The body has many muscles and it is estimated that there are about 640 skeletal muscles in every human body (the exact number is debated by experts)! There are three different types of muscles including skeletal, cardiac and smooth (involuntary muscles). Muscles are basically fibrous body tissues that are capable of producing movement. In fact, they do all kinds of important jobs inside the body such as pumping blood (heart) and swallowing (tongue along with muscles of the esophagus and pharynx). Continue reading to find out which of our muscles is the largest and learn why it is so large.
What is the largest muscle?
The biggest muscle in the human body is the gluteus maximus, which is one of three muscles that form the “glutes.” This muscle group is located in the buttock region and the gluteus maximus makes up most of the area of the buttocks. It is a very important muscle and is so large because it helps to keep the body upright (erect) and also has a large part in hip extension and lateral rotation.
The widest muscle is the latissimus dorsi, which is commonly referred to as the lats. These are fanlike muscles and reach from the middle part of the back through to the upper arm. This muscle is also very important and is responsible for many shoulder and shoulder blade movements.
Did you know?
You can injure your gluteus maximus and even a small strain can make it difficult to walk, stand up and sit down! A tear in the muscle can lead to further complications if it does not heal properly.
The hardest working muscle is the heart (cardiac muscle). It usually beats between 60-100 beats per minute and it will beat about 2.5-3 billion times in an average lifetime. It pumps about 2,000 gallons (7,570 liters) of blood each day!