We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Structure of the Muscular System?

By A.M. Boyle
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

While there is no consensus as to an exact number, most experts agree that the human body has more than 650 muscles. The structure of the muscular system is complex, but generally, muscles are divided into three categories: skeletal, smooth, and cardiac. Some muscles are voluntary, while others are involuntary. Additionally, certain muscles are striated, while others are not.

When most people think of the structure of the muscular system, the skeletal muscles are the ones that come to mind. These are the prominent muscles people build with exercise. They are attached to the bones via tendons and are responsible for voluntary movement. In other words, a person has to consciously think about moving the skeletal muscles in order for action to occur.

The skeletal muscles are striated, which means that, up close, they look as if they have lines running through them. These visible lines are actually indicative of the type of fiber and tissue that make up the muscles. Most skeletal muscles work in pairs, with one muscle responsible for movement in one direction and another in charge of moving in the opposite direction. Similarly, many of them work together in accomplishing one fluid movement. For instance, in order to lift up a glass of iced tea, several groups of muscles have to work in unison to accomplish even such a simple task.

Another group of muscles found within the muscular system are the smooth muscles. As the name suggests, these muscles are not striated but have a smooth appearance instead. They are considered involuntary because a person does not have to think about moving them in order for them to do their jobs. This group of muscles takes care of important bodily functions such as digestion, breathing, swallowing, and blood flow. They can be found in places such as the stomach, blood vessel walls, and respiratory system and are controlled automatically by a particular area of the brain.

The structure of the muscular system also includes the cardiac muscles. This group of muscles is found in the walls of the heart and are responsible for keeping the heart pumping. Like the smooth muscles, they are involuntary so that a person does not have to consciously think about every beat his or her heart takes. They also have a striated appearance, but unlike the skeletal muscles, they are designed to make short, quick contractions rather than broad movements.

Given the extensive structure of the muscular system, about half of a person’s overall weight comes from muscle. Most people are aware of the need to exercise in order to improve the strength and appearance of the voluntary, skeletal muscles. Still, even though the smooth and cardiac muscles are involuntary, they need to be cared for as well. A nutritious diet and a sufficient amount of cardiovascular exercise can improve the tone and function of the muscular system and thus improve a person’s overall health.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By RoyalSpyder — On Mar 11, 2014

Speaking of the muscular system, working out daily in the gym is definitely a great way to build up your muscular tension. However, whether we're working out or not, when one is trying to increase their muscle mass, they have to remember to keep up with it. In other words, let's say that you've been working out in the gym for a few weeks. If one day, you decided to quit, your muscles would become flabby, and lose that firmness that they once had. It wouldn't happen overnight obviously, but it would be a very gradual process nonetheless. This really shows the significance of the muscular system, and its respective categories.

By Chmander — On Mar 10, 2014

Without a doubt, the muscular system is one of the most important aspects of the human body. Not only does it allow us to bend around, especially our arms and legs, but even more so, it allows us a lot of flexibility.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.