Analysis of the Movement of Skeletal and Muscular Systems

Analysis of the Movement of Skeletal and Muscular Systems

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Analysis of the Movement of Skeletal and Muscular Systems



The skeletal system forms the rigid framework of the body; it can be
divided into 2 parts, the axial and appendicular skeletons. The
skeletons functions are to support the body, provide protection of the
body’s organs, allow movement and store bone marrow for blood.


(1.1) The AXIAL skeleton forms the core of the skeletal system and
consists of:

· Cranium

· Vertebral column

· Sternum

· Ribs

Cranium: The cranium is a box like cavity containing and protecting
the brain. It consists of interlinking segments of bone which
gradually fuse together during the first few years of life.


Vertebral column: The vertebral column extends from the cranium to the
pelvis, providing a central axis for the body. It is comprised of 33
irregular bones called vertebrae. The vertebral column accounts for
40% of a persons overall height, and is held together by strong,
powerful ligaments. The vertebral column is divided into regions:

· The Cervical region consists of 7 vertebrae to form a flexible
framework for the neck, and support the head.

· The thoracic region consists of 12 vertebrae increasing in size from
top to bottom. They move with the ribs and form the rear of the rib

· The lumbar region supports the body’s weight and consists of 5
vertebrae, which are the largest in the spinal column, and are
attached to many back muscles.

· The sacrum is a triangular vertebra, until around age 26 it consists
of 4 or 5 smaller vertebrae but become fused together. It forms the
back of the pelvis and moves with it.

· The coccyx consists of 3 to 5 fused vertebrae and is attached to
many muscles.


Sternum: The sternum is a flat, elongated bone and lies at the centre
of the chest.

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Along with the ribs it forms the rib cage, and protects
the heart, lungs and major blood vessels from damage. The sternum
serves an important function in the body. The ribs are connected to it
by the costal cartilage. Without the sternum, there would be a hole in
the bone structure in the middle of the chest, right above the heart
and lungs. The sternum protects this vital area and completes the
circle of the rib cage.

* The sternum consists of 3 parts: The manubrim is located at the
top of the sternum and moves slightly. It is connected to the
first two ribs.

* The body or the "gladiolus", is located in the middle of the
sternum and connects the third to seventh ribs directly and the
eighth through tenth ribs indirectly.

* The xiphiod process is located on the bottom of the sternum. It is
often cartilaginous (cartilage), but does become bony in later


Ribs: The ribs are thin, flat, curved bones that form a protective
cage around the organs in the upper body. They are comprised 24 bones
arranged in 12 pairs. These bones are divided into three categories:

· The first seven bones are called the “true” ribs. These bones are
connected to the thoracic region of the vertebral column. In the
front, the “true” ribs are connected directly to the sternum by a
strip of cartilage called the costal cartilage.

· The next three pairs of bones are called “false” ribs. These bones
are slightly shorter than the true ribs and are connected to the
vertebral column. However, instead of being attached directly to the
sternum in front, the false ribs are attached to the lowest true rib.

· The last two sets of rib bones are called “floating” ribs. Floating
ribs are smaller than both the true ribs and the false ribs. They are
attached to the spine at the back, but are not connected to anything
in the front.

The ribs form a kind of cage that encloses the upper body. They give
the chest its shape. The ribs serve several important functions. They
protect the heart and lungs from injuries and shocks that might damage
them. Ribs also protect parts of the stomach, spleen, and kidneys. The
ribs help you to breathe. During inhalation takes place, the muscles
in between the ribs lift the rib cage up, allowing the lungs to
expand. During exhalation, the rib cage moves down again, squeezing
the air out of your lungs.


(1.2) The APPENDICULAR skeleton is the appendages or limbs and
consists of:

· Shoulder girdle

· Upper limb bones

· Pelvic girdle

· Lower limb bones

Shoulder girdle:

The shoulder girdle, also called the Pectoral Girdle, is composed of 4
bones: 2 clavicles and 2 scapulae.

· The clavicle connects the upper arm to the trunk of the body and
holds the shoulder joint away from the body to allow for greater
freedom of movement. One end of the clavicle is connected to the
sternum and one end is connected to the scapula.

