Bones are required for movement and locomotion, but they are unable to move on their own.
They must be move by the alternate contraction and relaxation of the skeletal muscles.
Many bones have ridges and protuberances which provide an area for muscle attachment.
Skeletal muscles act on the bones that serve as a system of levers. Movements of various parts of
the body may result in locomotion of the body as a whole.
For every muscle or group of muscles that brings about movement of a certain part of the body, there is another muscle or group of muscles which bring about an opposite movement. Such muscles, bringing about opposite movements, are called antagonistic muscles. They make the smooth co-ordination of movement possible. As the one muscle contracts, the other (which is able to bring about an opposite movement) will relax, and vice versa.
To illustrate how antagonistic muscles function, we will look at the muscles in the upper limb . At the front of the arm is the biceps muscle which is spindle-shaped. The tapering ends are attached firmly to the periosteum of the skeleton by means of strong tendons . The upper end of the biceps muscle is attached to the scapula by means of 2 tendons. These points of attachment are called the origin of the biceps as they are fixed , i.e. they do not move as the muscle contracts. The lower end of the biceps is attached to the radius of the forearm. The radius is moved upwards as the biceps contracts. Because movement is brought about at this end of the muscle, this point of attachment is called the insertion.
The muscle antagonistic to the biceps is called the triceps. It is situated at the back of the arm, just behind the humerus. The origin of the triceps consists of 3 tendons. One is attached to the scapula and the other 2 are situated to the back of the humerus. The point of insertion is a prominent projection (the olecranon process), which is situated at the end of the ulna, just behind the elbow joint.
When a muscle is stimulated it contracts and becomes shorter and thicker thus moving the bone to which it is attached. When it is relaxed, the muscle becomes longer and thinner. The shape changes, but not the volume. To understand how movement is brought about, we must keep in mind that muscles can do work only by pulling as they contract. A muscle is unable to do work by pushing as it elongates.
The arm is flexed by the contraction of the biceps muscle. The triceps muscle relaxes as the biceps contracts and the arm bends at the elbow. Notice how the biceps muscle becomes thicker and shorter as the arm bends at the elbow joint.
Straightening the arm is brought about by the contraction of the muscle as the biceps relaxes. A muscle which bends an appendage at a joint, causing a limb to flex is called the flexor muscle. The antagonistic muscle straightens and extends the appendage (or limb) when it contracts is called the extensor. The biceps is an example of a flexor muscle, whereas the triceps is an example of an extensor muscle. Co-ordinated movements and precise control of the degree of flexion and extension are achieved by varying the tension between the antagonistic set of muscles. When the body is at rest the antagonistic muscles (both flexor and extensor) remain in a state of tension or tone and so hold the body in position in order to maintain the correct posture.
The body needs energy for the contraction of muscles. This energy is obtained from the oxidation of food substances such as glucose in the mitochondria of the muscle tissue.
triceps (extensor muscles) .
Movement in the higher developed multicellular animals is brought about by the muscles which form a system of levers in conjunction with the bones of the skeleton. Movement of the levers is possibe because of joints and the contraction of muscles which are attached to the levers.
A lever is an inflexible or rigid rod that is able to rotate about a fixed point called the
The force which moves the lever is called the effort and the point where it is applied to
the lever is called the point of effort. The force to be moved or overcome is called the
load. The point attachment of the load is called the load point or point of resistance
. The force arm (effort arm) is the distance between the fulcrum and the point of
effort (or force). The arm of the load or load arm is the distance between the fulcrum and
the point of resistance (or load point). The moment of the force is the rotating force
which every force which is applied to a lever, exerts. The monent of a force depends not only on
the size of the force but also on the distance from the fulcrumthat the force is
applied. A moment of force can be calculated in the following way:
The force which moves the lever is called the effort and the point where it is applied to the lever is called the point of effort. The force to be moved or overcome is called the load. The point attachment of the load is called the load point or point of resistance . The force arm (effort arm) is the distance between the fulcrum and the point of effort (or force). The arm of the load or load arm is the distance between the fulcrum and the point of resistance (or load point). The moment of the force is the rotating force which every force which is applied to a lever, exerts. The monent of a force depends not only on the size of the force but also on the distance from the fulcrumthat the force is applied. A moment of force can be calculated in the following way:
The force (i.e. the effort or resistance) is multiplied by the perpendicular distance between the fulcrum and the direction in which the force is applied (i.e. the force arm or the arm of the load).
Levers are subdivided into three classes on the basis of the arrangement of the fulcrum in
relation to the point of effort and point of resistance (load point).
Levers of the First Class.
Levers of the First Class.
Here the fulcrum lies between the effort and the load. In our bodies, a lever of the first class can be found when the head undergoes nodding movements, i.e. when the occipital condyles articulate with the facets of the atlas. The weight of the face and the head are the resistance. The contraction of the neck muscles is the effort to lift the weight. Another example of a lever of the first class is when the bent arm is straightened . A lever of the first class serves a twofold purpose, i.e. it increases the speed of movement and it overcomes the resistance. In doing so, the resistance (load) is moved in the opposite direction.
|Lever of the first class.|
Here the load lies between the fulcrum and the effort. A lever of the second class operates on the same principle as a wheelbarrow. A small upward force applied to the handles can overcome a much larger force (weight) acting downwards in the barrow. Similarly a relatively small muscular effort is required to raise the body weight. In our bodies, a lever of the second class can be found in our feet when we stand on our toes and lift our heels of the ground. The resistance (load) is the weight of our body resting on the arch of the foot. The effort is brought about by the contraction of the calf muscle attached to the heel. This leverage allows us to walk. The main purpose of a lever of the second class is to overcome the resistance.
|Lever of the second class.|
Here the effort lies between the fulcrum and the load. In our bodies, an example of a lever of the third class is when the biceps contracts, allowing us to lift something in our hand. The elbow is the fulcrum, the hand and its contents are the resistance (or load) and the biceps muscles creates the effort. The load can be moved rapidly over a large distance, while the point of application moves over a relatively short distance. The main purpose of this type of lever is to obtain rapid movement.
|Lever of the third class.|