Topic – The Muscles of Your Body

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Read the Following Selection

Read about your muscles, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

The Muscles of Your Body

Your bones and joints need muscles to help them move. There are about 660 muscles in your body. Skeletal muscles shape the body and hold it upright.

Another important muscle is your diaphragm. It is a dome-shaped muscle below your lungs. This muscle squeezes your lungs when you breathe out. Muscles in your intestines work without you thinking about them.

Pulling in Pairs

Muscles can only pull bones and joints, they cannot push them. So muscles often work in pairs. For example, the biceps muscle bends your arm. Your triceps muscle straightens your arm. It does this by pulling on the back of your elbow. Touch your arm and you will feel them working.

Tough Tendons

Each muscle narrows into a cord at the end. This is dense, tough tissue known as a tendon. Tendons are attached to bones. When the muscle contracts, the tendon pulls on the bone.

The jaw muscle is the strongest muscle in your body. Your tongue is a muscle that helps you communicate and eat. It takes about 16 muscles to smile.

Touch a Tendon

You can feel your Achilles tendon. It is one of the largest tendons in your body. Pinch your lower leg, just above your heel. The tendon feels hard like a bone. But when you press it, it bends slightly. The Achilles tendon joins the muscles in your calf to your heel. This is so you can pull up your foot when you walk.

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