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Muscles. The following letter will highlight key information on muscles, contractions and fibres, and will hopefully be informative.

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To the Editor, The following letter will highlight key information on muscles, contractions and fibres, and will hopefully be informative. Muscle Types Firstly, I will highlight the different types of muscle in the body. 1. Voluntary Muscles These are known as skeletal muscles, and are under our conscious control. They can also be known as striated, and examples of them include the Biceps and Triceps - they control movement at a joint. 2. Involuntary Muscles These are not under our conscious control, and are also known as smooth muscle. They are found in the walls of arteries, veins, stomach and intestines. 3. Cardiac Muscles Cardiac muscles are found in the heart, and are not under conscious control, either. ...read more.


There are two types of muscle contraction: isotonic and isometric. Isotonic involves movement, so the distance between the origin and the insertion changes, i.e. lifting weights. This can further be divided into: Concentric - the insertion moves towards the origin and the muscle shortens under tension Eccentric - the insertion moves away from the origin and the muscle lengthens under tension Isometric has no movement, and so the distance between the origin and the insertion does not change, i.e. holding a weight in one position. Agonistic muscle contraction During movement, the muscle that contracts to cause movement is known as the agonist or prime mover, and the muscle that relaxes is called the antagonist. ...read more.


elbow Triceps - control extension at the elbow Gluteals - controls abduction at the hip Hamstrings - controls flexion at the knee Quadriceps - controls extension at the knee Gastrocnemius - points the foot Muscle Fibres There are two different types of muscle fibres, fast twitch and slow twitch, and these have different properties: Fast twitch - these are white, and provide rapid contraction. They tire easily, and are used in anaerobic activities, such as the shot put. Slow twitch - these are red, and provide slow contraction, but they do not tire as easily as fast twitch fibres. They are used in aerobic activities, such as in long-distance running. I hope that this letter has been informative, and will be of use to you. ...read more.

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