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Zidbits – Learn something new everyday! | October 24, 2014

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What Is The Strongest Muscle In Your Body?

What Is The Strongest Muscle In Your Body?

What is the strongest human muscle? Is it your biceps, quadriceps or could it be your gluteus maximus? You might be surprised to learn that it’s none of the above. The question can be a tricky one to answer since it depends entirely on what your definition of “strongest” is. Today we’ll explore this little life mystery.

Ability To Exert Force

If by strongest you mean “ability to exert a force on an external object”, then a human’s strongest muscle is his or her ‘masseter‘ muscle. The masseter muscle is a thick muscle in the cheek and is located at the back of the jaw. It’s responsible for opening and closing your jaw during chewing.

It is the muscle that can generate the largest externally measurable force attributable to the action of a specific, single muscle. Its strength is the result of incredibly densely packed muscle fibers combined with being attached to a short-armed lever. It can close the teeth with a force as great as 55 pounds (25 kilograms) on the incisors or 200 pounds (91 kilograms) on the molars. Guinness Book of Records lists the strongest bite recorded at 975 lb for 2 seconds. That’s more than six times the normal biting strength of a human.

Which Muscle Does The Most Work?

Now if you take ‘strongest’ to mean ‘does the most work’, the heart lies claim to that. The heart performs the largest amount of physical work in the course of a human’s life. The power output of the human heart range is estimated to be between 1 to 5 watts. Compared to the power output of other muscles, it’s much less. For example, the quadriceps can produce over 100 watts, but only for a few minutes, then it fatigues. The heart does its work continuously over an entire lifetime without pause, and hence ‘outworks’ every other muscle.

What’s The Largest Muscle?

The largest muscle in the human body is the gluteus maximus. The gluteus maximus is located in your buttocks and its size directly corresponds to the important role it has in your everyday life. It’s main function is to keep your body erect and straight. Its function is to provide balance and a center of gravity while walking or running.

Bonus fact: Your smallest muscle is just one millimeter long and is inside your middle ear. It job is to support one of the tiny bones inside the ear, called the stirrup.

Photos are available under a Creative Commons Attribution license by Wikicommons.

Comments

  1. pepsi813

    You forgot one muscle that is realing the strongest. And it produces over 1000 watts.

    • Victor B.

      I get what you’re saying, but the brain isn’t technically a muscle. It’s a collection of nerves which exist for the purpose of conducting and transmitting electrical signals (which are your thoughts and memories). The brain isn’t biologically a muscle, it doesn’t actually do any physical work. It tells other things to work. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work it out! The brain always needs new information to stay relevant.

  2. Sarah

    So where does the tongue muscle come into play? Is it the strongest at anything?

    • TiagoTiago

      I’ve heard the tongue is the only muscle in your body that you can control which doesn’t get tired…

      • Sno1ock

        I beg to differ as to never getting tired. I’ve tired my tongue out. After using it a lot, the muscles in the tongue begin to burn horribly, similar to the feeling you get when you work out, then it would begin to cramp slightly, which is the most the tongue can do really XD.

  3. qwertyuiop

    The eyes are also one of the strongest muscles in the human body. They almost never stop working because you’re constantly moving your eyes whenever you sleep.

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