Muscle #1

Muscle #1

Let´s talk about muscles. How many muscles are there in the human body? It´s hard to say. Usually, the number oscillates between 640 to 850 named muscles. It depends on how you count them.

There is more agreement to classify them into three categories: skeletal, cardiac, and smooth.

If the cardiac muscle doesn´t work right, the whole system doesn´t work. Often, healthy people forget this point. Fitness is about good looking but also, about good health. The primary muscle of every single athlete is the heart.

Cardiac muscle is a striated muscle, but its contractions are involuntary. Some of the cardiac muscle cells are autorhythmic. They contract even in the absence of neuronal innervation (known as pacemaker cells). Between cardiac muscles cells, there are disks intercalated. These disks contain gap junctions which provide communicating channels between cells.

Inactivity is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. Exercise helps improve heart health, and can reverse some heart disease risk factors.

The heart becomes stronger as a result of exercise, so it can pump more blood through the body with every beat. Any amount of exercise is beneficial. If you are a sedentary person, aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (such as brisk walking) at least 5 days a week. Experts recommend doing some form of moderate aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week. You can spread the minutes out in any manner that works for your schedule. The key is scheduling some form of moderate to vigorous cardiovascular activity into your week and actually doing it. You can also switch between running, cycling, swimming, interval or circuit training.

Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, has many benefits. This type of activity can do the following:

  • Strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system
  • Improve your circulation and help your body use oxygen better
  • Improve your heart failure symptoms
  • Increase energy levels so you can do more activities without becoming tired or short of breath
  • Increase endurance
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve muscle tone and strength
  • Improve balance and joint flexibility
  • Strengthen bones
  • Help reduce body fat and help you reach a healthy weight
  • Help reduce stress, tension, anxiety and depression
  • Boost self-image and self-esteem
  • Improve sleep
  • Make you feel more relaxed and rested
  • Make you look fit and feel healthy

In time, you can make your workouts longer or more challenging. Do that gradually, so your body can adjust.

Stop and get immediate medical help if you have pain or pressure in your chest or the upper part of your body, break out in a cold sweat, have trouble breathing, uneven heart rate, or feel dizzy, lightheaded, or very tired.

It’s normal for your muscles to be sore for a day or two after your workout when you’re new to exercise. That fades as your body gets used to it. Soon, you might be surprised to find that you like how you feel when you’re done.

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Lower Leg

The gastrocnemius and the soleus form what we know as calf. They are involved in activities such as walking, running, jumping… 

Hamstrings

A hamstring is any one of the three posterior thigh muscles in between the hip and the knee (from medial to lateral: semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris). The hamstrings are quite susceptible to injury.

Quadriceps

The Quadriceps Femoris is the knee extensor muscle.  As a group, the quadriceps femoris is crucial in walking, running, jumping and squatting. It´s subdivided into four separate “heads”.

Glutes

The gluteal muscles are a group of three muscles which make up the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The three muscles originate from the ilium and sacrum and insert on the femur. The functions of the muscles include extension, abduction, external rotation, and internal rotation of the hip joint.

Lower Back

The Erector Spinae is not just one muscle, but a bundle of muscles and tendons. Paired, they run more or less vertically. It extends throughout the lumbar, thoracic and cervical regions, and lies in the groove to the side of the vertebral column.

Obliques

The External Oblique is situated on the lateral and anterior parts of the abdomen. It is broad, thin, and irregularly quadrilateral. It is the largest and the most superficial (outermost) of the three flat muscles of the lateral anterior abdomen. 

Abs

The Rectus Abdominis is the most superficial of the abdominal muscles. It is this muscle which forms the six-pack shape! It is a paired muscle running vertically on each side of the anterior wall of the abdomen. There are two parallel muscles, separated by a midline band of connective tissue called the linea alba.

Pecs

The pectoralis major makes up the bulk of the chest muscles in the male and lies under the breast in the female.

The pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle, situated at the upper part of the chest, beneath the pectoralis major. 

Forearm
(Posterior muscles)

The Extensor Digitorum muscle helps in the movements of the wrists and the elbows. It extends the phalanges, then the wrist, and finally the elbow. It acts principally on the proximal phalanges. It tends to separate the fingers as it extends them.

Forearm
(Anterior muscles)

The Pronator teres pronates the forearm, turning the hand posteriorly. If the elbow is flexed to a right angle, then pronator teres will turn the hand so that the palm faces inferiorly. It is assisted in this action by pronator quadratus.

Triceps

The Triceps Brachii muscles  have three muscle heads: Lateral, Medial and Long head. Primarily responsible for the extension of the elbow joint. The lateral head is used for movements requiring occasional high-intensity force, while the medial fascicle enables more precise, low-force movements.

Biceps

The Biceps brachii is  actually two separate bundles of muscles (heads). The two heads of the Biceps vary in length and as a result, are called the Short and the Long Biceps heads.

Infraspinatus

The Infraspinatus muscle is one of the four rotator cuff muscles crossing the shoulder joint and is commonly injured. It is the main external rotator of the shoulder joint.

Deltoids

The Deltoid muscle is the muscle forming the rounded contour of the shoulder. It is divided into three portions, anterior, lateral and posterior, with the fibers having different roles due to their orientation.

Latissimus Dorsi

The latissimus dorsi is the larger, flat, dorsolateral muscle on the trunk, posterior to the arm, and partly covered by the trapezius on its median dorsal region.

Trapezius

The trapezius is a broad, flat and triangular muscle. The muscles on each side form a trapezoid shape. It is the most superficial of all the back muscles.

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