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NEET 2022 | Class 12

NEET Important Chapter - Locomotion and Movement

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NEET Notes and Important Questions on Locomotion and Movement

NEET Notes and Important Questions on Locomotion and Movement

Last updated date: 23rd Jul 2024
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This article is created especially for the students who are gearing up for NEET or will be doing so in the future. It covers all the important topics, concepts and points related to the chapter Locomotion and Movement.

Some of the important concepts covered in this article that can be studied by students include types of movement, different types of muscles, muscle contraction, etc. These concepts are short and crisp, which makes it easier for students to follow and remember. It will also prove beneficial when they revise the chapter. Read till the end to get answers to some common FAQs regarding the NEET exam.

Important Topics of Locomotion and Movement

  • Muscle

  • Type of Movement

  • Contractile Protein

  • Skeletal System

  • Joints

  • Disorders of muscular and skeletal system

  • Mechanism of muscle contraction

Important Concepts

Locomotion and Movement

  • Locomotion is the movement of an organism away from its original place.

  • Movement can occur with or without an organism moving away from its original place.

Types of Movement


  • It is shown by leukocytes. i.e., phagocytes and macrophages of the human lymphatic system.


  • Cilia present in the respiratory tract stop invading germs and dust particles and also keep them out of the upper respiratory tract. 

  • In human females and males, the cilia of the fallopian tubes (oviducts) and the vasa efferentia convey ova and spermatozoa, respectively.


  • The majority of animals, including humans, utilise this basic mechanism. 

  • The ability to exert force via alternate contraction and relaxation is a general feature of this system. 

  • Muscle action is required to move our limbs, mouth, tongue, and other body parts.


  • This movement is seen in human sperm. 

  • The flagellum is the sperm's propulsion component for moving towards the ovum. 

  • The whip-like action of the tail and the centre component of the sperm causes this propulsion.


Muscle is a specialised tissue of mesodermal origin, and about 40-50% of the bodyweight of a human adult is made of muscles. It is classified on the basis of location, appearance, and nature of regulation of their activities.

On the basis of location, muscles are of three types as shown below:

Skeletal Muscles/ Striated Muscles

Visceral Muscles/ Smooth Muscles/Non-Striated Muscles

Cardiac Muscles

Skeletal muscles are closely associated with the skeletal component of the body.

Tendons are connected to the bones by striated muscles and are engaged in locomotory motions and changes in body postures.

The interior walls of hollow visceral organs such as the alimentary canal, reproductive tract, and others include visceral muscles. 

Cardiac muscles are the heart's muscles. To produce a heart muscle, several cardiac muscle cells are arranged in a branching pattern.

They are controlled by the conscious mind. i.e, voluntary muscles.

They are involuntary muscles.

They are involuntary in nature since the nervous system does not have direct control over its functions.

They have a striped appearance under a microscope and therefore are called striated muscles. 

They don't have any striations and appear to be smooth. That’s why they are called smooth muscles.

Based on appearance, cardiac muscles are striated.

Skeletal Muscles and Contraction

  • Each organised skeletal muscle is made of a number of muscle bundles or fascicles held together by a common collagenous connective tissue layer: Fascia.

  • Each muscle fibre is lined by a plasma membrane: Sarcolemma enclosing the sarcoplasm.

  • The endoplasmic reticulum, i.e., the sarcoplasmic reticulum of the muscle fibres is the storehouse of Ca2+ ions.

  • The characteristic feature of the muscle fibre is the presence of a large number of parallelly arranged filaments in the sarcoplasm, i.e., myofilaments or myofibrils.

  • Each myofibril has an alternate dark and light bands on it and its striated appearance is due to the distribution pattern of two important proteins – Actin and Myosin.

  • The light bands are called  I-band or Isotropic band and contain actin whereas the dark band called ‘A’ or Anisotropic band contains myosin and is located in the centre of the sarcomere.

  • An extremely thin and comparatively dense Z-line (Krause's membrane) separates sarcomeres. It's right in the middle of the I-band.


  • At the centre of the A-band, a comparatively less dark zone (not overlapped by thin filaments) is present: H-zone (Hensen zone).

  • In the centre of the H-zone, M-line is presently formed by threads that connect the myofilaments.

Structure of Contractile Protein

  • Each actin (thin) filament is made up of two helically wound 'F' (filamentous) actins. A polymer of monomeric 'G' (Globular) actins makes up each 'F' actin.

  • Tropomyosin, a protein, has two filaments that run close to the 'F' actins throughout its length.

  • Troponin, a complex protein, is found at regular intervals on tropomyosin.

  • Troponin subunits obscure the active binding sites for myosin on actin filaments in the resting state.

  • Each thick filament of myosin is also a polymerised protein. Meromyosins are a group of monomeric proteins that form a thick filament.

  • Each meromyosin contains two major components: a globular head with a short arm and a tail; the former is known as the heavy meromyosin (HMM), while the latter is known as the light meromyosin (LMM).

Mechanism of Muscle Contraction

  • The sliding filament theory states that the contraction of a muscle fibre is caused by the sliding of thin (actin) filaments across thick (myosin) filaments.

