bestology 2023 Week 7 – Muscular System

Published by Kevin Lidington on

Muscular System

Week 7

Throughout our day, we use our muscles to live a fulfilled life.  Whether it’s to get up out of bed, run to catch a bus, exercise at the gym, jumping with friends, taking a walk around the block, a simple smile, or even eating. All these movements are possible due to your muscles and the tendons that attach to them.  On top of that, we have muscles that work without you realizing it.  Do you have any idea where these muscles are located?  Drum roll, please!  These types of muscles are found in your heart, stomach, intestines, and many other places throughout your body.  Our muscles are amazing and allow us to have movement in our body.  Before we get started, let’s see how much you know about your muscles by taking a quiz on “Muscles”.

Your muscles are found in between your bones and skin joined together by tendons. Muscles are elastic which means they can be lengthened or shortened allowing movement in our body. Within your body, you have approximately 630 muscles.  Our muscles are divided into “voluntary” and “involuntary”. Voluntary muscles which are also known as “red muscles” or “striated muscles” only move by your own will, in other words, it’s regulated by voluntary brain activity. Voluntary consists of biceps, triceps, quads, hamstrings, respiratory, alimentary and urogenital tracts, and much more.  Involuntary muscles also are known as “white muscles” or “smooth muscles” move without us thinking about it and are not under one’s control. They are controlled by the autonomic nervous system and are independent of voluntary nerve activity.  Places we find involuntary muscles would be your abdominal muscles, heart, diaphragm, middle ear muscles, locomotory muscles, muscles found in your stomach, and intestines.  

Your muscular system consists of three main muscle types as follows: Skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, and smooth muscle.  All three types are made up of muscle cells which are also known as fibers.  Your nervous system sends signals to the fibers which contract allowing you to experience movement. Check out this video from TED-ed on “How your muscular system works – Emma Bryce”. Your skeletal muscles which are known as voluntary muscles are the most common muscle in the body.  These types of muscles are attached to bones by tendons and include the abdominal, pectoral, deltoid, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, erector spinae, biceps, triceps, quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, soleus, and gluteus. The cardiac muscle group is found only in the heart and it is an involuntary muscle. Your heart works without ever pausing to rest and thankfully it never gets tired.  The cardiac muscle contracts to squeeze blood out of your heart while relaxing to fill your heart with blood. Lastly, the smooth muscle is another involuntary muscle. This type of muscle is found in your intestines and stomach and it works without you even being aware of it. The muscular walls help to expel food through your intestines, help during pregnancy to push babies out of the body, push out urine, regulates airflow in your lungs, determines the flow of blood in the arteries and it is responsible for the shrinking of the pupil.

Here are some fun facts about the muscular system – Fun Facts About the Muscular System You Didn’t Know:

  • The largest muscle in the body is the gluteus maximus.
  • The smallest muscles in the body are in your inner ear.
  • The strongest muscles, based on its size is the masseter.  This muscle is found in your jaw and can close your teeth with a force as great as 200 pounds on your molars. Wow!
  • Muscles are attached to bones by tendons.
  • Muscles make up about 40 percent of your total body weight.
  • The hardest working muscle in the body is the heart.
  • Muscles can’t push.  They can only pull.  



Grab a notebook or your journal and research the following:

Research what parts are in the muscular system. Write out the parts that make up the muscular system. Once you are finished open up the following worksheet, “How The Body Works” and label the different muscle groups using the word bank.  

Answer the following questions: 

What keeps our muscles healthy?  Draw and explain 3 major muscles and their function. What are the common muscle injuries in the sports world?  Have you or someone close to you experienced any of those injuries? 

Next, choose one of the two articles below, read and watch the video embedded.


 Group –

 Option 1: As a group, design an exercise routine or find one that works out all the major muscles of the body. Write out a simple script of your routine identifying what muscles are used with each exercise. Be prepared to explain and ‘show’ to the class.

Option 2: Pick out an animal that has muscles similar to the human body. Research and then draw a Venn diagram explaining what are the similarities and differences of the muscular system of the human body vs. the animal you chose. Be prepared to present to the class.

Individual – Using cardboard, bendy straws, string, glue, and scissors create a robotic hand.  Use the following link as a reference “Make Your Own Robotic Hand With This Anatomical DIY.”

BEST connection

Last week we asked you t0 make a connection between the skeletal system and your robot. What parts of the BEST kit make up the skeleton or framework of your robot? How do the parts we receive in our kit transform into the skeleton of our robot?

Now, this week we are talking about the muscles and the muscular system. What part of your kit are the muscles? These parts make your robot move.  

Community Connection

Our muscular system is essential to life.  Your muscles help with digestion, bladder control, pumping your heart, exercise, smiling, chewing your food, and more.  If we do not use our muscles, then you send a message that they are not important. In response, your body stops supporting your muscle with energy thus causing the muscle to shrink (atrophy). Sitting and playing a video game for hours on end can cause your muscles to slow down and even your metabolism. Check out this link on video gaming and the health consequences of video game addiction.

As a teenager, your body needs one hour of exercise a day!  It is imperative you find the time to work out now. How do you work out your muscles every day? Is working out or stretching a priority? If running isn’t your choice of a workout routine, then try Yoga, Pilates or Zumba. Research a local class you can attend or find a free app or routine online you can try. Last, if you put it on your calendar now with an alarm you are more likely to actually attend and/or try it.   So, stop and find something now you can do tonight or tomorrow. Now, find an accountability partner. All this entails is you telling someone when you are going to exercise and then that person is going to ask you in a few days if you actually did the workout. If you choose to use an accountability partner on this workout or another goal you have, choose someone who will coach you to meet your commitment because then you are most likely to fulfill it because you know they are going to check on you. 

Check out this article on how to stay active at every age.

Bloom’s Taxonomy: create, explore, evaluate, generate, include, identify, list, observe, reflect, review, use, and write

Workforce Skills – list workforce skills related to this lesson

Critical thinking, materials evaluation, reading comprehension, science, writing, research

My Personal Journal

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