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Muscle Contractions: Macro View

Muscle Contractions: Macro View

Author: Aaron Mullally

This lesson will give an overview of how a specific muscle contracts to allow movement in the body.

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Terms to Know
Antagonistic contraction

When an opposing muscle on the opposite side of a joint contracts to create an opposing movement to its muscle counterpart (example flexion vs. extension).


The fixed, moveable end of a skeletal muscle.


An area where two or more bones come together.


The fixed, non-moveable end of a skeletal muscle

Reciprocal innervation

The nervous system controlling muscle groups that oppose and work against one another; allows for a variety of movements and protection of joints.

Synergistic contraction

When a group of muscles work together to create the same movement; an example would be your bicep brachii and brachialis muscle contraction simultaneously to create flexion (bending) of your elbow.


A tough band of fibrous connective tissue that usually connects muscle to bone.