· The scapula is a large, triangular, flat bone on the rear side of
the rib cage. It overlays the second through seventh rib and serves as
an attachment for several muscles. It has a shallow depression called
the glenoid cavity that the head of the humerus fits into.

The primary function of the pectoral girdle is to provide an
attachment point for the numerous muscles that allow the shoulder and
elbow joints to move. It also provides the connection between the
upper appendages and the axial skeleton.


The upper appendages: 60 bones form the upper appendages, each limb
consists of:

· 1 humerus

· 1

· 1 Ulna

· 8 carpals

· 5 metacarpals

· 14 phalanges


The lower appendages: 60 bones form the lower appendages, each limb
consists of:

· 1 femur

· 1 patella

· 1 tibia

· 1 fibula

· 7 tarsals

· 5 metatarsals

· 14 phalanges


The pelvic girdle: The pelvic girdle provides a solid base to transmit
the weight of the vertebral column and protects the reproductive
organs, bladder, and the developing fetus in pregnant women. The
pelvic girdle consists of 2 innominate bones. At the back these 2
bones meet on either side of the sacrum. At the front they are joined
by a muscle. [IMAGE]


(2.1) Types of Joint:

· Fibrous joints: In fibrous joints bones are joined by tight and
inflexible layers of dense connective tissue, consisting mainly of
collagen fibers. In adults, these are not designed to allow any
movement; however, in children, fibrous joints have not solidified and
are movable.

· Cartilaginous joints: In cartilaginous joints bones are connected
entirely by cartilage. In comparison to synovial joints, cartilaginous
joints allow only slight movement.

· Synovial joints: Portions of bone which form a synovial joint are
coated with articular cartilage and lubricated by synovial fluid; this
reduces friction. Synovial joints are held together by ligaments. Most
joints which produce substantial movement are synovial. The inner
lining of synovial joints is called the synovium. The whole joint is
contained in the joint capsule, which consists of a tough outer layer
which helps to stabilize the joint, and a synovial membrane which
produces synovial fluid.

(2.2) Synovial Joints:

Synovial joints can be further grouped by their shape, which controls
the movement they allow:

· Hinge joints, such as the elbow (between the humerus and the ulna).
These joints act like a door hinge, allowing flexion and extension in
just one plane.


· Ball and socket joints, such as the hip joint. These allow a wide
arrange of movement.


· Condyloid (ellipsoid) joints, such as the knee. When the knee is
extended there is no rotation, when it is flexed some rotation is
possible. A condyloid joint is where two bones fit together with an
odd shape (e.g. an ellipse), and one bone is concave, the other


· Plane joints, such as the elbow (between the radius and the ulna).
This is where one bone rotates about another.


· Saddle joints, such as at the thumb (between the metacarpal and
carpal). Saddle joints, which resemble a saddle, allow movement in a
variety of directions.


· Gliding joints, such as in the carpals of the wrist. These joints
allow a wide variety of movement, but not much distance.

(2.3) Mobility:

Flexibility, mobility and suppleness all mean the range of limb
movement around joints. Mobility is the ability to perform a joint
action through a range of movement. In any movement there are two
groups of muscles at work:

* protagonistic muscles which cause the movement to take place

* opposing the movement and determining the amount of mobility are
the antagonistic muscles

The objective of mobility training is to improve the range of stretch
of the antagonistic muscles. Mobility plays an important part in the
preparation of athletes by developing a range of movement to allow
technical development and assisting in the prevention of injury.

When you perform a stretch correctly you will feel mild discomfort in
the antagonistic muscles. If you feel pain or a stabbing sensation you
must STOP.

The body responds best to a stretching programme when it is warm and
the muscles and joints have been exercised through their current range
of movement.

The various techniques of stretching may be grouped as Static,
Ballistic and Assisted. In both Static and Ballistic exercises the
athlete is in control of the movements. In Assisted the movement is
controlled by an external force which is usually a partner.

Static stretching

Static stretching involves gradually easing into the stretch position
and holding the position. The amount of time a static stretch is held
may be anything from 6 seconds to 2 minutes. Often in static
stretching you are advised to move further into the stretch position
as the stretch sensation subsides.

