When we first began developing an app about the human body we wanted to create a great way to answer some of the many questions children have about their bodies. Questions like how many muscles are in the human body?
The answer to this question is actually harder to find than you might think. Although the most common answer given is roughly 700, the science of anatomy is constantly changing and believe it or not new muscles are still being discovered. Check out the tensor of the vastus intermedius if you don’t believe it!
Different kinds of muscle in the human body
That figure of 700 actually only refers to one type of muscle. In fact, our bodies our home to three different kinds of muscle.
Skeletal Muscle – which gets us moving
Cardiac Muscle – which gets our blood moving
Smooth Muscle – which gets our organs moving amongst other things
Skeletal muscles are usually attached to bones. They are often called striated muscles because of their striped appearance.
Your brain generally tells your skeletal muscles what to. They are mainly used in movement such as wiggling your toes, smiling and bending your knee.
See if you can ape the brain and get your knee bending by playing our app Inside the Human Body (link below).
Also known as heart muscle, cardiac muscle is an involuntary
muscle. That means we don’t have to think to make it work, it does its job all by itself.
It is a striated or striped muscle found in the walls of the heart. It makes up the tissue called myocardium.
To find out more about how the heart muscle does it’s job check out our post How does the heart work? (link below).
Smooth muscle is found throughout your body. It’s in your stomach, your blood vessels, your digestive system and your eyes for example. It’s almost impossible to count all the smooth muscles there are just so many.
Jobs the smooth muscle does include moving food through your digestive system (check this out on our app Inside the Human Body). As well as decreasing the size of your pupils when there is too much light. It’s also busy raising hairs, and squeezing blood around your body..
How many muscles are in the human body?
In conclusion, it’s hard to give a definitive answer to the question how many muscles are in the human body. 700? 701? 701 plus an infinitesimal number of smooth ones? One thing is sure, they’re an essential part of our bodies keeping us breathing, moving and healthy in many other ways all day, every day!