In the remainder of this chapter, we consider about 160 muscles. Many of the relatively superficial ones are shown in figure 10.4. The following suggestions may help you develop a rational strategy for learning the muscular system:
• Examine models, cadavers, dissected animals, or a photographic atlas as you read about these muscles. Visual images are often easier to remember than words, and direct observation of a muscle may stick in your memory better than descriptive text or two-dimensional drawings.
• When studying a particular muscle, palpate it on yourself if possible. Contract the muscle to feel it bulge and sense its action. This makes muscle locations and actions less abstract. Atlas B following ramus = branch this chapter shows where you can see and palpate several of these muscles on the living body.
Locate the origins and insertions of muscles on an articulated skeleton. Some study skeletons are painted and labeled to show these. This helps you visualize the locations of muscles and understand how they produce particular joint actions.
Study the derivation of each muscle name; the name usually describes the muscle's location, appearance, origin, insertion, or action.
Say the names aloud to yourself or a study partner. It is harder to remember and spell terms you cannot pronounce, and silent pronunciation is not nearly as effective as speaking and hearing the names. Pronunciation guides are provided in the muscle tables for all but the most obvious cases.
Before You Go On
Answer the following questions to test your understanding of the preceding section:
1. List some functions of the muscular system other than movement of the body.
2. Describe the relationship of endomysium, perimysium, and epimysium to each other. Which of these separates one fascicle from another? Which separates one muscle from another?
3. Distinguish between direct and indirect muscle attachments to bones.
4. Define origin, insertion, belly, action, and innervation.
5. Describe the five basic muscle shapes (fascicle arrangements).
6. Distinguish among a synergist, antagonist, and fixator. Explain how each of these may affect the action of an agonist.
7. In muscle names, what do the words brevis, teres, digitorum, pectoralis, triceps, and profundus mean?
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.