22 fascinating facts about muscles

When you’re getting personal training with us (or are considering it), you’re probably already paying a lot of attention to muscle development. But how much do you actually know about your muscles? We’d recommend finding some time to do a deep dive and expand your knowledge. The more you know about how your muscles work, the easier it will be to develop them and reach your personal fitness goals. To help you get started, we’ve listed 22 interesting facts about muscles. Some fun facts can also be used to impress that cutie you’ve been eyeing!

Fascinating facts about muscles that you should know about

#1. While it depends on how you count, the human body contains between 600 and 700 skeletal muscles. These are the muscles responsible for maintaining your posture. They provide structural support and enable your body to move.

#2. If all of the skeletal muscles you have in your body could pull in one direction, you would have the ability to lift around 25 tons of weight.

#3. Aside from skeletal muscles, you also have so-called smooth muscles. Examples of smooth muscles are those responsible for certain sensory processes (like the expansion and contraction of your pupils) and the functioning of your respiratory and digestive system.

#4. There is also the cardiac muscle, the hardest working muscle in the human body. It is also the only muscle that never gets tired.

#5. Around 35 to 40 percent of your body weight is made up of muscle tissue.

#6. The biggest skeletal muscle in your body is the gluteus maximus. Yes, we’re talking about your butt. Or more specifically, one of the three different muscles in your butt. Without the gluteus maximus, you wouldn’t even be able to walk up straight.

#7. The smallest muscle in your body is called the stapedius. It is located in your middle ear and serves to protect the inner ear from high levels of noise by controlling the amplitude of soundwaves, like an internal volume control. Because its reflex is relatively slow, the risk of damaging your hearing is significantly greater when you’re exposed to sudden sounds such as explosions or gunshots. Without a stapedius, we would be constantly overwhelmed by the sound of our own voice. This tiny muscle is also the reason why listening to recordings of your own voice always sound so weird.

#8. If us humans had the ability to hear frequencies below 20 Hz, we would actually hear our muscles moving.

#9. Your tongue is the only muscle in your entire body that is attached on only one side.

#10. Your fingers are made out of bones, ligaments and tendons. That’s right, there are no muscles in your fingers. Our forearm muscles ‘pulling’ on the tendons are what enables us to move them.

#11. There are no muscles as active as your eye muscles. They easily get over 100.000 movements per day!

#12. The longest muscle in the human body is the sartorius. It is the muscle that runs over the length of your upper thigh to the inside of your knee.

#13. The widest muscle that you have is the latissimus dorsi. This muscle works together with several other muscles to enable your shoulders to move. However, you also use your lats during deep breathing, as well as when you’re coughing.

#14. Gaining muscle does not actually happen in the gym. It happens when you sleep. This is when your body produces the chemicals that are responsible for repairing muscle tissue – a crucial element in building muscle mass.

#15. While it may not always be obvious, muscle mass is gained much quicker than it is lost. Research has shown that taking a two month break from training results in around 23 percent muscle loss. However, if you do spend two months on training, you could gain around 47 percent of muscle.  

#16. If you started training because you wanted to lose some weight and find out a couple of weeks later that you actually gained weight, that makes sense. After all, muscles are heavier than fat. To be more specific: one cubic inch of muscle weighs three times as much as a cubic inch of fat. This is why the number on the scale is not always as relevant as many people think.

#17. Muscle may weigh three times as much as fat, it is also three times more efficient when it comes to burning calories. Your body burns around 50 extra calories per day for every pound of muscle that you gain.

#18. Muscle contractions generate a whopping 85 percent of our body heat. Any time you feel cold, your muscles will contract. This happens involuntarily, so you can’t really control it. The colder you feel, the more intense these contractions will get. That is why humans shiver when they’re freezing!

#19. Recovery is just as important for your muscles as training. If you don’t give your muscles the time to recover after a heavy workout, they are significantly more susceptible to injuries.

#20. Aside from rest, our muscles also require protein to repair themselves. Depending on your activity level, around 10 tot 35 percent of the calories you consume should come from protein.

#21. Dehydration has a negative impact on your muscles’ self-repairing abilities. It’s always important to drink plenty of water during the day, but even more so when you feel sore after a workout!

#22. We have all experienced the so-called ‘hypnic jerk’. It’s when you feel like you’re falling when you’re drifting off to sleep. This seemingly strange phenomenon is actually a misinterpretation of the brain due to the fact that your muscles are starting to relax. The sudden muscle contractions that occur during the ‘fall’ are simply caused by the signals that your brain send to your limbs in an attempt to regain balance.

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