Dynamic or Ballistic stretching

Ballistic stretching involves some form of rapid movement into the
required stretch position. Where the event requires a ballistic
movement then it is appropriate and perhaps necessary to conduct
ballistic stretching exercises. Start off with the movement at half
speed for a couple of repetitions and then gradually work up to full

Assisted stretching

Assisted stretching involves the assistance of a partner who must
fully understand what their role is otherwise the risk of injury is
high. A partner can be employed to assist with Partner stretches and
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) techniques.

Partner stretches

Your partner assists you to maintain the stretch position or help you
ease into the stretch position as the sensation of stretch subsides.
You should aim to be full relaxed and breathe easily throughout the
exercise. Partner assisted stretches are best used as developmental
exercises, with each stretch being held for thirty seconds.

PNF technique

1. You move into the stretch position so that you feel the stretch

2. Your partner holds the limb in this stretched position

3. You then push against your partner by contracting the
antagonistic muscles for 6 to 10 seconds and then relax. During
the contraction your partner aims to resist any movement of the

4. Your partner then moves the limb further into the stretch until
you feel the stretch sensation

5. Go back to 2. (Repeat this procedure 3 or 4 times before the
stretch is released.)

Static methods produce far fewer instances of muscle soreness, injury
and damage to connective tissues than ballistic methods. Static
methods are simple to carry out and may be conducted virtually
anywhere. For maximum gains in flexibility in the shortest possible
time PNF technique is the most appropriate. Dynamic (ballistic) -
slowed controlled movements through the full range of the motion -
will reduce muscle stiffness. Where the technique requires ballistic
movement then ballistic stretches should be employed.

When conducting mobility exercises it is recommended to perform them
in the following order - Static, assisted and then dynamic.

Mobility exercises could be part of:

* the warm up programme

* a stand alone unit of work

It is considered beneficial to conduct mobility exercises as part of
the warm down programme but should not include ballistic exercises as
the muscles are fatigued and more prone to injury. Static exercise is
recommended as they relax the muscles and increase their range of

All athletes require a basic level of general all round mobility to
allow them to benefit from other forms of training. In addition,
athletes will need to develop specific mobility for those joint
actions involved in the techniques of their events.

Factors affecting mobility are age, gender, genetics, injuries and
medical conditions. The size and shape of muscles and bones can
restrict movement.



(3.1) Muscle Fibre Types

· Cardiac muscle is found only in the heart and is involuntary. Under
a microscope it has a striped appearance. It is myogenic, meaning that
it creates its own impulses. Cardiac muscle never fatigues.

· Smooth muscle is involuntary and respires aerobically. They are
spindle shaped cells with no stripes and lots of mitochondria. Smooth
muscle is involved in regulating air flow through the lungs, allowing
hollow organs to change size, regulate blood flow in arteries and
expel urine from the bladder.

· Skeletal muscle is the longest of the 3 types and has a striped
appearance. It is attached to the skeleton and located around joints.
Skeletal muscles can grow (hypertrophy). The primary function of
skeletal muscle is movement, and also aids posture. Skeletal muscle
respires anaerobically and tires quickly as lactic acid builds up.
There are 2 main types of skeletal muscle, fast twitch which is white
and slow twitch which is red. There is also an intermediate twitch
muscle that is pink.



(3.2) Skeletal Muscle Fibres:

Let’s say that a 100m runner with a 100m time of 10.9 seconds comes to
you for coaching. How do you know that this athlete is performing in
the correct discipline that will enable them to attain success? How do
you know whether they would be better suited to a short, intermediate
or a longer distance? How do you know that the 100m sprinter that asks
to be coached is capable of running any faster than they are doing

An arrogant or ill informed coach will immediately jump to the
conclusion that all that is required are his / her training methods,
methods which are tried, tested and guaranteed to bring out the very
best in anyone willing to apply themselves.

A good, well educated coach, on the other hand, will send any athlete,
at the earliest possible age, to have a muscle fibre test. Muscles
fibres, based on genetics, pre determine who is capable of developing
the ability to run given distances and who, sadly, are not. This will
save years of time, effort and performing the wrong training which has
been based upon assumptions rather than fact.

Red Slow Twitch Muscle Fibers:

Slow Oxidative Type 1 Twitch muscle fibres contract efficiently in the
presence of oxygen during aerobically based activities. Oxidative
fibres have a high myoglobin content, which not only helps support
their oxygen dependency, but also imparts a red colour to them, just
as oxygenated haemoglobin is responsible for the red colour of
arterial blood.

