The muscular system is the system in the body that is primarily responsible for movement.  The muscular system does this primarily when individual muscles contract while attached to a series of lever and pulley systems which include the framework of the body or the skeleton on which muscles are attached via tendons, cartilage, and ligaments.  (Inner Body) It is consists of all the muscles in the body divided into two main categories, involuntary and voluntary muscles.  (Inner Body) This classification is according to how the human brain can consciously influence the movement of these muscles.  Muscles that cannot be influenced consciously are known as involuntary muscles (Inner Body) these include smooth muscle which is what most internal organs are made of and cardiac muscle or the muscle of the heart.  (Inner Body) Muscles that are consciously made to contract are known as voluntary muscles and this includes skeletal muscles which comprise about 40 of an adults body weight.  (Inner Body)

    As mentioned earlier, the muscular system is responsible primarily for movement.  Movement is achieved in the muscular system when muscles contract.  Contraction of muscle is normally characterized by an increase in tension along the body of the muscle as well as the shortening of the muscle.  However, there are cases where such does not occur (Inner Body)  in isometric contraction, the tension in the muscle increases but the length does not change  an example of this kind of contraction is when we attempt to push against an immovable wall or we try to tense the muscles of our neck.  The muscular system serves three primary functions these are movement, posture and muscle tone, and heat preservation.  (Inner Body) Of these three primary functions, the first is the most common.  The muscular system enables us to do certain things like move our fingers, walk, clench our fists, move our jaws, and many other movements that are a result of muscle pulling against the bone to which it is inserted.  In terms of posture and muscle tone, some muscles serve to keep up upright  these muscles are known as anti-gravity muscles and work overtime to keep the effects of gravity from affecting our bodies.  (Inner Body) Without the muscular system, we will all fall to the ground because of the effects of gravity.  Muscles keep our head upright, our back straight and maintaining proper posture, and our legs in the extended position to prop our entire weight up. 

Muscle tone, as a function, means that the muscular system gives our body shape.  (Inner Body) The muscles underneath our skin are responsible for the bulges on the arms of athletes or the shape of our buttocks.  Finally, as one other function of the muscular system, it enables us to keep heat within our bodies.  While this is a primary function of fat, muscles also contribute to this.  The human body is made up of many layers to pad the internal organs against the elements  the skin, fat, and then the muscles.  If the skin and the fat are not enough to keep body heat levels normal, the bodys next line of defense is the muscular system.  Other than just insulating or padding the body, muscles generate their own heat.  When muscles contract, energy is released, and this release of energy causes bursts of heat all throughout the body.  The functions mentioned are chiefly associated with skeletal muscle, (Inner Body) smooth muscle and cardiac muscle, on the other hand also have their own specific functions.  Cardiac muscle is responsible for the rhythm of the heart. (Inner Body)  The heart works 247 every single day of our lives to pump blood throughout the body.  This rhythmic movement of the heart is caused by the continuous and regular contractions of the cardiac muscle.  Smooth muscle also has a different function from skeletal and cardiac muscle smooth or visceral muscle is what makes up our internal organs like the bladder and the stomach (Inner Body) in the stomach for instance, it causes the digestive movement known as peristalsis, and in the bladder, it contracts when the organ is full to expel excess water known to us as urine.   

    The muscular system is a very important component of our biology and understanding how muscles work gives us a better concept of what makes our bodies tick.  As a result of this awareness, we become more conscious of our bodies and we begin to take more care of our bodies as much as we can.  Our health is dependent on how well we take care of our bodies and knowing more about our bodies only serve to enable us to take better care of it.


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