Learn About the Human Body's Muscular System by Studying the Skeletal Muscle Diagram and Functions Below - Get Your Free Fitness App Above

The muscles of the human body that operate the skeletal system are under voluntary control, and are responsible for movement, balance and posture. Human muscle, like the muscles of other species, is typically classified as striated (or skeletal) muscle, smooth muscle, and cardiac muscle.

This page is about the human skeletal muscles, with a focus on muscular movements, the muscular groups and how they work. The parts that follow give a fundamental framework for understanding gross human muscular anatomy, including explanations of the major muscle groups and their functions. The numerous muscle groups work together to regulate the motions of the human body.

For images of the muscle, click on each link under location.

Muscle Origin Insertion Function Location
Abductors (tensor fasciae latae, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus) Ilium Femur Brings hip away from body. Upper leg- rear of human upper leg
Adductors (includes adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus muscles Pubis Femur Brings leg back to and across body. Upper leg- rear of human upper leg
Biceps brachii Scapula Radius and ulna Flexes elbow and moves forearm. Arm- front view of human arm
Small Photo: Arm Front
Brachialis Humerus and septa Coronoid process and ulna Flexes elbow. Arm- front view of human arm
Brachioradialis Humerus and septum Radius Flexes and rotates the elbow. Arm- front view of human arm
Deltoid Clavicle, deltoid tuberosity, acromion and scapula Deltoid tuberosity (humerus) Raises and rotates arms in all directions. Arm- front view of human arm
Erector spinae Sacrum and ilium Upper thoracic vertebrae Extends spine and trunk back. Body- rear view of human body
Gastrocnemius (calf muscle)   Femur Lower leg - back Calcaneum (by Achilles tendon) Raised heel when leg is straight. Lower leg- rear of human lower leg
Gluteus maximus Ilium Femur Moves hips forward. Upper leg- rear of human upper leg
Hamstrings (made of 3 muscles): 1. Biceps femoris
2. Semitendinosus
3.Semimembranosus
1. Ischium
2. Ischium
3. Ischium
1. Fibula and femur
2. Tibia
3. Tibia
1. Bends knee.
2. Bends knee.
3. Bends knee.
Upper leg- rear of human upper leg
Iliopsoas Ilium, sacrum, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae Femur Moves hips backwards. Upper leg- front of human upper leg
Latissimus dorsi Lower thoracic, lumbar vertebrae and sacrum Humerus Brings shoulders and arms back to body. Body- rear view of human body
Pectoralis major and minor Sternum Humerus Moves humerus (arm) to chest. Body- front view of human body
Quadriceps (made of 4 muscles): 1. Rectus femoris
2. Vastus lateralis
3. Vastus medialis
4. Vastus intermedius
1. Ilium
2. Femur
3. Femur
4. Femur
1. Tibia (patella tendon)
2. Tibia (patella tendon)
3. Tibia (patella tendon)
4. Tibia (patella tendon)
1. Extends leg out.
2. Extends knee.
3. Extends knee.
4. Extends knee.
Upper Leg -
front of human upper leg
Rectus abdominis Costal cartilages, medial inferior costal Margin and xiphoid Brings trunk forward, and aids expiration. Body- front view of human body
Rhomboids Upper thoracic vertebrae Scapula Pulls back scapula (shoulder blades). Body- rear view of human body
Soleus (calf muscles) Tibia and fibula Calcaneum (by Achilles tendon) Raised heel when leg is bent. Lower leg- front of human lower leg
Tibialis anterior Tibia Metatarsal # 1 (big toe) Raises front of foot. Lower leg- rear of human lower leg
Trapezius Starts at the base of the skull. Ends at last thoracic vertebra. Scapula and clavicle elevation. Elevates and lowers pectoral girdle. Also, moves the scapula towards the spine. Body- rear view of human body
  Triceps Brachii, scapula and Humerus Olecranon process (elbow) Extends forearm. Arm- rear view of human arm

Muscles of Hamstring and Back of the Leg (hamstring, gastrocnemius, gluteus maximus)

Muscles of the Upper Limb (Deltoid, Biceps, Forearms)

Muscles of Back (Trapezius, Latissimus Dorsi)

Muscles of Calf

Muscles of the Hip & Thigh (quadriceps, hips)

Muscles in the Human Body (Pectoralis Major, Abdominals, Obliques)

Muscles of Lower Leg (calf, soleus)

Muscles in the Arm (triceps, rear deltoid)

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