Functions of the Musculoskeletal System

Contributor: Hannah Brooks. Lesson ID: 12638

Bones: you brush them and break them. Muscles: you strengthen them and sprain them. However, they always work together to keep you safe and standing and strong. Learn what goes on behind the scenes!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Muscles make us move, and skeletons let us stand. They make a good team!

Watch the silent video below to see how they work together.

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The musculoskeletal  system is an essential body system that allows you to move in our environment.

If you are not familiar with each independent system or how the joints allow your body to move, check out the Additional Resources in the right-hand sidebar.

  • Are you ready to explore how your muscles and bones work together to help support your body?

The musculoskeletal system comprises all your body's bones, muscles, joints, tendons, cartilage, and ligaments. Joints are where two bones meet, and cartilage is a tough connective tissue that provides structure and support.

You must understand the functions of the combined systems to understand how the skeleton and muscle groups work together.

One of the major functions of the muscular-skeletal system is the support and protection of organs inside the human body. The rib cage, made up of bones, is a protective covering for major organs like the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

rib cage

Another function of the musculoskeletal system is to support and allow motion. Although the skeleton comprises strong bones, they are connected with flexible tissues and muscles that move with the bones during locomotion.

running motion

  • What role do skeletal muscles play in movement?

Most skeletal muscles are attached to a bone at one end and may stretch across a joint. These are voluntary muscles, meaning they move with the brain's instruction.

Skeletal muscles can be big or small and are important in promoting movement and ensuring you can stand straight.

muslce movement

Skeletal muscles are attached to your bones by connective tissues like tendons and ligaments. These tissues are made of small fibers but are very strong! They are flexible, which aids in movement.

Notice how the tendons and ligaments assist the muscles and bones in the elbow — without these tissues, catching a ball or doing a push-up would be very challenging.

elbow anatomy

The functions of the musculoskeletal system are essential in your daily life, helping you perform basic movements like eating, walking, and standing. These two systems are interconnected through joints, where muscles and bones meet using connective tissues like tendons and ligaments.

Muscles and bones rely on one another for structure and flexibility.

  • What have you learned about the function of the musculoskeletal system?
  • What questions remain about how these two systems work together?

In the Got It? section, watch some informative videos about these two systems.

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