropomysin away from the receptor sites on the actins filaments. !he myosin crossbridges interactwith the actin
receptor sites and pull the actins myofilaments toward the centre /:-'one0 of each sarcomere. !he bond between
the myosin crossbridges and actin breaks down under the influence of en'ymes and the crossbridges are
then free to re*oin with other actin receptor sites. !he actin filaments do not shorten but slide past the
myosin filaments overlapping them so that the 8 lines are drawn toward each other, shortening the sarcomere. As
each sarcomere shortens the whole muscle fibre contracts.
9ela&ation of the muscle fibres occurs when the calcium ions are actively reabsorbed by the sarcoplasmic
reticulum thus allowing troponin and tropomysin to again inhibit the interaction of the actins and myosin
filaments /see !able 6-( for summary of events in the contraction of a muscle fibre0.
E"er& Re1uireme"ts $#r Muscle C#"tracti#"
"ontraction o skeletal muscle re>uires adenosine triphosphate /A!,0. !he A!, releases energy when it
breaks down to adenosine diphosphate /AD,0 and a phosphate /,0, some of the energy is used to move the
crossbridges and some of the energy is released as heat.
ATPADP + P + Energy (for crossbridge movement) + Heat
!he A!, re>uired for muscle contraction is produced primarily in numerous mitochondria located with in the
muscle fibres. Because A!, is a very short-lived molecule and rapidly degenerates to the more stable AD,, it
is necessary for muscle cells to constantly produce A!,.
A!, is produced by anaerobic or aerobic respiration. A"aer#bic respirati#", which occurs in the absence of
o&ygen, results in the breakdown of glucose to yield A!, and lactic acid. Aer#bic respirati#" re>uires o&ygen
and breaks down glucose to produce A!,, carbon dio&ide, and water /figure 6-+0. "ompared with anaerobic
respiration, aerobic respiration is much more efficient. !he breakdown of glucose molecule by aerobic respiration
theoretically can produce (= times as much A!, as is produced by anaerobic respiration. n addition, aerobic
respiration can utili'e a greater variety of nutrient molecules to produce A!, than can anaerobic respiration. -or
e&ample, aerobic respiration can use fatty acids to generate A!,. Although anaerobic respiration is less efficient
than aerobic respiration, it can produce A!, when lack of o&ygen limits aerobic respiration. By utili'ing many
glucose molecules, anaerobic respiration can rapidly produce much A!,, but only for a short period.
9esting muscles or muscles undergoing long-term e&ercise such as a long-distance bicycling on level ground
depend primarily on aerobic respiration for A!, synthesis. Although some glucose is used as an energy source,
fatty acids are a more important energy source during sustained e&ercise as well as during resting conditions.
?n the other hand, during intense e&ercise such as riding a bicycle up a steep hill, anaerobic respiration provides
enough A!, to support intense muscle
Table .-/* #ummary of events in the contraction of a muscle fibre
;erve impulse is transmitted via a motor nerve to the motor end plate
;erve impulse crosses neuromuscular *unction by causing release of acetylcholine which depolari'es sarcolemma.
#arcoplasmic reticulum releases calcium ions into the sarcoplasm.
mpulse is conducted into !-tubules and to the sarcoplasmic reticulum.
)yosin cross-bridges interact with actin receptor sites and thin myofilaments are drawn towards the centre of each sarcomere.
"alcium ions combine with troponin which pushes tropomycin away from action receptor sites.
5n'ymic action breaks the bond between myosin crossbridges and actin receptor sites.
)yosin crossbridges re*oin other actin receptor sites, each re*oining drawing the thin filaments closer to
the centre of the sarcomere.
As each sarcomere shortens the whole muscle fibre contracts
"alcium ion is reabsorbed by the sarcoplasmic reticulum. !roponin and tropomysin again inhibit the
interaction of myosin and actin myofilaments, and the muscle fibre rela&es.
@lucose -atty acids
Anaerobic respiration Aerobic respiration
+ A!, A Lactic acid .1 A!, A "?
!i&ure .-2* A"aer#bic a"' aer#bic respirati#"
"ontractions for appro&imately ( to + minutes. Anaerobic respiration is ultimately limited by depletion of glucose
and a build up of lactic acid within the muscle fibre. Lactic acid can also irritate muscle fibres, causing short-term
muscle pain. )uscle pain that lasts for a couple of days following e&ercise, however, results from damage to
connective tissue and muscle fibres within the muscle.
