Kinetic Chain (Movement Made Possible) Part 1

Kinetic (Movement) Chain (Linked Together):

  • Muscular System (Part 1)
  • Skeletal System (Part 2)
  • Nervous System (Part 3)

Muscular System:

This system is as important as the other systems mentioned above.  Muscles are responsible for the actual physical movement.  When you bend over to pick up trash off the floor, your muscles make this movement possible.  An athlete running across the finish line for a short or long distance run uses muscles to provide acceleration for movement.  Besides the obvious, muscles only provide limited movement.  For every action there is a reaction; therefore, for every movement our body goes through, there is an opposite movement to bring us back to the starting position.

3 Types of Muscle Movement:

  • Agonist: Primary Movement (Ex. Bicep Curl Going Upward/ Bicep Muscle Activates)
  • Antagonist: Opposite Movement (Ex. Bicep Curl Going Downward/Tricep Muscle Activates)
  • Stabilizers: Balancing Body While Moving (Ex. During Bicep Curl Keeps Body From Falling Over)

These three muscle movements provide us the luxury of multi-tasking.  Performing multiple movements while balanced and not falling over.  Each muscle provides one type of movement, therefore, muscles work together in pairs or even in larger groups.  Like the example mentioned above; performing a bicep curl requires the bicep muscle, if you want to return to the downward starting position, then the tricep muscle would activate.  Without the antagonist muscle, we would get stuck in position we moved, requiring some outside force to return us back into the starting position.  If this makes sense, we will venture further into the actual movement using some "Science".  Performing a bicep curl we use agonist (Bicep Muscle) for the movement of our hand going upward.  Then if we want to return our arm/hand in the same position as started(Downward Position), we would use our antagonist (Tricep Muscle) for the movement of our hand going downward.  Stabilizers are just the muscles around the body part moving, which helps it move in a stabilized fashion without swaying or any outside forces (Nature or any other force outside the muscle/body).

3 Types of Muscle Actions:

  • Concentric Contraction: Muscle Shortens in Length/ Decrease Muscle size
  • Eccentric Contraction: Muscle Lengthens in Length / Increase Muscle Size
  • Isometric Contraction: No Change in Size/ Same Size (AKA: Static)

Now we move on to how muscles move.  Like the example mentioned above (Bicep Curl); when moving the hand/ arm upward using the Bicep Muscle, the Bicep performs a concentric contraction (muscle decreases its length) hence the ball like muscle on your arm.  When the antagonist moves the arm to the starting position; the Bicep Muscle performs an Eccentric Contraction (Increases in Length), while the Tricep Muscle performs a Concentric Contraction (Shortens in Length).  When we are introduced to a third type of muscle action; Isometric Contraction, we perform a half Bicep Curl and hold it still for a duration. This provides no movement and altered size of the Bicep Muscle.

Muscle 101:

From beginning to end, muscles give us the luxury of movement.  As simple as bending over to pick up an object; muscles move our body and return us to the starting position.  Muscles are what most people can relate to because of the physical actions we can see with our own 2 eyes.  Muscles are only one of three parts that make up the Kinetic Chain.  Part 2 gives us an insight on how our Skeletal  System gives us a foundation to move from.  Then we wrap it up with Part 3, Nervous System, which starts with the Brain and ends with the Muscles.