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Muscular system: want to learn more about it?

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Muscular system

Learning objectives

This study unit will help you to:

  1. Identify the three types of muscle and its locations.
  2. Name the four major groups of skeletal muscles based on body regions.
  3. Discover the main skeletal muscles for each body region.

Watch videos

The muscular system encompasses all the muscles of the body. It makes up about 40% of total body weight and serves many functions such as mobility, thermogenesis and digestion. Based on which type of muscle tissue they contain, muscles are classified into three types:

Muscle types are further grouped based on their histological appearance, in which skeletal and cardiac muscle are grouped as striated, and smooth muscle as non-striated. Find out more about each muscle type, their features, location and function by watching the video below.

If you’re curious and want to know more about how muscles are named, watch the following video; it will help you to easier identify and memorize all the 600+ muscles in the body.

Take a quiz

After watching the video, you should have gained some basic knowledge about the muscular system. Put that knowledge to the test with our quiz about the muscular system below!

Browse atlas

Now it's time to take a closer look at the main muscle subgroups of the body by browsing our atlas gallery below.

Here you can look at some of the most notable individual muscles of the body.

Summary

Key points about the muscular system
Types of muscles and their location Skeletal muscle: all muscles attached to the skeleton.
Smooth muscle
: muscular layer of blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, reproductive tract, respiratory tract, arrector pili muscle of hair, ciliary muscle, and sphincter pupillae muscle of iris.
Cardiac muscle
: muscular layer of heart (myocardium).
Main skeletal muscles of the body Muscles of the head and neck: orbicularis oculi, orbicularis oris, masseter, sternocleidomastoid and platysma muscle.
Muscles of the trunk
: pectoralis major, intercostal muscles, serratus anterior, rectus abdominis, trapezius, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi muscles.
Muscles of the upper limb
: deltoid, biceps brachii, triceps brachii, brachioradialis, flexor digitorum superficialis, extensor digitorum and dorsal interossei muscles of hand.
Muscles of the lower limb
: gluteus maximus, tensor fasciae latae, quadriceps femoris, biceps femoris, adductor magnus, tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus, triceps surae, dorsal interossei muscles of foot.

Well done!

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Continue your learning

Now that you have learned about the muscular system, it’s time to tackle other body systems. Start with the skeletal and digestive systems by clicking on the links below!

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