  • A signal from the central nervous system (CNS) to a motor neuron causes muscle contraction.

  • The neuromuscular junction, also known as the motor endplate, is the point where a motor neuron meets the sarcolemma of a muscle fibre.

  • When a neuronal signal reaches this junction, a neurotransmitter (Acetylcholine) is released, causing the sarcolemma to create an action potential.

  • The action potential travels along with the muscle fibre, causing calcium ions to be released into the sarcoplasm. Increased Ca2+ levels cause calcium to bind to a troponin subunit (present on actin filaments). The masking of active sites for myosin is removed due to this binding.

  • The myosin head now binds to the exposed active sites on actin, generating a cross bridge, using the energy from ATP hydrolysis.

  • The connected actin filaments are subsequently pulled towards the centre of the 'A' band by the development of cross-bridges.

  • The Z-line is pulled inwards by the actin filaments as they pull towards the centre of the A-band.

  • The sarcomere shortens or contracts as a result of this. The length of the I-band decreases when the actin filaments are dragged inwards.

  • The myosin-containing A-band maintains its length.

  • The ADP and Pi are then released, and the myosin returns to its relaxed condition. When a fresh ATP binds, the cross-bridge is broken.

  • The myosin head hydrolyses this ATP, and the cross-bridge creation and contraction cycle proceeds.

Difference Between Red and White Muscle Fibres

Red Muscle Fibre

White Muscle Fibre

High myoglobin, red in colour.

Low myoglobin, white or pale in colour.

Higher number of mitochondria.

Lesser mitochondria.

Can utilise large amounts of oxygen for ATP production.

Cannot use large amounts of oxygen; lesser ATP production.

Aerobic muscle fibres.

Anaerobic muscle fibres.

Human Skeletal System

A structure of bones and a few cartilages make up the skeletal system.

Bone and cartilage are connective tissues with specific functions. Due to calcium salts, the former has a very hard matrix, whereas the latter has a slightly flexible matrix due to chondroitin salts.

Function of the Skeletal System

  1. Support - It gives support to the other softer body parts.

  2. Protection - It protects the delicate body parts.

  3. Muscle attachment - It provides attachment for large muscles.

  4. Movement - It helps in bringing about movements.

  5. Body form - It forms a typical body form of an individual animal.

  6. Blood cell formation - RBCs, WBCs, and platelets are produced by the bone marrow.

  7. Mineral reservation - It maintains the calcium and phosphorus levels of the blood.

  8. Helps in breathing and hearing - Cartilages of the larynx, trachea, sternum, and ribs are helpful in breathing and ear bones of the middle ear transmit the sound vibrations from the tympanic membrane to the internal ear.

Difference Between Axial Skeleton and Appendicular Skeleton

Axial Skeleton

Appendicular Skeleton

It is present on the median longitudinal axis of the body

It is situated at the lateral sides, which actually extend outwards from the principal axis.

Skull, vertebral column, sternum and ribs come under this structure.

Pectoral and pelvic girdles and bones of arms and legs come under this structure.

Different Types and Functions of the Axial Skeleton

Name of Axial Skeleton

Number of Bones



Cranial Bones- 8

  • Frontal bone- 1

  • Sphenoid bone- 1

  • Ethmoid bone- 1

  • Parietal bone-2

  • Temporal bone- 2

  • Occipital bone- 1

Facial Bones- 14

  • Lacrimal bone- 2

  • Nasal bone- 2

  • Zygomatic bone- 2

  • Maxilla- 2

  • Mandible- 1

  • Vomer- 1

  • Palatine bone- 2

  • Inferior nasal conchae- 2

Total- 22

Hyoid bone- The hyoid bone is located in the top region of the neck, right above the larynx. Although it is not a real skull bone, it is commonly associated with that part of the skeleton.

  • The skull's most significant purpose is to protect the brain. This function is mainly carried out by the cranium (brain box). 

  • The skull bears jaws which help the animal for cutting and chewing the food.

  • It also safeguards and supports the sense organs.

  • The hyoid bone supports and protects the throat.

Vertebral column

  • Cervical vertebrae- 7

  • Thoracic vertebrae- 12

  • Lumbar vertebrae- 5

  • Sacrum- 5 sacral vertebrae fused to form 1 sacrum

  • Coccyx- 4 coccygeal vertebrae fused to form 1 coccyx.

Total- 26

  • It protects the spinal cord. 

  • It supports the body's weight while in motion as well as when standing.

  • The anterior cervical vertebrae allow the head to move freely. 

  • The animal's axial flexibility is provided by the intervertebral discs that lie between the vertebrae.


  • It is a flat bone present in the middle of the front of the chest.

  • Consists of three parts- manubrium (uppermost), Body (middle), Xiphoid process (tip of the bone).

  • It protects the internal organs in the thoracic region. 

  • It also provides the surface for muscle attachment.

  • The true ribs (7 pairs) are attached to the sternum.

  • The sternum helps in the respiratory mechanism.


