Got Muscles?

Got Muscles?

Vanessa Lopez, Editor

Nothing works harder than your body. Apart from the biological processes, there also lies a complexity of nerves and tissues that help you move and perform daily tasks. As joints connect bones, an assortment of skeletal tissue serves as cushion between them, creating awesome gliding effects (WebMG). For every muscle you contract, there is another that contracts the opposite way. For the sake of honoring those 700 named muscles that make up half our weight, let’s explore those actions that go unnoticed!

Hugging:

We all feel that warmth inside and out, but where does the effort come from?

  • It has been proven that those same muscles involved in freestyle swimming, the pectoralis minor and the pectoralis major, are required to embrace someone.
  • To strengthen “hugging muscles”, practice push-ups, chest presses and other pec-related workouts.
  • Hugs also encourage oxytocin– that feel-good hormone. Your nervous system not only sends signals to produce such an action, but stimulates receptors to your organs in a healthy way (Mercola.com).
  • We spend an average of one hour a month hugging (Trends and Health).

 

Smiling vs. Frowning Argument:

There is serious research whereby scientists claim that it takes an average of 11 muscles to smile and around 43 to frown, but nothing is definitive. According to Science Made Simple, “since humans tend to smile a lot, these muscles are stronger.”

  • On average, a smile requires two muscles to help the eyes crinkle, two to help raise the angle on your mouth, four to raise the corners of your mouth to the sides and two to pull up the corner of your lip and nose.
  • People develop certain facial muscles differently, and others do not even have some facial muscles (howstuffworks)

Twitching: It happens

  • Twitches, or involuntary contractions of the muscles, may be due to factors, such as stress, excess caffeine consumption, a poor diet or even sleep deprivation (Teens Health).
  • We hold fast twitch fibres, which contract quickly, and slow twitch fibres, which contract over longer periods (Science Made Simple).
  • Even as babies, we experience reflex movements outside our control, such as when you stroke a baby’s palm, which causes a strong grip from the fingers. This is called the “grasp reflex.”

Moving Ears:

Have you ever wondered why some humans are gifted with such ability?

  • A group of muscles, called the auriculares, are responsible for the movement.
  • Ear twitching is a vestigial feature, meaning “it is a trait that was useful in ancestral creatures but that eventually became functionless” (livescience).
  • Some of the smallest muscles in your body are found in your ear.

As common as some movements might seem, we often find it guaranteed that we will be able to perform them. If you can gain anything from this piece, remember to practice hugging, produce more smiles, twitch because we are human and challenge yourself to move your ears! The next time someone asks you if “you even lift,” make sure to mention those amazing muscle contractions you perform on a daily basis.