How Many Muscles Are In The Human Body?

Asked on by enotes

31 Answers | Add Yours

jess1999's profile pic

jess1999 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

The number of muscles in our body varies from around 640 to 850. We have 3 types of muscles in our body: skeletal, visceral, and cardiac. The skeletal muscles are voluntary, while the visceral muscles are involuntary. There are no exact number of muscles in our body because there are different opinions of what constitutes a distinct muscle.

phoenixxl's profile pic

phoenixxl | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

5 million hairs...

To elaborate on Mr cengage's answer..

Every hair follicle on our body has it's own individual muscle.

We have about 5 million of those. Each is controlled individually.There have been documented cases of hairs moving in patterns from people that are hallucinating under the effects of snake bites, hinting at the fact the brain can control each of those muscles individually.

(first link)



2 billion capillaries.

Each capillary has a precapillary sphincter before branching off.

Those are muscles as well.

(second link)

The 600-800 answer , though being valid in a context , originates from the skeletal muscle answer , which used to be the general answer in the days before microscopes were common tools. Later other muscles got added , up to a point , but by now it's not a general answer anymore.

It's better to just specify "skeletal muscles" , especially in the question ,  since that's generally the answer that's being sought.

The general answer though .. "How many muscles do we have?" .. is a whole whole lot .

atyourservice's profile pic

atyourservice | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on


fact-finder's profile pic

fact-finder | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The number of muscles in the human body varies from about 656 to 850, depending on which expert you consult. No exact figure is available because there are a variety of opinions about what constitutes a distinct muscle (versus a part of a complex muscle). Also, there is some variability in muscular structure between individuals.

There are three categories of muscle: skeletal, smooth, and cardiac. The skeletal muscles consist of striped or striated fibers. They move the various parts of the body. Skeletal muscles are considered "voluntary" muscles because the person controls their use.

The second category is smooth muscles. These muscles are found in the stomach and intestinal walls, vein and artery walls, and in various internal organs. Smooth muscles are called "involuntary" because they cannot be made to work by conscious choice, but are controlled by the autonomic nervous system.

Finally there are the cardiac muscles, which are only found in the heart. These muscles, which contain both striped and smooth tissue, are involuntary.

Sources: The American Medical Association Encyclopedia of Medicine, pp. 703-6; Brandreth, Gyles. Your Vital Statistics, p. 17; Cody, John. Visualizing Muscles, p. 5.

fashionableb1's profile pic

fashionableb1 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted on

There are about 650 skeletal muscles in the body but when you add up all the capillaries and hair follicle muscles, there are millions maybe even a billion muscles.

arrellbelle's profile pic

arrellbelle | Student, College Sophomore | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

Essentially, there are over 640 different muscles in the human body.

zumba96's profile pic

zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

There is are actually many muscles in the human body, but if you are looking for a more clear answer based on skeletal muscles it would be 640, but there are in fact many muscles ranging from tiny to larger muscles that would not even be discussed day to day. 

dorei's profile pic

dorei | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

The question here isn't how many skeletal muscles.. the question is how many muscles .

Don't be stuck in dogma people..



There is 1 answer here from someone that dares use his/her brain.


hina0000's profile pic

hina0000 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

there are approximately 640 skeletal muscles within a typical human and almost every muscle constitutes one part of a pair of identical bilateral muscles,found on both sides ,resulting in approximately 320 pairs of muscles .

agasmith96's profile pic

agasmith96 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

Most people agree that there are about 640 muscles in the human body, while others may suggest that there are 639 muscles in the human body. The muscular system is composed of fibers and tissues that are responsible for the movements of the body. There are three different types of muscles– cardiac, smooth and striated.

Striated muscles can be also called skeletal or voluntary muscles. This group of muscles refers to muscles that the human body has control of. These include the muscles that are responsible for movement of the bones, and also include the facial muscles. Striated muscles are muscles that are the ones generally injured during physical activity or sports. The smooth muscles are involuntary and are controlled by the part of the human body known as the autonomic nervous system. These muscles are responsible for movement of internal organs such as the secretory glands and organs of the gastrointestinal tract.

The difference between cardiac muscles and striated muscles is that cardiac muscles make up the heart. These muscles work in conjunction to effectively pump blood throughout the body and back and forth from the heart. One of the busiest muscles in the human body are those located in the eye. These muscles are the muscles that are responsible for the blinking process, which is both an involuntary and voluntary reaction. The average person blinks about 100,000 every day. The stapedius muscle, located in the ear is considered the smallest muscle in the body. By contrast, the largest muscle in the body is the gluteus maximus, or otherwise known as the buttock. Now, when people ponder how many muscles there are in the human body, they will not only think about the number of muscles in the human body, but also how these muscles work. The muscles in the human body work in conjunction with each other to perform precise movements within the system. Sometimes, muscles of the human body can become overly taxed and cause muscle strain, however, with a few days rest, these hearty bunches usually bounce back, working better than ever.

tollelege's profile pic

tollelege | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

I am going to make an assumption (as the other responses probably did) that you are asking about skeletal muscles only.

As you may already know, there are different types of muscle tissue.  Some examples are skeletal, cardiac and smooth/visceral as indicated in your tags.

Even anatomists will disagree as to the exact number of skeletal muscle because of differences in classification occurring mostly with several of the very small sized muscles.

The general consensus is about 640.

sid-sarfraz's profile pic

sid-sarfraz | Student, Graduate | (Level 2) Salutatorian

Posted on

Total 35%-40% of weight in our body is because of muscles. Muscles mainly are important in the movement of the body. Nearly 700 muscles are present in our body, which are divided amongst three main categories:-

  1. Visceral muscle is the weakest muscle also known as involuntary muscle that is controlled by the unconscious part of mind. Its main function is to make muscles contract in order to make easier substances to move through the organs.
  2. Cardiac muscle is the muscle which is found only in the heart. Cardiac muscle cannot be controlled by our mind hence it is also referred to as involuntary. Its main function is to help pumping of heart in order to pump blood throughout the body. 
  3. Skeletal muscle is the only muscle that our mind can control. It is directly related to our body's physical movement. It simply controls whatever we do like walking, talking, moving etc. i.e. every physical action that we do consciously is due to skeletal muscle.

We’ve answered 319,655 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question