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Muscle question: agonist vs. synergist

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Does anyone know if the terms "agonistic muscle" and "synergistic muscle" mean one and the same thing? If not, what is the difference? (and where did you get your answer, lol)?

Thanks!

From Mosby's Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary........

agonist: a contracting muscle whose contraction is opposed by another muscle (an antagonist)

synergistic muscles: groups of muscles that contract together to accomplish the same body movement

Hope this helps. I, too, had a hard time getting this one straight when I first had it in class.

Thanks, onyx. You know, I've been looking all over the damn internet and all over my textbook trying to figure this out, and I didn't even think to check my freaking medical dictionary....boy do I feel stupid....

No problem!!

LOL...That sounds like something I would do!!!

Music in My Heart

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 11 years experience.

Does anyone know if the terms "agonistic muscle" and "synergistic muscle" mean one and the same thing? If not, what is the difference? (and where did you get your answer, lol)?

Understanding the word roots helps to remember the definitions that onyx posted.

The word "agonist" triggers the word "antagonist" where the "ant" means "against" or "opposite" (think "anti") which then leads you to "against what?" or "opposite to what?" which then leads you to the conclusion that an "agonist" and an "antagonist" function as a pair and evidently produce opposite effects.

The "syn" root in the word "synergist" means "with" or "together" (think "synapse", "synthesis", or "synonym") which leads you to the concept of a group of muscles working together to produce the same effects.

If this is more than you want, forgive me, but this is how I go about learning things.

ffit4lifeACE

Specializes in CNA. Has 1 years experience.

An agonist muscle is the primary mover, the one doing the work. An antagonist muscle is the opposite muscles. As one contracts the other will lengthen. Ex: Bicep curls - the Biceps brachii (shortening, contracting, concentric) would be the agonist and the triceps brachii (lengthening, relaxing, eccentric) would be the antagonist. A synergist would be the brachialis. (That is just one example). A synergist muscle(s) is a "helper" muscle(s)- they assist the primary with doing the work.....

No source, just know this information since I am a personal trainer. I hope this helps you. I just joined, this is my first post:)

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