The Muscular System Lesson for Kids

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

The muscular system protects the body and is responsible for the body's movement. Explore the muscular system, and learn about the three types of muscles, such as the skeletal muscles, smooth muscles, and cardiac muscles. Updated: 12/07/2021

The Muscular System

Who has more muscles: a first grader or an adult bodybuilder? Muscles can grow but, surprisingly, every person has the same number of muscles - more than 600. These muscles make up your muscular system, and they can be categorized into three different types: skeletal, smooth, and cardiac.

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  • 0:04 The Muscular System
  • 0:22 Skeletal Muscles
  • 1:11 Smooth Muscles
  • 1:48 Cardiac Muscle
  • 2:15 Lesson Summary
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Skeletal Muscles

When you think about your muscles, you probably think about the ones that make you run fast and lift heavy things. These are your skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscles are sometimes called voluntary muscles because you choose to move them.

For example, when you want to kick a soccer ball into the goal, you tell your leg muscles to kick. Skeletal muscles are attached to your bones by tendons. When you decide to kick, your brain sends an electrical signal down your nerves to your leg muscle. This electrical message tells your muscle to contract or shorten. The contracting muscle pulls on the bone and makes it move. This is what allows you to score that goal.

You have skeletal muscles all over your body. The ones in your back help you stand up straight. Skeletal muscles in your face contract to make you smile. You even have small skeletal muscles in your eyes that let you look up and down.

Smooth Muscles

You can't tell your smooth muscles what to do because they're involuntary muscles. Smooth muscles are found in organs, like your stomach, intestines, and bladder.

Smooth muscles help you with automatic functions in your body, such as digestion. Smooth muscles in the walls of your esophagus, stomach, and intestines contract and relax, pushing food in a one-way path through your digestive tract.

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