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The Human Movement Cycle

The muscular system, nervous system and skeletal system are responsible for movement production. The nervous system stimulates the muscles to contract and move. The skeletal system provides the structural framework for our bodies. The muscular system is the middle man between the nervous system and skeletal system. Without the muscular system the nervous system would not have a device to command the skeletal system to move.

Anatomy concept or conceptual human man medical or health body chest, head blue

The relationship between the nervous system and muscular system is imperative to the production of movement. Muscles are divided into motor units and a motor unit is made up of a motor neuron and all of the muscle fibers it supplies with nerves. A motor unit needs a specific amount of stimulation to contract a muscle. That means that the neural message must send a strong enough signal to trigger action and spread it throughout the whole length of the muscle fiber for the muscle to contract. If it does not receive a strong enough signal, the muscle will not contract at all, this is referred to as the “all or nothing” law.

Just like it’s important to train the nervous system to learn patterns and movements, it is also important to incorporate stabilization, strength, and power training to fulfill muscular requirements. All muscles have a combination of 2 types of muscle fibers; the amount of each is dependent on the function of the muscle. Type 1 muscle fibers are important for muscles that need to produce the long-term contractions necessary for stabilization and postural control. An example would be sitting upright for a long period of time. Type 2 muscle fibers are important for muscles producing movements that require force and power. Sprinting is an excellent example of type 2 fibers.

Muscles provide the human body with a variety of functions. These functions allow for the manipulation of forces placed on the body. There are 4 types of muscles functions; they are agonist, synergist, stabilizer and antagonist. The agonist muscles are the most responsible for a particular movement. The synergist muscle assist the agonist muscle during movement. The stabilizer muscle provides support and stabilizes the body while the agonist and synergist muscles are performing a movement. The antagonist muscle performs the opposite action of the agonist muscle.

The human movement system (consists of the nervous, skeletal and muscular systems) works separate in structure and function but relies on a collaborative effort to form interdependent links that form a functional kinetic chain. If any part of the kinetic chain does not function properly, the entire link is compromised. For optimal performance all systems and their movements must be coordinated to allow for efficient energy and power transfer throughout the body. Understanding the principles of biomechanics and motor learning will help produce efficient human movement.


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