Muscles & Movement (Human Biology II)


Study human physiology and anatomy, learning the biology of muscles and movement in the human body, for working in fitness, health or medicine.

Course CodeBSC202
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


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ENHANCE YOUR CAREER IN Health, Fitness or Human Sciences

This course explains why humans see, touch, smell, taste and hear the world around us like we do. It also shows with practical examples how our body is able to move and how to improve flexibility, performance and posture. The course guides you to a better understanding of the operation of muscles and nerves, in movements and reactions observed in the body.

This course covers: nerves, the nervous system, motor skills, structure & function of skeletal muscle, muscular strength, endurance and flexibility.

Prerequisites: Human Biology BSC101 or equivalent.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. How Nerves Work
    • how nerves cause reactions in the human body.
  2. Nerves & Motor Skills
    • how the nervous system affects motor skill performance
  3. Skeletal Muscle
    • function and structure of skeletal muscle in the human body
  4. Muscle Organisation
    • organisation of muscle tissue in the human body
  5. Muscular Movement
    • mechanics of muscular movement
  6. Muscular Development
    • development of muscular strength and muscular endurance.
  7. Muscle Flexibility
    • selecting muscular flexibility exercises
  8. Muscles & Posture
    • significance of muscles to posture and general well being.

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.

What You Will Do

  • 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 labelling 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.
  • Discuss how might posture affect general well being, including arthritis and back pain.


Why Flexibility is Very Important


From childhood, flexibility has been emphasised as an important part of health but it can be the most overlooked physiology. Most people understand that flexibility and range of motion are important, but do not understand the actual influences stretching has on the body.

Unlike weight training and cardiovascular activity, stretching does not burn significant calories, and is not usually perceived as a body shaping activity. Few realise that stretching before and after a workout does add strength to the body, aids in the prevention of injury, and dramatically increases recovery time.

Many people do not realise the impact that periodic stretching has on the fitness level of the muscles and body, or the ability of the body to perform. Stretching before weight training can actually improve overall lift strength, as well as endurance.

When the muscles are not stretched, there are localised areas within the muscle where the muscle fibres are flexed tightly together. These "knots" of muscle are already flexed, and often remain flexed regardless of the range of motion of your exercise. Because the muscles within these knots remain flexed, throughout the range of motion, the knot of muscle cannot participate in the lift. Subsequently, much less muscle and fewer motor units are used for each repetition. The result is less lift strength and slower progress.

Stretching before a workout counteracts these knots by pulling the flexed muscle cells apart. This allows the cells to function at their full range of motion, and contribute to each lift. Stretching before a workout is paramount to realising maximum strength gains and necessary to experience the greatest benefit during a workout.

It is advisable to allow the muscles to extend to their fullest range of motion through stretching after cardiovascular or weight training activity to:
prevent the range of motion from becoming limited. This prevents the body from becoming muscle bound, and from having to work too hard in daily activities.
remove the waste that has built up in the muscles during the workout. This speeds muscle recovery, and lessens the muscle soreness that is typical of any fitness program.

A good stretching program performed after a workout when muscles are warm improves or maintains optimal flexibility. For best results, the program need take only ten minutes two or three times a week.

LEARN TO HELP PEOPLE


Sports trainers, fitness instructors and others who deal with young, fit clients, will be able to help them improve performance and manage safety better with what is learnt in this course.

In other situations though, graduates may be dealing with people who have impaired movement, perhaps due to injury or old age.

Understanding muscles and movement can help you to help others with mobility and day to day quality of life, even where their movement is severely impaired.



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