Muscles are magical.
We have three types of muscles; Skeletal, Smooth and Cardiac. So muscles that essentially Move Us, Medicate Us and the one that keeps is alive. Muscles that move us have attachments onto our bones, they animate our skeleton. With Medicate I mean the Smooth type serve our bodies and keep our systems working, such as your stomach or uterus and various other systems, they are the shape shifters and wizards. And then, in a class all on its own, our power source, internal sun and coal mine… the heart.
I am no fan of generalisations, but here are a few Magnificent said facts about the body… and my take on them:
There are about 600 muscles in your body. SIX HUNDRED! As a massage therapist that means in a 60minute massage I need to do 10 muscles per minute!! Luckily only about 300 can actually be reached, affected or massaged, so just five per minute. 😉
Even just writing that makes me love my job even more! The teacher Miki moves the 300 that therapist Miki can’t reach.
Smallest being the less than 2mm in length, Stapedius. Considering it’s in the ear, I’d say most people don’t use it. Kids definitely have the ability to control this muscle, and some switch it on and off well into their adult life.
The Masseter muscle in our jaws give us a bite force of about 90kgf. “In 1956, tests were conducted on cadavers to determine the force needed to successfully sever a finger and scientists discovered that it takes about 1,485 newtons just to cause fractures.”
So the great news is; NO ONE CAN EVER REALLY BITE YOUR HEAD OFF.
Our biggest muscle is our glutes, yes I just said your butt is the biggest. Love it and appreciated and brag about it even.
We can’t talk about the strongest muscle because there are too many variables. Not only would it depend on how active the muscle is or training and resistance and weight, but also whether you think a pulling or ‘pushing’ rather force, is stronger. Many say the previously mentioned Masseter is the strongest.
The muscle that works the hardest by far, the one that moves even when you don’t; our hearts.
Let’s return the favour by hearting all 600 our muscles, regardless of their size or responsibility.