Muscles & Movement (Human Biology II)

Learn about the human muscular system - how we move and how strength and performance can be improved. Professional development training for fitness, sports, physical education.

Course Code: BSC202
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Study the Biology of Movement 

Enhance your career with more in depth knowledge of  how and why the body moves.

Lay a foundation for further learning in areas of biomechanics, muscular fitness or physiotherapy.



WHAT YOU WILL DO IN THIS COURSE
Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • Draw a cross section of the spinal cord, and label the anatomical parts.
  • Explain what happens when an electrical stimulus is sent along the central nervous system, by illustrating and labeling the reflex arc.
  • Explain nerve to nerve synapses, during a specific body movement.
  • Explain activity at muscle-nerve junctions, during the specific body movement.
  • Explain how proprioceptors function, during the specific body movement.
  • Explain processes which occur in the nervous system, when a specific muscle moves.
  • Explain the functioning of the following different sensory receptors:
    • smell
    • sound
    • balance
  • Distinguish between the functions of the following different neuroglia:
    • Astrocytes
    • Oligodendrocytes
    • Microglia
    • Ependymal cells
    • Neurolemmocytes
    • Satellite cells
  • Explain how the function of different parts of the brain affect different specific muscular movements in the body.
  • Explain how a specific voluntary skill is learnt by the body.
  • Explain the dampening affect, as exerted through the cerebellum.
  • Explain how the body perceives speed through the nervous system.
  • Explain the operation of tendons, during a specific movement of a limb.
  • Compare the function of motor with sensory fibres in nerves supplying muscles.
  • Compare differences in the structural characteristics of red and white muscle fibres.
  • Summarise events occurring during muscular contraction, at a microscopic level.
  • Explain how muscles of the hand move when you pick up a tennis ball.
  • Prepare diagrams showing the muscles in the back which provide both support and movement for the spinal column.
  • Explain the significance of these muscles to health, wellbeing and mobility.
  • Explain the principle of levers related to an observed muscular movement.
  • Explain the principle of moments related to an observed muscular movement.
  • Explain muscular movements which occur in the observed subjects, when using three different types of exercise machines.
  • Explain three different body movements, in terms of the action of different bones, muscles and nerves; including the movement of a limb in exercise, and the bending of the back, and one hand movement.
  • Distinguish between isotonic, isometric, eccentric and isokinetic contractions.
  • List ways how strength can be maintained and increased.
  • List ways how endurance can be maintained and increased.
  • Explain three different physiological changes which accompany increased strength.
  • Explain the overload principle, related to muscular development.
  • Explain biological processes in force to effect strength and endurance in an athlete observed and interviewed by you.
  • Compare static and dynamic flexibility, in an individual observed by you.
  • Explain the structural limits to flexibility, in three different people of different ages.
  • List ways of developing flexibility in a specific individual.
  • Explain the relationship between flexibility and aspects of performance in a specific case study.
  • Develop an exercise program to develop/maintain flexibility for a person.
  • Submit photos together with comments on the posture of each person you studied. Comment on the age, sex &, occupation of each of these people.
  • How might posture affect general well being, including arthritis and back pain.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. How Nerves Work
    • Structure of the nervous system
    • Neuron function
    • Anatomy of neurons
    • How muscles workwith nerves
    • Basic body functions
  2. Nerves and Motor Skills
    • Overview
    • Synapses
    • Neurotransmitters
    • Neural circuits
    • Science of motor skills
    • How motor skills develop
    • Physiology of the central nervous system
    • Homeostatic reflex arc
    • Spinal chord and spinal nerves
    • Central sensiomotor programs
  3. Skeletal Muscle
    • The skeleton
    • How bones form
    • Anatomy of bone
    • Fractures and fracture healing
    • Types of bones
    • Bone joints
    • Skeletal muscles
    • Smooth muscle
    • Striated voluntary muscle
    • Cardiac muscle
    • Relationship between muscle and skeleton
  4. Muscle Organisation
    • Parts of the muscular system: tendons, deep fascia, epimysium etc
    • Types of muscle fibre
    • Muscle types: striated, smooth, cardiac
    • Skeletal muscle types: slow oxidative, fast glycolic, etc
    • What muscle cause what movement
  5. Muscular Movement
    • How do muscles move
    • How skeletal muscles produce movement
    • How levers are used to produce muscular movement
    • Group actions
    • Terminology
    • Muscle groups and movements
  6. Muscular Development
    • Muscular body function
    • Energy systems
    • Muscular strength
    • Muscular endurance
  7. Muscle Flexibility
    • Introduction
    • Flexibility
    • Excitation contraction of muscle
    • Different levels of flexibility
    • Internal flexibility
    • External flexibility
  8. Muscles and Posture
    • Posture
    • Gravity support
    • Net movement
    • Benefits of posture
    • Good posture
    • Postural mechanisms
    • Slow and fast twitch muscles
    • Nervous system feedback
    • Posture improvement
    • Ergonomics