Accordingly, these muscle fibres are referred to as red fibres. Slow
Twitch muscle fibres have the ability to use fat as a fuel source, but
only during aerobic conditions. Fat cannot be mobilised for energy
without the presence of oxygen and carbohydrate.

Intermediate Muscle Fibres:

Intermediate Slow Oxidative Type 2a Twitch muscle fibres share
characteristics of both other fibre types. They can adapt to use
A.T.P. like the fast twitch fibres, as well as having a high oxidative
capacity like the Slow Twitch fibres. They contract more rapidly than
the Slow Twitch fibres and can maintain the contraction for longer
periods of time than the Fast Twitch muscle fibres. In humans, most of
the muscles contain a mixture of all three types. The percentage of
these various fibres not only differs between muscles within an
individual, but also varies considerably among individuals. You cannot
increase the total amount of muscle fibres, but you can increase the
proportion of existing muscle fibres by manipulating training so that
the intermediate muscle fibres adapt, and increase the proportion of
either Fast or Slow Twitch muscle fibres, which takes up to three

White Fast Twitch Muscle Fibres:

Fast Glycolitic Type 2b twitch muscle fibres are used during short
bursts of energy and physical activities that are predominantly
anaerobic in nature, e.g. fast sprints. They contain an abundance of
glycogen for energy. These glycolitic fibres contain very little
myoglobin and therefore are pale in colour, so they are sometimes
called white fibres. Fast twitch muscle fibres use primarily the A.T.P
- per and Lactic Acid energy systems. Therefore, the amount of each
type of muscle fibre you possess may have important implications for
weight training and certain sports. Although not everyone has the
potential to perform at elite level, it is still possible to maximise
the capacity of each of the three energy systems by adopting specific
training strategies.

People with a higher percentage of white fast twitch muscle fibres
will automatically be good candidates for achieving results in
strength, bodybuilding and power training strategies, whilst those
with a greater proportion of red slow twitch muscle fibres are more
likely to gain optimum results in endurance based activities.

(3.3) Muscle fibre Percentage:

Muscle fibre percentages do not change as a person grows older. You
will have the same percentages of muscle fibres as a child that you
will possess as an adult. Nor do the actual number of muscle fibres
change. For example, if you have 10,000 muscle fibres before beginning
a training programme, then you will still have 10,000 muscle fibres
after the training programme. Muscle fibres get thicker, and the
internal, not the overall, percentages change as the intermediate
muscle fibres adapt and convert to either fast or slow twitch muscle

• The average person’s muscle fibre percentages

40% Red Slow Twitch
20% Pink Intermediate Twitch
40% White Fast Twitch

With these muscle fibre percentages there is no chance of being a
champion in a sport.

• An elite Ethiopian runner’s muscle fibre percentages

80% Red Slow Twitch
10% Pink Intermediate Twitch
10% White Fast Twitch

• Daley Thompson’s muscle fibre percentages (Decathlete)

10% Red Slow Twitch
80% Pink Intermediate Twitch
10% White Fast Twitch

• A good blend for middle distance runners

70% Red Slow Twitch
20% Pink Intermediate Twitch
10% White Fast Twitch

To have a chance of being a champion at a given sport you need to have
more than 70% of the specific muscle fibres required for that sport,
70% representing a very borderline chance of being a champion. 75%
plus is required to have any chance of being a champion.

What is the difference between having the following muscle fibre
percentages when training to be a cross trainer or decathlete?

40% Aerobic Fibres / 20% Intermediate Fibres / 40% Anaerobic Fibres


10% Aerobic Fibres / 80% Intermediate Fibres / 10% Anaerobic Fibres

It would seem that both percentages would give the same result as in
both the examples above the conversion of Pink Intermediate muscle
fibres would yield the same percentages of aerobic and anaerobic
fibres, i.e. 50% aerobic fibres and 50% anaerobic fibres.

The difference lies in the fact that the Pink Intermediate fibres are
the fibres that can convert to being either aerobic or anaerobic
fibres. This means that elite level athletes who are highly trained
will be able to more quickly convert the 80% of Pink Intermediate
muscle fibres to meet either aerobic or anaerobic needs, whereas in
the first example there is only a potential of 20% Pink Intermediate
fibres that will be available for conversion.

