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Antagonistic Muscle n., plural: antagonistic muscle <ænˈtæɡənɪst ˈmʌsəl> Definition: a muscle that opposes the action of another


Definition of Antagonistic Muscle

What does the term “antagonistic” mean? as the name suggests, the word antagonistic means working opposite to the “agonist” or the “primary doer”. In biology, “antagonistic” defines an activity or substance the interferes or inhibits the physiological process. In anatomy, the word antagonistic is used to explain a muscle, particularly one that functions opposite to the action of the primary muscle. The muscle that works in the opposite direction as that that the main muscle or agonist muscle, i beg your pardon is involved in part activity.

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So which muscles are agonist and also antagonist? The primary muscle that carries the end the movement is recognized as the agonist muscle or the primer muscle.How around the antagonistic muscles? What space they? In comparison to agonist muscles, the muscle the acts in opposing direction to the of the agonist or the inside wall muscle is well-known as the antagonistic muscle. These antagonistic muscles additionally balance the tension at the share by resisting the movement brought out by the agonist muscles. Let us know the difference between an antagonist muscle and also an agonist muscle in Table 1.

Table 1: Agonistic vs Antagonistic muscles

Agonist muscle Antagonistic muscle
Agonist describes the doer of one action Antagonist describes the opposition to action
As the name suggests, the agonist muscle is the doer or the main muscle delivering out the movement As the name suggests, the muscles the act the opposite or complementary come the main muscles
These muscles space accountable for the movement of the bones These muscles are responsible because that returning bones come their initial position


Antagonistic Muscle (biology definition): a muscle the opposes the action of another. Because that example, as soon as the triceps oppose the convulsion of the flexing biceps by relaxing, the triceps would certainly be regarded as the antagonistic muscle to the biceps vice versa, the biceps, the agonist muscle. Compare: agonist muscle.

Examples that agonist and also antagonist muscles pair are presented in Table 2.

Table 2: several of the Agonist and also Antagonist muscle pair that outcomes in different species of movement

Agonist muscles and their anatomical location Antagonist muscles and their anatomical location connected movement
Muscle: Biceps brachii

Location: Anterior component of the arm

Muscle: Triceps brachii

Location: Posterior part of the arm

Flexing the the forearm through biceps brachii (Agonist)

Relax/lengthening through triceps brachii (Antagonist)

Muscle: Hamstrings

Location: Posterior part of the thigh

Muscle: Quadriceps femoris

Location: Anterior part of the thigh

Flexing the the leg by convulsion of the hamstrings (Agonist)

Lengthening that the quadriceps femoris to extend the body (Antagonist)

Muscle: mix of flexor digitorum superficialis and also flexor digitorum profundus

Location: Anterior part of the forearm

Muscle: Extensor digitorum

Location: In the posterior component of the forearm

Flexing that the fingers and hand at the wrist is due to the combination of the flexor digitorum superficialis and also flexor digitorum profundus (Agonist)

Lengthening the the extensor digitorum to expand the fingers and the hand at the wrist (Antagonist)


Muscle Contraction

What is a muscle action? Muscle action is the transformation in the bodily part that may result in movement and it is as result of a muscular contraction. Now, there space different species of contraction activities that can occur in the muscles. Contraction of muscle implies the generation of anxiety in the muscle and not necessarily the shortening that the muscles. Muscle convulsion can occur in the following ways:

Isometric contraction A type of contraction wherein no activity takes place, e.g., pushing or pulling any immobile object. In such a case, the tension produced by the contracting muscle is much less than the load on the muscle. Isotonic contraction A kind of contraction wherein movement occurs, e.g., advertise or pulling any object successfully. Herein, the tension produced by the contracting muscle is an ext than the load on the muscle. This contractions have the right to be further classified as:

Concentric contraction A kind of isotonic convulsion wherein the size of the muscle decreases versus an the opposite load, e.g., lifting a heavyweight in upward direction. Here, the muscle that decreases in length acts together an agonist muscle. Eccentric contraction A type of isotonic convulsion wherein the muscle increases in size while resisting a load, e.g., keeping weight down in a slow and also controlled way. The muscle that rises in length serves together an agonist muscle and carries the end the work.
Muscle action (definition): the revolution in the human body or in a bodily body organ or change due come the functioning of the muscle. Essentially, muscle contraction that results in the movement of the particular body component is known as a muscle action.

