How to Memorize the Muscles of the Human Body

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If you are planning on entering the health care field, chances are you will need to memorize the muscles of the human body. This can be quite a task, considering there are roughly 640 named muscles, each with a different function. There are various ways to go about this, and since everyone learns differently, what works for one person may not work for another. It is simply a matter of finding a method or combination of methods that will make the process easier for you.

Make Connections

Make a connection by trying to identify the same muscles in your body. Most of the muscles of the human body are named for the function they perform. Therefore, as you are studying these muscles, contract them in your body. If you can make a connection between the picture in the book and where it is located in your own body, you may find it easier to remember its name and purpose.

Use a Chart

Use a chart. Charts or diagrams are generally color-coded for easy identification, and they show each muscle in detail. Using a colored chart not only breaks up the monotony of reading the same text, but it is also a great method for memorization.

Sing a Song

Create a song. Doing this will make memorizing the muscle names fun for you which, in turn, may make the task easier. "The triceps's connected to the bicep..." and so on. Make it up to any tune you like and sing your way through your exam.

Use Flash Cards

Make flash cards. Although this may seem like a trip back to elementary school, it is a method that actually works. On an index card, write the name of the muscle on one side and then write its location or function on the other side. Find a study partner and have her hold the flashcards up for you as you give the definitions. In the next round, have her show you the definition so that you can identify the name of the muscle.

Write it Out

Write it down. Some people memorize best by simple repetition. If this is true for you, it may benefit you to take a few muscles at a time and write down their names and locations repeatedly. The number of times will depend on how quickly you can put the information to memory.

Get Active

Bring it to life with software or games that bring the human body and all its muscles into motion. This method can take the boredom out of studying and rejuvenate your zest for learning.

Things You'll Need

  • Colored chart or diagram
  • Index cards


About the Author

Based in Jamestown, Pa., Hannah Rice Myers has more than 10 years of experience as a freelance writer, specializing in the health industry. Many of her articles have appeared in newspapers, as well as "Curing Epilepsy: Hope Through Research." Rice Myers received her master's degree in nursing from Upstate Medical University in 2001.