Trifocus Fitness Academy - muscle types

What are the main muscle types in your body?

Half of your body weight consists of muscle and there are about 600 muscles in the human body. Movement is the result of muscles contracting and relaxing. These movements are sometimes made without us consciously being aware of it and at other times we are very aware of the movement.

Our muscles are sustained by glucose which is absorbed from the carbohydrates we eat in our diets. Specific minerals, electrolytes and other nourishing substances like potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium are also needed by our muscle tissues so that they can work well.

Glucose from carbohydrates in our diet fuels our muscles. To work properly, muscle tissue also needs particular minerals, electrolytes and other dietary substances such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.

Myopathy is defined as the range of problems that could possibly affect our muscles. This condition is a muscle disorder that can cause pain, weakness and in some cases paralysis.

Different types of muscles

The three main types of muscle are skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle.

Skeletal muscle

Skeletal muscle is attached to our bones and allows us to perform movements. The musculoskeletal system consists of our muscles and bones. The biceps and triceps on the back and front of our arms are examples of how our skeletal muscles are grouped as opposing pairs. These are muscles which we are able to consciously control. The muscles look striped when they are seen underneath a microscope and are therefore also known as striated or voluntary muscles.

Skeletal muscle has four different main shapes:

  • Spindle which is wide in the mid-section and more pointed at both ends. An example is the bicep.
  • Flat skeletal muscle is like a sheet. An example is the diaphragm that splits from the chest into our abdominal cavity.
  • The triangular shape is pointed at the top and wider towards the bottom. The deltoid muscle in the shoulder is an example.
  • A circular ring-shaped muscle is a muscle such as our mouth and pupil. This shape of muscle is known as sphincters.

Cardiac muscle

Cardiac muscles are only to be found in the heart. We do not consciously control these muscles. Our heart beats without us constantly being aware of it and having to control the movement.

Smooth muscle

Smooth muscle is another muscle type that we are not consciously aware moving. It is also known as involuntary muscle because of this fact. It can be found in the internal structures of our bodies. Examples of smooth muscle includes our blood vessels, arteries, digestive tract and uterus. This type of muscle tissue contracts and relaxes in what seems like waves along the length of the muscle.

Composition of muscles

The three main muscles share the same elemental composition and yet have very distinct functions. Thousands of elastic fibres are tightly bundled together to form a muscle. Each of these bundles is covered in a thin translucent membrane which is referred to as a perimysium.

Muscle tissue makes up a large part of our body. They perform a lot of extremely important tasks that are very important for our health and for our bodies to function properly.

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