Did you know that you have more than 600 muscles in your body? They do everything from pumping blood all over the body to helping you lift your heavy bag. You can control some of your muscles, while others, like your heart, do their job without thinking about them.
All muscles are made of the same material, which is a type of elastic tissue (something similar to the materials in the elastic band). Thousands, or even tens of thousands, of small fibers make up each muscle.
You have three different types of muscles in your body: smooth muscle, heart muscle (such as: KAR-dee-ak) and skeletal muscle (such as: SKEL-uh-tul).
Smooth muscles, sometimes called involuntary muscles, are usually in plaques or layers, with one layer of muscle behind the other. You cannot control this type of muscle. Your mind and body tell these muscles what to do without even thinking about them. You cannot use your smooth muscles to build muscle in your arm or jump in the air.
But smooth muscles work throughout the body. In their stomach and digestive system, they contract (squeeze) and rest to allow food to travel through the body. Your soft muscles are useful if you are sick and need to get rid of them. Muscles push food from the stomach out of the esophagus (for example: ih-SAH-fuh-gus) and out of the mouth.
Smooth muscles are also found in the bladder. When they relax, they allow you to urinate (urine) so you can go to the bathroom. Then they contract so you can release the urine. These muscles are also present in a woman’s uterus, where the child develops. There they help to take the baby from the mother’s body when it is time to give birth.
You will also have soft muscles behind the scenes in your eyes too. These muscles keep the eyes focused.
The muscles that make up the heart are called the heart muscle. Also known as the heart muscle (for example: my-uh-KAR-dee-um). The thick muscles of the heart contract to pump blood and then relax to restore the blood after it circulates through the body.
Like smooth muscles, the heart muscle works alone without your help. A special group of cells within the heart is known as a pacemaker because it controls the heart rate.
Skeleton and muscles
Now, let’s talk about the type of muscle you think when we say “muscle”, one that shows how strong you are and allows you to play soccer in the goal. These are skeletal muscles, sometimes called striated muscles (say: STRY-ay-tud) because the light and dark parts of the muscle fibers make them appear scratched (striated is a fictitious word meaning striated).
Skeletal muscles are voluntary muscles, which means you can control what you do. Your legs will not bend to kick football unless you want to. These muscles help form the musculoskeletal system (say: mus-kyuh-low-skel-uh-tul), a mixture of your skeletal muscle or bone.
Skeletal muscles work together so that your bones give strength and strength to your body. In most cases, skeletal muscles are attached to the end of the bone. It extends along the joint (the place where two bones meet) and then joins another bone again.
The skeletal muscles of the bones are supported with the help of tendons (for example: TEN-dunz). Tendons are strings made of hard tissue and act as special joining pieces between bones and muscles. The tendons are so tight that when one of your muscles contracts, the tendons and bones move with it.
Skeletal muscles come in different sizes and shapes to allow them to perform many types of work. There are some of the largest and strongest muscles in the back near the spine. These muscles help keep you upright and independent. It also gives your body the strength it needs to lift and push things. The muscles in the neck and upper back are not large, but they are capable of doing some incredible things: try to turn your head forward, backward, forward, up and down to feel the strength of the muscles in the neck. These muscles also keep the head high.
You may not think it is part of a muscle, but your face contains a lot of muscle. You can check them the next time you look in the mirror. Not all facial muscles are directly related to the bones as they do with the rest of the body. Instead, many of them get trapped under the skin. This allows you to contract your face muscles a little and make dozens of different faces. Even the smallest movement can become a frown. You can raise your eyebrow to surprise or turn your nose.
While looking at your face, don’t push your tongue, just a continuous muscle at one end! Your tongue actually consists of a group of muscles that work together to allow you to talk and help you chew food. Stick out your tongue and move to see those muscles in action.