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Fun Science Projects & Experiments - Muscular System

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Muscular System

Three Types of Muscle
There are three types of muscle, each with a different structure and function.
Skeletal muscle produces the most powerful contractions and is essentially involved in performing the body's movements. Skeletal muscle is under conscious control and is therefore described as voluntary. It is composed of cells, elongated up to twelve inches in length, containing many minute myofibrils and nuclei. It can contract and relax rapidly, but is easily fatigued.
Smooth muscle is found in the arteries and in the digestive and urinary tracts, and performs the slow, long-term contractions needed to maintain these systems. Smooth muscle is made up of elongated cells arranged in bundles, each with a single nucleus. Within the intestines an inner circular band produces ring-like constrictions and an outer longitudinal band produces wavelike motions. Controlled by the autonomic system, smooth muscle contraction is involuntary.
Cardiac muscle, found exclusively in the heart, continuously generates very strong contractions and rarely tires in its task of pumping blood throughout the body. It has a built-in rhythm of contraction, but is regulated by the heart's pacemaker. Cardiac muscle forming the heart is made up of branched cells containing many nuclei. It occurs as thick spiral bands around the ventricles of the heart.
Sports Medicine Information : Types of Muscles in the Human Body
The three types of muscles in the human body include skeletal or striated muscle, smooth muscle and cardiac muscle, each of which serves a different function in the body. Discover the role that each type of muscle plays with health information from a physical therapy doctor in this free video on sports medicine.

Skeletal muscles
How the Body Works : Muscles move joints
Movement at joints is effected by the action of muscles that are generally arranged in opposing pairs. As one muscle contracts and shortens, the other relaxes and becomes longer. For example, the biceps and triceps. The biceps and triceps control movement of the forearm, the biceps contract and act as the prime mover, while triceps, the antagonist, relaxes. When the elbow is straightened the reverse occurs.

Muscular System Structure and Function
An overview of the main structures of the Muscular system

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