Humans and animals have three types of muscles.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
We can distinguish the skeletal muscles, the smooth muscles and the cardiac muscles. These muscles can be differentiated by their composition (fibers, proteins …), their location or their functions. Thus the heart muscles are those which form the walls of the heart, while the smooth muscles form the walls of the hollow organs, such as the bladder, the stomach, & c. Smooth muscles and heart muscles are called involuntary muscles. This name comes from the fact that these muscles are not consciously controlled by the brain.
The voluntary muscles we have are the skeletal muscles. They are the ones that allow us to make movements. They interact with the bones through the tendons to activate the various joints of the body. Although we control much of the movement that skeletal muscles can do, there are some adjustment movements that are totally involuntary. How do our skeletal muscles work?
What are our muscles made of?
Still called striated muscles , skeletal muscles coordinate our movements from head to toe. A striated muscle can be considered as a bundle of compartmentalized muscle fibers and surrounded by a membrane called sarcolemma. For example, the smallest muscles in the human body contain tens of thousands of muscle fibers . Each muscle fiber composed of myofibrils constituted in their turn two filaments: myosin and actin. These two filaments interact to create muscle contraction. Indeed, it is the transversal movement of the myosin around the actin which causes the narrowing of the muscular fibers and thus the contraction.
What are the different types of muscle contractions?
In our different daily movements, we adopt postures that cause our muscles to have different reactions. Our muscles react differently depending on the movement of the body. There are three basic types of movement that muscles can perform. These movements are called muscular contractions. We distinguish :
Concentric muscle contraction
The concentric contraction is that during which the muscles shorten under the action of myosin and actin . For example, the contraction that occurs on your biceps when you flex your arm is a concentric contraction. This contraction is called positive and starts from isotonic contractions.
Eccentric muscle contraction
Still called negative contraction, this second type of isotonic contraction is somehow opposed to concentric contraction. During an eccentric contraction, the muscle ends move away. This contraction occurs in a situation where the effort requires that the muscle be in its longest form. A contraction is called eccentric when you apply a force on an object while having the muscle responsible for stretched effort.
Isometric muscle contraction
Isometric contraction is a contraction that characterizes the static state of a muscle under stress . In this type of contraction, the muscle involved does not change in size. It is a muscular contraction that can take effect after a concentric or eccentric contraction.
What impact can muscle function have on bodybuilding exercises?
You probably wonder how to control the functioning of the muscles is useful to you. The functioning of the skeletal muscles is a very important notion to know. This notion will help you choose the best exercises that fit your goals.
So, if your goal is to increase your strength, you should prioritize exercises that cause isometric and eccentric contractions. The eccentric contraction for example, to the advantage of working a large number of muscles and especially those who are not often solicited. You must still combine these exercises with other exercises to give more flexibility to your muscles. Repeated isometric contractions will tend to reduce the rate of contraction of the muscles involved. The disadvantage with eccentric contraction is the fact that it requires heavy loads. You must know that these types of contractions increase the risk of injury. It would be wise not to push the muscles too much.
On the other hand, if your goal is to gain muscle mass, concentric contraction is your best asset. You must focus on exercises characterized by positive contraction. This contraction is most useful in muscle development. Exercises based on this contraction allow you to quickly increase the volume of muscle fibers. They also allow you to improve your stamina. The repetition of the exercises will determine the speed at which your muscles will develop. The more you repeat and the more your muscle fibers will increase in volume.
The human being is made of bone, of pulpit. The pulpit is essentially composed of muscle tissue. The muscles that we manage to control are the skeletal muscles. They allow us to walk, carry things, laugh, talk, and so on. it simply allows us to move. We have more than 600 striated muscles that are themselves composed of hundreds of thousands of muscle fibers . In their ways of moving, the muscles undergo three types of contraction namely: concentric, eccentric and isometric contractions. It is important to know these different mechanisms to optimize these exercises of bodybuilding. However concentric contraction is the only one able to provide an intense muscular development and the improvement of endurance. While eccentric and isometric contractions are more suitable for improving muscle strength.