)uscle fatigue results when A!, is used during muscle contraction faster than it can be produced in the muscle
cells, and lactic acid builds up faster than it can be removed. As a conse>uence, A!, levels are too low to
sustain crossbridge movement and the contractions become weaker and weaker. -or most of us, however,
complete muscle fatigue is rarely the reason we stop e&ercising. nstead, we stop because of psychological
fatigue, the feeling that the muscles have tired. A burst of activity in a tired athlete as a result of encouragement
from spectators is an e&ample of how psychological fatigue can be overcome.
After intense e&ercise, the respiration rate remains elevated for a period. 5ven though o&ygen is not needed
for anaerobic production of A!, molecules for contraction, o&ygen is needed to convert the lactic acid
produced by anaerobic respiration back to glucose. !he increased amount of o&ygen needed in chemical
reactions to convert lactic acid to glucose is the o&ygen debt. After the o&ygen debt is paid, respiration rate
returns to normal.
Tpes #$ muscle c#"tracti#"
)uscle contractions are classified as either isotonic or isometric. n is#t#"ic c#"tracti#"s, the amount of
tension produced by the muscle is constant during contraction, but the length of the muscle changes% for
e&ample, movement of the fingers to make fist. n is#metric c#"tracti#"s, the length of the muscle does not
change, but the amount of tension increases during the contraction process. "lenching the fist harder and
harder is an e&ample. )ost movements are a combination of isometric and isotonic contractions. -or e&ample,
when shaking hands, the muscles shorten some distance /isotonic contractions0 and the degree of tension
increases /isometric contractions0.
sometric contractions are also responsible for muscle tone, the constant tension produced by muscles of the
body for long periods. )uscle tone is responsible for posture% for e&ample, keeping the back and legs straight,
the head held in upright position, and the abdomen from bulging.
Muscle attachme"ts
)ost muscles e&tend from one bone to another and cross at least one movable *oint. )uscle contraction
causes most body movements by pulling one of the bones towards the other across the movable *oint.
#ome muscles are not attached to bone at both ends. -or e&ample, some facial muscles attach to the skin,
which moves as the muscles contract.
!i&ure .-3 4ia&ram #$ a muscle sh#5i"& attachme"ts t# b#"es #ri&i"s a"' i"serti#" /#ource: "arola, 9., :arley,B.,., ;oback 9.".,
/(==+0, :uman anatomy and physiology, )c @raw hill inc, ;ew <ork, +
!he points of attachment of each muscle are its #ri&i" and i"serti#" /-igure 6-.0. At these attachments points,
the muscle is connected to the bone by a tendon. !he origin is the most stationary end of the muscle and the
insertion is the end of the muscle attached to the bone undergoing the greatest movement. #ome muscles
have more than one origin, but the principle is the samethe origin act to anchor or hold the muscle so that the
force of contraction causes the insertion to move. -or e&ample, the biceps brachii causes the radius to move,
resulting in fle&ion of the forearm. !he triceps brachii muscle has three origins% two on the humerus and one on
the scapula. !he insertion of the triceps brachii is on the ulna and contraction results in e&tension of the forearm.
#everal muscles contract while others rela& to produce almost any movement you can imagine. ?f all the
muscles contracting simultaneously, the one mainly responsible for producing a particular movement is called the
prime mover for that movement. !he other muscles that help in producing the movement are called synergists. As
prime movers and synergist muscles at a *oint contract, other muscles called antagonists, rela&. $hen those
antagonist muscles contract, they produce a movement opposite to that of those prime movers and their synergist
6ami"& s0eletal muscles
)ost of the skeletal muscles are named according to one or more of the following basis:
(.4irecti#" of muscle fibres relative to the midline of the body or longitudinal a&is of a structure
Rectus means the fibres run parallel to the midline of the body or longitudinal a&is of a structure.
5&ample, rectus abdominis
Tra"sverse means the fibres run perpendicular to the midline longitudinal a&is of a structure. 5&ample,
transverse abdominis
Obli1ue means the fibres run diagonally to the midline longitudinal a&is of a structure. 5&ample, e&ternal
2*L#cati#"structure to which a muscle is found closely related 5&ample: -rontal, a muscle near the frontal
bone !ibialis anterior, a muscle near the front of tibia
3*Si%erelative si'e of the muscle
Ma)imus means largest. 5&ample, gluteus ma&imus
Mi"imus means smallest. 5&ample, gluteus minimus
L#"&us means longest. 5&ample, Adductor longus
+revis means short. 5&ample, ,eroneous brevis
7*6umber #$ #ri&i"snumber of tendons of origin Biceps means two origins. 5&ample, biceps brachii !riceps
means three origins. 5&ample, triceps brachii Cuadriceps means four origins. 5&ample, >uadriceps femoris
8*Shape relative shape of the muscle 4elt#i' means triangular. 5&ample, deltoid Trape%ius means trape'oid.