(3.4) Sliding Filament Theory:,_nervous,_and_reproduction_systems.htm


* The terminal end of a motor neuron releases acetylcholine.

* Acetylcholine diffuses across the synaptic gap at the
neuromuscular junction.

* The muscle filament membrane is stimulated, and a muscle impulse
travels deep into the fibre through the transverse tubules and
reaches the sacroplasmic reticulum.

* Calcium ions diffuse from the sacroplasmic reticulum into the

* Linkages form between actin and myocin filaments.

* Myosin cross bridges pull actin filaments inward.

* Muscle fibre shortens as muscle contraction occurs.



* Acetylcholinsterase decomposes acetylcholine, and the muscle fibre
is no longer stimulated.

* Calcium ions are actively transported back to the sacroplasmic

* Linkages between actin and myocin filaments break.

* Actin and myosin filaments slide apart.

* Muscle fibre relaxes.


(4.1) Movement patterns:

· Flexion – decreasing the angle between 2 joints. (bicep curl)

· Extension – increasing the angle between 2 joints. (leg press)

· Adduction – moving towards the middle of the body.

· Abduction – moving away from the middle of the body.

· Circumduction – a combination of flexion, extension, adduction and
abduction. (moving the arm around the shoulder so that the hand traces
out a circular shape)

· Pronation – facing down. (palms)

· Supination – facing up. (rotation of the forearm so the palm faces

· Rotation – rotation around middle of a bone. (circular movement with

· Inversion – towards the body’s midline. (feet facing inwards)

· Eversion – away from the body’s midline. ( feet facing outwards)

· Dorsi flexion – pointing toes upwards.

· Plantar flexion – pointing feet.

(4.2) Movement Analysis

Sprint start:


Image UP954948

Profile of sprinter Maurice Greene





Flexion (90°)

Biceps/ Hamstrings

Elbow (Hinge)/Knee (Condyloid)

Radius and Ulna towards Humerus/ Tibia and Fibula towards Femur.

Extension (120°)

Triceps/ Quadriceps

Elbow (Hinge)/Knee (Condyloid)

Radius and Ulna away from Humerus/ Tibia and Fibula away from Femur.


Flexor carpi radialis

Wrist (Saddle)

Carpals, Metacarpals and Phalanges (palms facing upwards).

Plantar flexion


Ankle (Plane)

Tarsals, Metatarsals and phalanges (feet point down).

Dorsi flexion

Soleus/ Tibialis anterior

Ankle (Plane)

Tarsals, Metatarsals and Phalanges (toes point upwards).








Hamstrings/ Biceps/ Abdominals

Knee (Condyloid) / Elbow (Hinge) / Hip (Ball and Socket)

Tibia and Fibula towards Femur/ Radius and Ulna towards Humerus/ Ribs
towards Pelvis.


Quadriceps/ Triceps

Knee (Condyloid) / Elbow (Hinge)

Tibia and Fibula away from Femur/ Radius and Ulna away from Humerus.


Flexor Carpi Radialis

Wrist (Saddle)

Carpals, Metacarpals and Phalanges (palms facing ground).

Plantar flexion


Ankle (Plane)

Tarsals, Metatarsal And Phalanges (feet point down).

Dorsi flexion

Soleus/ Tibialis anterior

Ankle (Plane)

Tarsals, Metatarsal And Phalanges (toes point up)








Triceps/ Quadriceps

Elbow (Hinge) / Knee (Condyloid)

Radius and Ulna away from Humerus/ Tibia and Fibula away from Femur.


Abdominals/ Deltoid

Hip (Ball and Socket) Shoulder (Ball and Socket)

Left arm (Radius/ Ulna/ Humerus) across body/ Trunk (Ribs) twisted
towards right.



Knee (Condyloid)

Tibia and Fibula towards Femur.

Dorsi flexion

Soleus/ Tibialis anterior

Ankle (Plane)

Tarsals, Metatarsal And Phalanges (toes point upwards).

Plantar flexion


Ankle (Plane)

Tarsals, Metatarsal And Phalanges (feet point down).|0|0|30|0|0|0|1|||0|0|0|0|0|0|0|0|2|javelin%2c+athens|0|0|0|0&p=2
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