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Explain how nerves cause reactions in the human body.
  • Explain how the nervous system affects motor skill performance.
  • Explain the function and structure of skeletal muscle in the human body.
  • Describe the organisation of muscle tissue in the human body.
  • Describe the mechanics of muscular movement.
  • Explain development of muscular strength and muscular endurance.
  • Selecting muscular flexibility exercises.
  • Explain significance of muscles to posture and general well being.


Muscle tissue has three main functions, to produce movement, to stabilise and maintain posture, and to generate heat. This course will focus on the function of movement. Movement is primarily produced by the contraction and relaxing of skeletal muscles Skeletal muscles connect to the skeleton, and act under voluntary control to produce movement. This lesson will begin with discussing the skeleton, then move on to focusing more specifically on skeletal muscles.

 

What is Muscular Strength?

Muscular strength is the ability of the muscles to produce a maximal effort created through muscular contraction. It is dependent on a number of factors:

  • The cross sectional area of the muscle involved. The larger the muscles cross section the more force that is able to be produced.
  • The activation of muscle motor units and their rate of firing. For example when completing a lift the body will determine the number of muscle units required to complete the task. As the load increases so too will the number of muscle units involved as well at the rate at which they fire.
  • The speed of contraction of the muscles involved in the movement.
  • The length of the muscle at the time of the contraction. If the muscle is fully lengthened then a lower amount of force will be generated.

Muscular strength can be classified into two major categories:

  • Static strength: these involve isometric contractions. This is where there is no movement of the muscle in terms of shortening or lengthening. Here resistance applied to the contraction increases the muscle tension without producing movement of the joint. An example of this would include carrying a heavy box out in front of you.
  • Dynamic strength: these can involve a variety of contractions such as concentric or eccentric.

These two different types of muscle contractions can be defined in the following way:

  • Eccentric contractions: this is where the muscles lengthen when generating force.
  • Concentric contractions; this is where the muscles shorten when generating force.
 
 

WHY STUDY THIS COURSE

  • Fitness and sports professionals need to understand muscles in order to help people better manage their performance both for results and safety
  • Rehabilitation practitioners apply their knowledge of biomechanics to help clients rehabilitate after injury or from other disabilities
  • Health professionals and their support staff need to understand muscles, in order to detect and help manage muscular problems.

Some people will study this course to enhance a career they have already started (professional development), others to better understand and manage their own physical condition, and others to compliment other studies, perhaps as part of a certificate or proficiency award.



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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Sarah Jury

Over 15 years working in small business, I.T., education and science. Sarah has a PGCE(Post Compulsory Education), BSc(Hons) (Genetics), DipComp(Open), CertWebApps(Open).
She has designed and created several Web sites for different organisations.

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo

Karen Lee

Nutritional Scientist, Dietician, Teacher and Author.
BSc. Hons. (Biological Sciences), Postgraduate Diploma Nutrition and Dietetics.
Registered dietitian in the UK, with over 15 years working in the NHS. Karen has undertaken a number of research projec





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Nicola Stewart

Nicola worked in publishing before changing direction to teach Anatomy, Physiology and various complementary therapies in the UK’s post-compulsory sector for 16 years. She is the published author of 10 books, plus a range of magazine articles and has also ghost-written across a number of genres. When she is not working for ACS, she provides specialist literacy tuition for children with dyslexia.

Yvonne Sharpe

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Sarah Pirecki

A passionate advocate for animal health and welfare. Sarah completed a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience majoring in Animal Health and Disease and is currently completing a Diploma of Project Management. She has a wide range of experience working in agricultural settings, veterinary nursing, assistance dog raising, and animal education.

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