5&ample, trape'ius
Serratus means saw-toothed. 5&ample, serratus anterior Rh#mb#i'eus means rhomboid or diamond
shape. 5&ample, 9homboideus ma*or
6.Ori&i" a"' i"serti#"sites where muscles originates and inserts
5&ample, sternocleidomastoidoriginates on sternum and clavicle and inserts on mastoid process of
temporal bone.
9*Acti#"principal action of the muscle
!le)#r: decrease the angle at a *oint. 5&ample, fle&or carpiradialis
E)te"s#r: increases the angle at a *oint. 5&ample, e&tensor carpiulnaris
Ab'uct#r: moves a bone away from the midline. 5&ample, abductor policis brevis
A''uct#r: moves a bone closer to the midline. 5&ample, adductor longus
Levat#r: produces an upward movement. 5&ample, levator labii superioris
4epress#r: produces a downward movement. 5&ample, depressor labii inferioris
Supi"at#r: turns the palm upward or anteriorly. 5&ample, supinator
Pr#"at#r: turns the palm downward or posteriorly. 5&ample, pronator teres
Sphi"cter: control the si'e of an opening. 5&ample, e&ternal anal sphincter
Te"s#r: makes a body part more rigid. 5&ample, tensor fasciae latae
R#tat#r: moves a bone around its longitudinal a&is. 5&ample, obturator e&ternus
Pri"cipal s0eletal muscles
Although there are over DEE individual skeletal muscles in the human body, an appreciation and understanding of
skeletal muscles can be accomplished by concentrating on the large superficial muscles and muscle groups.
!able 6-( through !able 6-4 summari'es the origin, insertion, and action of these muscles. 9efer to
-igures 6-4 and 6-2 as you study the attachments and action of these muscles, and try to figure out why each has
the name that it does.
Table .-/* Hea' a"' "ec0 muscles
Muscle Ori&i" I"serti#" Acti#"
Muscles #$ $acial e)pressi#"
?ccipitofrontalis ?ccipital bone #kin of eye brow 5levates eye brows
orbicularis oculi )a&illa F frontal #kin around the eye
"loses eye
?rbicularis oris )a&illa F
#kin around the
"loses lip
Buccinator )andible F
"orner of mouth -lattens cheeks
8ygomaticus muscles Levator labii
superioris "orrugator supercilli
8ygomatic bone "orner of mouth 5levates corner of
)a&illa Gpper lip 5levates upper lip
-rontal bone #kin of eye brow Lowers and draws
together eye brows
Depressor anguli oris )andible Lower lip near
corner of mouth
Depresses corner
the mouth
)uscles of mastication
!emporal region
side of the skull
)andible "loses *aw
)assetor 8ygomatich arch )andible "loses *aw
)uscles that move the head rape'ius
?ccipital bone
#ternum F
#capula and
)astoid process
of temporal bone
5&tends head
and neck
9otates head
and fle&es neck
Table .-2* Tru"0 muscles
Muscle Ori&i" I"serti#" Acti#"
Muscles that m#ve the vertebral c#lum"
5rector spinae lium, sacrum, vertebrae
#uperior vertebrae
5&tend, abduct, and
rotate vertebrae
Deep back muscles Hertebrae Hertebrae 5&tend, abduct, and
rotate vertebrae
9ectus abdominis
5&ternal abdominal obli>ue
,ubis Iiphoid process of
rnum F lower ribs
9ib cage liac crest F facia
rectus abdominis
-le&es vertebrae%
compress abdomen
-le&es F rotates
vertebral column%
compress abdomen
nternal abdominal obli>ue
!ransversus abdominis
liac crest and
vertebrae and
iliac crest
Lower ribs and
facia of
rectus abdominis
Iiphoid process of
sternum, facia of
abdominis and
-le&es F rotates
vertebral column%
compress abdomen
"ompress abdomen
Table .-3* Upper limb muscles
Muscle Ori&i" I"serti#" Acti#"
Muscles that m#ve the scapula
!rape'ius ?ccipital bone
