There space over 600 muscle in the person body. Learning the muscular mechanism often involves memorizing details about each muscle, choose where a muscle attaches come bones and how a muscle helps move a joint. In textbooks and also lectures these details about muscles are defined using committed vocabulary that is tough to understand. Below is an example: The triceps brachii has three bellies v varying origins (scapula and also humerus) and also one insertion (ulna). That is a element mover the elbow extension. The anconeus acts together a synergist in elbow extension.

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What walk all the textbook slang mean? The triceps brachii has 4 places wherein it attaches come the scapula, humerus, and also ulna. This muscle dram a big role (that’s what element mover means) in prolonging the elbow share from a bent to a directly position.

Keep reading to learn what every the various other muscle jargon means!

1. Muscles connect to Bones in ~ Locations dubbed Origins and also Insertions


A bones muscle attaches come bone (or occasionally other muscle or tissues) at two or much more places. If the place is a bone that continues to be immobile for an action, the attachments is referred to as an origin. If the place is ~ above the bone the moves during the action, the attachments is dubbed an insertion. The triceps brachii happens to have four points the attachment: one insertion on the ulna and three origins (two top top the humerus and one top top the scapula).

2. Muscles Act top top Synovial Joints to relocate the Body

The muscles bordering synovial joints room responsible for relocating the human body in space. These muscle action are regularly paired, prefer flexion and also extension or abduction and adduction. Below the usual terms are noted and defined, v animations to aid you picture the muscles and joints in motion.

Flexion and extension room usually movements forward and also backward indigenous the body, such as nodding the head.

Flexion: decreasing the angle in between two skeletal (bending).

Extension: enhancing the angle between two skeleton (straightening a bend).

The triceps brachii and also anconeus space muscles that extend the elbow. The biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis flex the elbow.


Abduction and adduction are usually side-to-side movements, together as moving the arm laterally once doing jumping jacks.

Abduction: relocating away indigenous the body’s midline.

Adduction: relocating toward the body midline.

The gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, tensor fasciae latae, and sartorius space muscles the abduct the hip. The pectineus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus, and also gracilis adduct the hip.


Pronation and supination

Describing the rotation of the forearm back and forth calls for special terms. Spread your fingers out and also look at the palms of her hands and the fingers and then rotate your palms come look at her nails. Now look at your palms again. That’s forearm supination and pronation.

Pronation: rotating the forearm so the palm is encountering backward or down.

Supination: rotating the forearm therefore the palm is facing forward or up.


Elevation and also depression space up-and-down movements, such as chewing or shrugging her shoulders. As soon as you relocate the mandible under to open the mouth, that’s mandible depression. Relocate the mandible ago up, it is mandible elevation.

Elevation: relocating a body component up.

Depression: relocating a body component down.


Protraction and also retraction

By relocating your jaw ago and soon in a jutting motion, you space protracting and retracting her mandible.

Protraction: moving a bone front without changing the angle.

Retraction: moving a bone backward without changing the angle.


Inversion and eversion

You invert your foot when you rotate it inward to view what is stuck under your shoe. You evert your foot to placed the single of her shoe ago on the floor.

Inversion: turning the sole of the foot inward.

Eversion: transforming the sole of the foot outward.

Dorsiflexion and plantar flexion girlfriend dorsiflex her feet to walk on your heels, and plantar flex them to tiptoe.

Dorsiflexion: bringing your foot upward toward your shin.

Plantar flexion: depressing her foot.

3. Muscle Actions have Prime Movers, Synergists, Stabilizers, and Antagonists


While countless muscles may be involved in any given action, muscle function terminology enables you to quickly understand the various roles various muscles play in every movement.

Prime movers and also antagonist

The element mover, sometimes called the agonist, is the muscle that gives the primary force driving the action. One antagonist muscle is in opposition to a prime mover in that it provides some resistance and/or reverses a given movement. Element movers and antagonists are frequently paired increase on opposite sides of a joint, with their prime mover/antagonist functions reversing together the movement transforms direction.

Synergists. One or more synergists are often involved in one action. Synergists space muscles that aid the prime mover in the role.

Stabilizers. Stabilizers act to store bones immobile as soon as needed. Your earlier muscles, because that example, room stabilizers as soon as they are keeping your posture sturdy.

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External Sources

Muscle Premium by visible Body offers a substantial reference the musculoskeletal structures and also function, plus typical injuries and conditions.

Types that Muscle Contractions. This presentation explains in much more detail 3 means that skeletal muscles create force. College of California, mountain Diego: nationwide Skeletal Muscle research study Center. Http://

This table, from a food at Marquette University concentrated on rehabilitation engineering, has descriptions of straightforward movements and explanations of an essential muscle biomechanics and movement terminology. Biomechanics & movement Science. Jack M. Winters, Ph.D, Marquette Univeristy. Http://