Natural Sciences

Examples of Antagonist Muscles

There are mainly two types of muscles when we perform a movement: agonists and antagonists . The former are those that contract when trying to perform an action, while the antagonists stretch to be able to move the part of the body in question.

For a muscle to be antagonistic, it needs another to play the role of agonist, in this way it will have the function of opposing movement, even if it really allows it. It is a kind of duo that helps to perform the movements correctly.

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The different muscles in the body can act as antagonists depending on the movement we need to perform. Not always the same muscle tissue will be antagonistic for all movements.

In fact, to return to the position that gave rise to the movement, the agonist muscle will become antagonist.

For example, when we are going to take a glass or food to the mouth, it is the biceps that contracts, the triceps being the antagonist, since it is more relaxed only by stretching to allow the action to be carried out. When we are going to return the arm to the starting position, the biceps is the muscle that is stretched (antagonist) and the triceps contracts (agonist).

Examples of antagonistic muscles

  • Triceps . When we try to flex the arm.
  • Biceps . When we stretch our arms.
  • Gluteus maximus . When we bend our knees
  • Gastrocnemius . Knee flexion.
  • Latissimus dorsi . Arm movement in the pectoral exercises.
  • Adductors . When we walk or run, the hamstrings contract, while the adductors lengthen in the leg that we leave momentarily suspended in the air.

Various muscles are used in all body movements, each with its own function. In addition to agonists and antagonists, muscles also participate as synergists and stabilizers.

For example, in the dumbbell pullover exercise, the opposing muscle is the pectoral, the antagonist is the latissimus dorsi, the scapula is the stabilizer, and the posterior deltoids and triceps are the synergists.

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