Read: Muscle Contraction instrument – biology Tutorials

Our body is consisted of of multiple levers that need to coordinate in stimulate to bring out the body’s effective movement. The role of the muscles is to transmit the force to the bones via the tendons. As a result, the forced body component moves to lug out the plan action. This process is known as muscle contraction. Therefore basically, contraction that the muscles brings two bones closer to each other. This is also known as the flexing the the muscles that outcomes in the activity of the bones. However, this convulsion of the muscle cannot ar the 2 bones back into their original position, i.e., away from every other. Thus, another muscle group acts in opposing direction to bring the bone back to its initial position. This group of muscle is recognized as antagonistic muscles. Thus, one team of muscle, i.e., primer or the agonist muscle contracts, allowing the motion of the bone; the antagonistic muscles, then, act in the opposite or security direction to take it the bone ago to its original position. Accordingly, to lug out any kind of movement, the key muscle, or the agonist muscle, contracts and shorten in length. Synergistically, antagonistic muscles occupational in safety or the contrary direction, i.e., relaxes, come efficiently complete the activity of the primer muscle. Thus, as soon as the agonist or the inside wall or agonist muscle contracts, the antagonistic muscle relaxes to complete the movement. In summary, the complementary activity of agonist and antagonist muscle is the prerequisite because that any action to be lugged out efficiently.

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Figure 1: Antagonistic and agonist muscles: Biceps and triceps in various movements. (A) to raise the forearm, biceps (agonist muscle) contracts to progressive the forearm, and then the triceps (antagonistic muscle) relaxes; (B) To reduced the forearm, the triceps (agonist muscle) contracts, and then the biceps (antagonistic muscle) relaxes. Source: Pinterest.

This additional implies the the muscle functions in bag wherein one muscle group takes up primer or agonist duties while the other attributes as one antagonist.

Some that the commonly used state to explain the complementary movements are:

Protraction vs retraction

For the efficient working that the muscles, fixators assist by giving support and stabilize the joint and the rest of the body. The fixators that help the agonist are well-known as a synergist, thus when primer muscle contracts, the synergistic muscle all at once contracts. Synergists or synergistic muscle are additionally sometimes described as neutralizers together these muscles help reduce the extra movement induced by the agonist muscle, thus maintaining the working aircraft of the agonist muscles.

For example, because that flexing the elbow joint utilizing biceps, the trapezius muscle acts as a fixator while stability the whole body because that the lower ab movement, i.e., hip and also knee movement, the abdominals act as fixators. The combination and coordination of 4 categories the the skeleton muscles, i.e., agonist, antagonist, synergist, and fixator, carry out any kind of movement in the body.

Take keep in mind that the antagonism the a muscle is not a an essential or predetermined residential or commercial property of a muscle; that is a role undertaken by the muscle complementary to the existing agonist muscle.

Let us know this v an example.

Imagine a player that is around to take a kick at a football ball. Before kicking the ball, the knee flexes. The hamstrings contract if the quadriceps be sure or lengthen in stimulate to bring out the movement. In this example, the hamstrings take the agonist’s function while the quadriceps offer the function of the antagonist. See number 2.

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Figure 2: activity of muscle in a footballer in preparative step to absent the football. Credit: Misty Benson (kicking a soccer sphere diagram).

Next, once the player has completed kicking the ball, the knee extends. This additionally results in quadriceps contracting while hamstrings relaxing. In this case, the quadriceps end up being the agonist if the hamstrings room the antagonist in this movement. See number 3.

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Figure 3: motion of the muscles during or after ~ kicking the football ball. Credit: Misty Benson (kicking a soccer ball diagram).

The role of Antagonistic Muscles

The antagonistic muscles offer two important functions the the body:

Uphold the body or limb position, e.g., hold the eight out or standing erect regulating the hasty movement and also keeping a inspect on the limb activity

Any activity in the body is the an outcome of the coordination of action between agonist and antagonist muscles. The co-activation that these 2 sets of muscle is critical. Our understanding of the principle till currently makes the clear that the co-activation the the antagonistic muscle provides resistance to the action of the agonist muscle. In easier terms, this resistance is referred to as the stiffness of the joint. A specific level the stiffness to the share or the resistance come the activity is critically crucial to maintaining joint stability under varying pack conditions. Thus, the activation of the antagonistic muscles is pertinent for delivering out any kind of body movement.