There are over 600 muscle in the human being body. Discovering the muscular system often involves memorizing details about each muscle, prefer where a muscle attaches to bones and how a muscle helps relocate a joint. In textbooks and lectures this details about muscles are described using devoted vocabulary that is tough to understand. Here is one example: The triceps brachii has three bellies with varying beginnings (scapula and also humerus) and one insertion (ulna). That is a prime mover the elbow extension. The anconeus acts together a synergist in elbow extension.

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What walk all the textbook jargon mean? The triceps brachii has four places where it attaches to the scapula, humerus, and also ulna. This muscle theatre a huge role (that’s what element mover means) in prolonging the elbow joint from a bent to a straight position.

Keep analysis to learn what every the various other muscle slang means!

1. Muscles attach to Bones at Locations called Origins and Insertions

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A skeletal muscle attaches come bone (or sometimes other muscle or tissues) at two or an ext places. If the ar is a bone that continues to be immobile because that an action, the attachment is referred to as an origin. If the ar is top top the bone the moves during the action, the attachment is referred to as an insertion. The triceps brachii wake up to have 4 points the attachment: one insertion on the ulna and also three origins (two ~ above the humerus and also one on the scapula).

2. Muscle Act on Synovial Joints to move the Body

The muscles bordering synovial joints are responsible for moving the body in space. This muscle plot are frequently paired, like flexion and also extension or abduction and adduction. Below the common terms are listed and defined, v animations to aid you snapshot the muscles and also joints in motion.

Flexion and also extension room usually motions forward and backward indigenous the body, such as nodding the head.

Flexion: decreasing the angle between two bones (bending).

Extension: boosting the angle in between two skeleton (straightening a bend).

The triceps brachii and anconeus are muscles that expand the elbow. The biceps brachii, brachialis, and also brachioradialis flex the elbow.


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Abduction and also adduction room usually side-to-side movements, such as relocating the eight laterally when doing jumping jacks.

Abduction: moving away from the body’s midline.

Adduction: relocating toward the body midline.

The gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, tensor fasciae latae, and sartorius space muscles the abduct the hip. The pectineus, adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus, and gracilis adduct the hip.


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Pronation and supination

Describing the rotation the the forearm back and forth needs special terms. Spread out your fingers out and look in ~ the palms of her hands and also the fingers and also then turn your palms come look at your nails. Currently look at your palms again. It is forearm supination and pronation.

Pronation: rotating the forearm for this reason the palm is dealing with backward or down.

Supination: rotating the forearm for this reason the palm is facing forward or up.


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Elevation and also depression room up-and-down movements, such together chewing or shrugging her shoulders. Once you relocate the mandible down to open the mouth, it is mandible depression. Relocate the mandible ago up, it is mandible elevation.

Elevation: moving a body part up.

Depression: relocating a body component down.


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Protraction and retraction

By relocating your jaw back and soon in a jutting motion, you space protracting and also retracting her mandible.

Protraction: moving a bone forward without an altering the angle.

Retraction: moving a bone backward without changing the angle.


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Inversion and eversion

You invert your foot as soon as you rotate it inward to check out what is stuck under your shoe. You evert your foot to placed the single of your shoe earlier on the floor.

Inversion: transforming the sole of the foot inward.

Eversion: turning the sole of the foot outward.


Dorsiflexion and plantar flexion girlfriend dorsiflex her feet come walk on your heels, and plantar flex them to tiptoe.

Dorsiflexion: bringing your foot upward towards your shin.

Plantar flexion: depressing her foot.

3. Muscle Actions have Prime Movers, Synergists, Stabilizers, and Antagonists

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While countless muscles might be affiliated in any kind of given action, muscle function terminology allows you to conveniently understand the various roles various muscles pat in each movement.

Prime movers and also antagonist

The element mover, sometimes called the agonist, is the muscle that gives the primary pressure driving the action. An antagonist muscle is in opposition to a prime mover in the it offers some resistance and/or reverses a given movement. Prime movers and antagonists are often paired up on opposite sides of a joint, v their element mover/antagonist roles reversing together the movement changes direction.

Synergists. One or more synergists room often affiliated in one action. Synergists room muscles that assist the prime mover in that is role.

Stabilizers. Stabilizers action to save bones immobile when needed. Your back muscles, because that example, room stabilizers once they are maintaining your attitude sturdy.

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External Sources

Muscle Premium by clearly shows Body uses a an extensive reference of musculoskeletal structures and also function, plus usual injuries and conditions.

Types the Muscle Contractions. This presentation describes in more detail 3 means that skeletal muscles create force. College of California, mountain Diego: national Skeletal Muscle research study Center. Http://muscle.ucsd.edu/musintro/contractions.shtml

This table, native a food at Marquette University concentrated on rehabilitation engineering, includes descriptions of straightforward movements and explanations of key muscle biomechanics and also movement terminology. Biomechanics & activity Science. Jack M. Winters, Ph.D, Marquette Univeristy. Http://www.eng.mu.edu/wintersj/bien-168/terms_biomechanics_&_movement_science.htm