How to Label Muscles of the Body


Learning the muscular system of the human body can be a challenging task. The skeletal muscular system is made up of striated, voluntary muscle. The muscles that assist in cardiac function, digestion and other internal body functions are involuntary smooth and cardiac muscles. Cardiac muscles are striated while smooth muscles are not.

The muscles you will be labeling are the voluntary skeletal muscles. It is important to learn the muscles by group and understand which muscles work together to perform a specific motion.

Things You'll Need

  • Blank anatomy diagram
  • Labeled diagram
  • Cadaver (optional)
  • Cadaver photos
  • Break down the muscular system into parts. Learning is easier if you memorize smaller parts rather than try to learn the entire system at once. For example, you may want to break down the body as follows: upper extremity, lower extremity, trunk and head.

  • Create flashcards. Draw a picture of the muscle on one side and write the muscle name on the other.

  • Study pictures of the muscles. Study various pictures of the same section of the body. The variety of drawings will challenge you so you will be forced to learn the muscle names more thoroughly.

  • Study a dissected cadaver. Having a hands-on learning experience will put the muscles into a 3-D setting so you will be able to better learn exactly where the muscles are located on the body. If you don't have access to a real cadaver, you may choose to use photos of a dissected cadaver instead.

  • Write the names of the muscles on a blank diagram. Testing your memory will help ensure you are learning the muscles and not just reading the names from the textbook.

Tips & Warnings

  • Quiz yourself by labeling different pictures of the body. Using different pictures and different angles of the same area will help you to better learn the location of the muscles.
  • Save time by purchasing a set of pre-made flashcards at the bookstore.
  • Don't only study from labeled diagrams. Labeling blank diagrams, or covering up labeled diagrams, forces you to memorize the muscles.


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