Basic facts about muscles

Did you know you have more than 600 muscles in your body? These muscles help you move, lift things, pump blood through your body, and even help you breathe.

When you think about your muscles, you probably think most about the ones you can control. These are your voluntary (VOL-uhn-ter-ee) muscles, which means you can control their movements. They are also called skeletal (SKEL-i-tl) muscles, because they attach to your bones and work together with your bones to help you walk, run, pick up things, play an instrument, throw a baseball, kick a soccer ball, push a lawnmower, or ride a bicycle. The muscles of your mouth and throat even help you talk!

Keeping your muscles healthy will help you to be able to walk, run, jump, lift things, play sports, and do all the other things you love to do. Exercising, getting enough rest, and eating a balanced diet will help to keep your muscles healthy for life.

Why healthy muscles matter to you

Healthy muscles let you move freely and keep your body strong. They help you to enjoy playing sports, dancing, walking the dog, swimming, and other fun activities. And they help you do those other (not so fun) things that you have to do, like making the bed, vacuuming the carpet, or mowing the lawn.

Strong muscles also help to keep your joints in good shape. If the muscles around your knee, for example, get weak, you may be more likely to injure that knee. Strong muscles also help you keep your balance, so you are less likely to slip or fall.

And remember—the activities that make your skeletal muscles strong will also help to keep your heart muscle strong!

Source: NIAMS (NIH)1

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Muscles: Contractile tissue that produces movement in animals.2

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Muscle adverse event: A musculoskeletal system adverse event that occurs in muscle.3


Types may include:4

Types of Muscle:

  • Abdominal Muscle
  • Abductor Pollicis Longus
  • Adductor Group of the Leg
  • Articular Muscle
  • Biceps
  • Brachialis
  • Buccinator
  • Ciliary Muscle
  • Coracobrachialis
  • Cutaneous Muscle
  • Cutaneous Trunci
  • Dartoic Muscle
  • Deltoid
  • Depressor Labii Inferioris
  • Diaphragm
  • Distal Muscle
  • Dorsal Muscle of the Back
  • Erector Spinae
  • Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis
  • Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus
  • Extensor Carpi Ulnaris
  • Extensor Digitorum Communis
  • Extensor Digitorum Longus
  • Flexor Carpi Radialis
  • Flexor Carpi Ulnaris
  • Flexor Digitorum Longus
  • Flexor Digitorum Profundus
  • Flexor Hallucis Longus
  • Foot Interosseous Muscle
  • Gastrocnemius Muscle
  • Gastrointestinal Sphincter
  • Genioglossus
  • Geniohyoid
  • Gluteal Muscle
  • Gracilis
  • Hamstring
  • Hand Interosseous Muscle
  • Head and Neck Muscle
  • Iliocostal Muscle
  • Iliopsoas Muscle
  • Intercostal Muscle
  • Ischiocavernosus
  • Longissimus Thoracis
  • Longus Capitis
  • Longus Colli
  • Muscle of the Coccyx
  • Muscularis Propria
  • Musculus Latissimus Dorsi
  • Mylohyoid
  • Obturator Muscle
  • Omohyoid
  • Omotransverse
  • Orbicularis Oculi
  • Palmar Hand Interosseus Muscle
  • Papillary Muscle
  • Parotidoauricular
  • Pectineus
  • Pectoralis Muscle
  • Perineal Muscle
  • Peroneus Longus
  • Plantaris Muscle
  • Popliteus Muscle
  • Proximal Muscle
  • Quadriceps Muscle of the Thigh
  • Sartorius Muscle
  • Scalenus Dorsalis
  • Scalenus Medius
  • Semimembranosus
  • Semispinalis Capitis
  • Semispinalis Cervicis
  • Semispinalis Thoracis
  • Semitendinosus
  • Serratus Magnus
  • Soleus
  • Sphincter
  • Sphincter Colli Superficialis
  • Sphincter Pupillae Muscle
  • Spinalis Thoracis
  • Sternocephalicus Muscle
  • Sternohyoid
  • Sternooccipital
  • Sternothyroid
  • Styloglossus
  • Subclavius
  • Tensor Fasciae Lata
  • Teres Muscle
  • Tibialis
  • Tibialis Anterior Muscle
  • Transversalis
  • Transversus Thoracis
  • Trapezius Muscle
  • Triceps
  • Urethralis
  • Vastus Intermedius Muscle
  • Vastus Lateralis
  • Vastus Medialis Muscle

Anatomy Articles

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Disease and Condition Articles

Read about these related conditions and diseases:

Related Disease and Condition Topics

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... More »

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  1. Source: NIAMS (NIH): Health_Info/ Kids/ healthy_muscles.asp
  2. Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  3. Source: OAE Ontology
  4. Source: NCI Thesaurus

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.