Muscle Micro & Macro Anatomy
1. Muscle Macro Anatomy
What is macro anatomy?
When we talk about anatomy we may reference macro anatomy (also known as gross anatomy) or micro anatomy. Macro anatomy refers to structures which are generally larger and do not require a microscope to view. When we think of muscles in the human body we likely draw up some image of a muscular person posing for an athletic picture of some sort. The definition that we see on the human body is because of the muscle belly layers under the skin. This is the first component to muscle macro anatomy we must learn.
Muscle macro anatomy
A muscle belly is composed of smaller fascicles or muscle bundles. Fascicles, or muscle bundles, are just merely smaller muscle fibers wrapped up into little bundles. For size comparison the muscle fibers may only be as big as a single strand of thread, whereas the muscle belly is the bulge we see under the skin. The muscle belly really is nothing more than thousands upon thousands of tiny threads (muscle fibers) all bundled up together.
Each of these layers that we just talked about is wrapped up in myofascia. You can think of these myofascial layers as wrappings which helps organise each unit of muscle layer. As we age our bodies posture changes, often our myofascial layers tighten up and this can be a cause for decreased ROM. Myofascial massage, foam rolling, and other release techniques try to resolve this.
Muscle macro anatomy consists of 3 layers of muscle which become increasingly smaller.
- Muscle Belly
- Fascicle (more technical term) or Muscle Bundle (more casual term)
- Muscle Fiber