The muscles of the human body are remarkable structures. Without them, we’d be nothing more than rigid bodies unable to move. We wouldn’t be able to speak, eat, or even breathe. Our muscles come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny stapedius of the ear, to the aptly named gluteus maximus. Some of them we can control, like those that allow us to move and speak and others work without us even thinking, such as those involved in breathing and digestion. But while we need them all, have you ever wondered which muscle in our body is the strongest? Now there is some debate, but this list includes the top five strongest muscles in the human body.
The masseter muscle is small compared to some of the other muscles in the human body but it generates a substantial amount of force. It attaches the part of your skull just next to your nose to the bottom of the bone that forms the jaw, known as the mandible. Its function includes closing the jaw when chewing. It is considered to be one of the strongest muscles because it generates a bite strength of between 117 and 265 pounds.
The soleus, which got its name because it is in the shape of a sole (the fish), is one of the muscles in the calf. It is responsible for what is called plantar flexion of the foot which is what happens when you do calf raises. Experts believe it is one of the stronger muscles because it maintains your posture when you stand and is constantly fighting against gravity without fatiguing. It is highly active during running and walking and is capable of contributing to lifting your entire body weight when jumping.
It is well established that the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body but it is also believed to be one of the strongest. It attaches the back of your pelvis to the outside portion of the thigh bone which is called the femur. Its job is to bend the thigh toward the abdomen in a forward direction – a movement known as hip flexion. This action is used for walking, running, and skipping. Again, if you consider that this muscle is responsible for carrying your body weight, it is not surprising that it is considered one of the strongest muscles of the human body.
The heart is made up of a different kind of muscle compared to the previous three mentioned in this article. In fact, the kind of muscle present in your heart is unique only to it. It’s hard to think of such a small muscular sac as being one of the strongest in the human body but if you think about it, you can feel your pulses in your arms and legs. That is your heart pushing your blood the distance of about 6 feet, and you are still able to feel these effects with your pulse. Imagine trying to blow on a 6-foot long pipe for 24 hours a day and not get tired.
The uterus is also made up of a fairly unique type of muscle that cannot be controlled voluntarily. During labor, it is capable of pushing out a 10-pound baby through a rather narrow opening. This is quite remarkable considering how much it is stretched during the pregnancy. Consider this analogy, it is much harder to close your arms when they are stretched to maximum capacity versus when they are closer together.