role of muscles in movement patterns

What are muscles used for?


Muscles play a part in every function of the body. Did you realise the muscular system is made up of over 600 muscles? These include three muscle types: smooth, skeletal, and cardiac. Only skeletal muscles are voluntary though, meaning you can control them consciously where smooth and cardiac muscles act involuntarily. Each muscle type in the muscular system has a specific purpose. You’re able to walk because of your skeletal muscles, you can digest because of your smooth muscles and your heart beats because of your cardiac muscle. The role of muscles in movement patterns is essential.


The Role of muscles in movement patterns


The different muscle types also work together to make these functions possible. For instance, when you run (skeletal muscles), your heart pumps harder (cardiac muscle), and therefore causes you to breathe heavier (smooth muscles). Your skeletal muscles are responsible for the movements you make. Whereas the skeletal muscles are attached to your bones and partly controlled by the central nervous system (CNS).

You use your skeletal muscles whenever you move. Fast-twitch skeletal muscles cause short bursts of speed and strength, like sprinting where slow-twitch muscles function is better for longer movements. The involuntary cardiac and smooth muscles help your heartbeat, therefore, forcing blood flow through your body by producing electrical impulses. The cardiac muscle (myocardium) is found in the walls of the heart, where it’s controlled by the autonomic nervous system responsible for most bodily functions.

The myocardium also has one central nucleus like a smooth muscle. This is where your blood vessels are made up of smooth muscles and also controlled by the autonomic nervous system.


How Muscles Work in Digestion


Digestion is also controlled by smooth muscles found in your gastrointestinal tract, they include:

  • mouth
  • oesophagus
  • stomach
  • small and large intestines
  • rectum
  • anus

The digestive system also includes the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. Your smooth muscles contract and relax as food passes through your body during digestion. They are made up of muscles that help push food out of your body through defecation, or vomiting when you’re sick.

Smooth and skeletal muscles make up the urinary system. The urinary system includes these organs:

  • kidneys
  • bladder
  • ureters
  • urethra
  • penis or vagina
  • prostate

All the muscles in your urinary system work together so you can urinate. The dome of your bladder is made of smooth muscles and can release urine when those muscles tighten. When they relax, you can hold in your urine. Your skeletal muscles also control your posture, flexibility and strength are also key components in maintaining proper posture. Stiff neck muscles, weak back muscles, or tight hip muscles can throw off your alignment, therefore, affecting parts of your body and leading to joint pain and weaker muscles. These parts include the:

  • shoulders
  • spine
  • hips
  • knees

The muscular system is a complex network of muscles vital to the human body. You might have been wondering what are muscles used for, now you know. Muscles play a part in everything you do. Not only do they control your heartbeat and breathing, help digestion, and allow movement they are an integral part of health that needs to be maintained for longevity and proper function.

Are you looking to improve your bodies function through exercise and nutrition, why not let us help you. Click the link to our website where we are willing and waiting to answer any questions you have.




Nicole McDermott

I am passionate about working with people on a holistic level to balance hormones, improve mood, manage weight all whilst educating people on the benefits of a balanced whole foods diet. Follow more great advice from Nic here.