How Many Skeletal Muscles are there in the Human Body?

How many skeletal muscles are there in the human body?

  1. Around 450 skeletal muscles.
  2. Around 500 skeletal muscles.
  3. Around 550 skeletal muscles.
  4. Around 600 skeletal muscles.

Correct answer: 4; “There are about 600 [skeletal] muscles in the human muscular system…” (Saladin, 2018, p.309).

There is a great disparity between sources on the exact number of skeletal muscles within the human body, ranging from 600 to 840.

A majority of sources state there are 640 skeletal muscles, usually presented as 320 pairs.

The disparity comes from those that count the muscles within a complex muscle which, in practical terms, only really affects specialists.


Saladin, K.S. (2018) Anatomy and Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function. 8th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.


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