There are over 700 skeletal muscles in the body, together totaling approximately 40% of our body weight.
Some of the primary functions of skeletal muscle include:
Movement, Posture, and Protection
Muscle, attached to the bones via tendon, pulls the skeletal structures as it contracts. Hence, we are able to move.
Bones Cannot Move by Themselves
Each muscle has an origin and insertion onto bone, the latter being the part moved.
While one muscle group flexes, its opposing muscles extend, or stretch to allow for full range of motion.
For example, the biceps will flex the arm at the elbow, while the triceps (opposing muscles) extend.
Muscles serve a vital role in posture. Our ability to stand erect, balance on one foot, and lean forward is dependent on postural and supporting muscles.
Skeletal muscles also attach to the spine, allowing the spine to rotate, flex, extend and side-bend. Postural muscles also contract to allow the body to stand motionless.
Muscles align the pelvis and stabilize it during motion. The pelvis, spine and shoulder girdle all depend on soft-tissue: skeletal muscles, tendons and ligaments for proper alignment and musculoskeletal balance.
Proper musculoskeletal alignment allows:
- nerves to transmit impulses without interference
- the body to withstand gravity efficiently without muscle strain
- correct and pain-free movement
- energy conservation
- optimal posture