and vertebrae
#capula clavicle holds scapula in place
rotates scapula
9ibs )edial border of
9otates scapula and
pulls anteriorly
Muscles that m#ve the arm
#ternum, ribs,
!ubercle of
Adducts and fle&es
Hertebrae !ubercle of
Adducts and e&tends
Deltoid #capula and
#haft of
Abducts, fle&es, and
e&tends arm
!eres ma*or #capula !ubercle of
Adducts and e&tends
nfraspinalis #capula !ubercle of
5&tends arm
Muscles that m#ve the $#rearm
Brachilis #haft of humerus "oracoids
process of
-le&es and forearm
Biceps brachii "oracoids
process of
!riceps brachii #haft of humerus
and lateral border
of scapula
process of ulna
5&tends forearm
Muscles that m#ve the 5rist a"' $i"&ers
Anterior fore
pals, and
-le& wrist, fingers and
thumb% pronate
and phalanges
5&tend wrist, fingers
and thumb% supinate
ntrinsic hand
,halanges Abduct, adduct, fle&,
and e&tend fingers
and thumb
Table .-7* L#5er limb muscles
Muscle Ori&i" I"serti#" Acti#"
Muscles that m#ve the thi&h
liopsoas lium and
!rochanter of
-le&es thigh
!ensor fascia
Anterior superior
Lateral condyle
of tibia
Abducts thigh
lium, sacrum,
and coccy&
Lateral side of
5&tends and abducts
lium !rochanter of
Abducts thigh
muscles of
,ubis -emur Adduct thigh
Muscles that m#ve the le&
femoris 9ectus
Anterior superior
!ibial tuberosity 5&tends leg and fle&es
Hastus lateralis -emur !ibial tuberosity 5&tends leg
-emur !ibial tuberosity 5&tends leg
/not shown in
-emur !ibial tuberosity 5&tends leg
#artorius Anterior superior
!ibia -le&es leg and thigh
Biceps femoris
schium and
-ibula -le&es leg and
e&tends thigh
schium !ibia -le&es leg and
e&tends thigh
schium !ibia -le&es leg and
e&tends thigh
Muscles that m#ve the a"0le a"' t#es
!ibialis anterior !ibia !arsal and first
Dorsifle&es foot
Deep anterior
leg muscles
!ibia or fibula ,halanges,
5&tend toes
@astrocnemius )edial and
epicondyle of
"alcaneus ,lantar fle&es foot
#oleus !ibia and fibula "alcaneus ,lantar fle&es foot
Deep posterior
leg muscles
!ibia of fibula ,halanges,
5vert foot
muscle ntrinsic
foot muscles
-ibula and tibia
!arsals or
!arsals and
5vert foot Abduct,
adduct, fle&, and
e&tend toes
!i&ure .-. Super$icial muscles: a"teri#r ;$r#"t vie5< /#ource: "arola, 9., :arley,B.,., ;oback
9."., /(==+0, :uman anatomy and physiology, )c @raw
hill inc, ;ew <ork, +
!i&ure .-9 Super$icial muscles: p#steri#r ;bac0< vie5* /#ource: "arola, 9., :arley,B.,., ;oback
9."., /(==+0, :uman anatomy and physiology, )c @raw
hill inc, ;ew <ork, +
Revie5 =uesti#"s
(. $hat is meant by the muscular systemJ
+. $hat are the three basic physiological functions of the muscular systemJ
.. Define the four physiological characteristics of muscle tissue.
4. Define fascia, muscle bundle, muscle fibre, myofibril, myofilament, and sarcomere.
2. Discuss the sliding filament mechanism of muscle contraction. :ow does a muscle
6. 5&plain the role of each of the following in muscle contraction: actin and myosin,
calcium, A!,, glycogen.
D. Differentiate the term in each of the following pairs:
a. !endon and aponeurosis
b. )uscle origin and muscle insertion c. ,rime mover and
d. sometric and isotonic contraction
1. $hen does o&ygen debt occurJ $hat is the role of lactic acid in o&ygen debtJ
:ow is o&ygen debt eliminatedJ
=. ;ame and describe the ma*or actions and innervations of the principal muscles of
the head and neck, upper e&tremities, trunk, and lower e&tremities.
(E. List different basis according to which muscle are named.