That’s the thing you inhabit. But the real question is: What is it made of and how are those building blocks structured together?
According to biology, humans are mammals, and mammals are one of several groups of animals with internal skeleton. Thus we have bones inside our limbs and we use muscles to move them. A single muscle is able to pull in only one direction, so in order to move bones freely in many directions, there are several times more muscles than bones in the body.
Bones are attached to each other by special structures called joints. Bone surfaces inside joints are very smooth, covered by slippery cartilage and lubricated by special “synovial” fluid. Two neighboring bones are connected to each other by strong elastic straps of connective tissue called ligaments. They often wrap around joints in several directions, quite similar to bandages, which makes them durable and water tight.
Each square inch of muscle cross section has some maximal force that it can produce, so in order for muscles to produce sufficient absolute forces required for everyday activities, they might need to be rather thick. But thick muscles in the vicinity of joints would impede movements… The ingenious solution that nature has come across is to “connect” muscles to bones via relatively long and thin “cables” called tendons. That way a muscle can be comfortably positioned approximately at the middle of its originating bone and have a rather thick “belly”, while still being able to pull the neighboring bone using a long tendon that passes around the joint. Think of your biceps or your calf muscles.
In several following articles we shall try to explain several details concerning human body construction and operation, and draw your attention to some less known but important quirks that arise from that. Such knowledge can turn your body improvement into a life long passion and will assure that you enjoy rather than suffer in the process.
It’s OK to be a bodybuilder, but it is much more rewarding to be a body-architect!