Muscle Size and Arrangement of Muscle Fascicles

Muscle Size and Arrangement of Muscle Fascicles - their...

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Muscle Size and Arrangement of Muscle Fascicles The size of a muscle influences its  capabilities. When a muscle fiber  (muscle cell) contracts, it can shorten to  nearly half its relaxed length. The  longer a muscle fiber, the greater range  of movement it can generate. In  contrast, an increase in the number of  muscle fibers increases the strength of  the contraction. Muscle fibers are grouped into  fascicles, which in turn are grouped to 
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form a muscle. The size (length) and  number of fascicles determine the  strength and range of movement of a  muscle. Common fascicle patterns  include the following: Parallel fascicles  have their  long axes parallel to each other.  Parallel fascicles can be flat or  straplike, or they can bulge at 
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Unformatted text preview: their bellies and be spindle-shaped or fusiform. • Circular fascicles are arranged in concentric rings. Muscles with this pattern form sphincter muscles that control the opening and closing of orifices. • Pennate fascicles are short and attach obliquely to a long tendon that extends across the entire muscle. In a unipennate pattern, the muscle resembles one half of a feather (the tendon is represented by the shaft of the feather). A bipennate pattern resembles a complete feather, with fascicles attached to both sides of a central tendon. A multipennate pattern of fascicles resembles three or more feathers attached at their bases....
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