Total- 12 pairs

First seven pairs- True ribs

8th, 9th, 10th pairs- False ribs

Last 2 pairs- Floating ribs

  • They protect the delicate organs like heart and lungs, etc. present in the thoracic cavity. 

  • The muscles involved in the respiratory system are attached to the ribs, i.e, it provides surface for attachment. 

  • Floating ribs protect the kidneys. 

  • Ribs 6-10 show "bucket-handle" type of movement.

Auditory ossicle


  • 3 left and right pairs

  • Malleus, Incus, Stapes

Helps in hearing.

Different Types and Functions of the Appendicular Skeleton

Name of Appendicular skeleton

Name of bones


  • Consist of 30 bones; 

  • Humerus- 1

  • Radius- 1

  • Ulna-1

  • Carpal bone- 8

  • Metacarpal bone- 5

  • Digits- 5

  • Phalanges- 14 (phalangeal formula- 2,3,3,3,3)


  • Femur- 1

  • Tibia- 1

  • Fibula- 1

  • Tarsals- 7

  • Metatarsals- 5

  • Phalanges- 14

Pectoral girdle

Consists of two bones; 

Clavicle- 1, Scapula- 1

Pelvic girdle

  • Consist of two coxal bones

  • Each of which is formed by fusion of three bones- ilium, ischium, pubis


All forms of movements need the use of joints. The points of contact between bones, or between bones and cartilages, are referred to as joints. According to mobility, they are classified into three types:

  1. Fibrous Joints (fixed or immovable joints)

There is no movement possible with this type of joint. The flat skull bones fuse end-to-end with the help of dense fibrous connective tissues in the form of sutures to form the cranium in this type of joint.

  1. Cartilaginous Joints (slightly movable joints)

In this, the bones involved are joined together with the help of cartilages. It permits limited movement. For example; the vertebrae (intervertebral discs) and the pubic symphysis of pubis.

  1. Synovial Joints (freely movable joints)

Synovial joints are characterised by the presence of a fluid filled synovial cavity between the articulating surfaces of two bones. It aids locomotion and a variety of other movements.

Types of Synovial Joints

Name of Bones


Gliding Joint

Bones can glide past one another along the plane of the joint. E.g. Between carpals

Hinge Joint

Bones can move only in one axis. E.g. Knee joint.

Pivot Joint

Joints that allow limited rotations. E.g. Between atlas (1st vertebra) and axis.

Saddle Joint

Opposing surfaces are reciprocally convex and concave. E.g. Between carpal and metacarpal of the thumb.

Ball and socket Joint

Multidirectional movement and rotation of bones is possible. E.g. Between humerus and pectoral girdle.

Disorders of Skeletal and Muscular System

  1. Myasthenia gravis

Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder affecting the neuromuscular junction leading to fatigue, weakening and paralysis of skeletal muscle.

  1. Muscular dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that involves progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles. It is caused due to a defect in the dystrophin gene that is responsible for keeping muscles intact.

  1. Tetany

Tetany is characterised by rapid contractions or spasms in the muscles, caused due to low Ca2+ ion concentration in the body fluid.

  1. Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition in which one or more joints swell and become tender. The most common symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which often worsen with age.

  1. Osteoporosis

This is an age-related disorder, caused due to decrease in bone mass. It increases the chance of fractures. A decrease in oestrogen levels contributes to osteoporosis.

  1. Gout

It is due to a defect in purine metabolism that causes an excess of uric acid and its salts (urates). In gout, the level of uric acid is raised in the blood. When crystals of uric acid salts (e.g., sodium urate) accumulate in the joints causing gouty arthritis. Urates in excess can cause stones in the kidneys.

  1. Paget's Disease
    It is caused by abnormal bone resorption by abnormal osteoclasts. It is characterised by irregular thickening and softening of bones, resulting in the deformation of bones.

Solved Examples/Problems from the Chapter

1. Which of the following 'labels' in the figure below shows the presence of the acromion process?

Ans: The labelling of the given diagram is

(A) Clavicle

(B) Scapula

(C) Rib

(D) Humerus

Key to remember: 

Clavicle- collar bone

Scapula- shoulder blade

Humerus- funny bone

2. Give the role of calcium ions in the contraction and relaxation of muscles.

Ans: Calcium ions play a major role in the contraction and relaxation of muscles. Calcium ions are mainly stored in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (during muscle relaxation) and are released from the sarcoplasm during muscle contraction. The overall role of calcium can be understood by the events given below-:

When a skeletal muscle is excited and an action potential travels along the T tubule, the concentration of calcium ions increases and calcium ions are released from sarcoplasm. These calcium ions attach to troponin, causing tropomyosin to move away from the myosin-binding sites on actin due to a conformational shift. Once these binding sites are free, myosin heads bind to them to form cross-bridges which result in muscle contraction. The decrease in calcium ion concentration in the sarcoplasmic reticulum causes tropomyosin to slide back and block the myosin-binding sites on actin which causes the muscle to relax.

Key to remember: 

Concentration of calcium increases- contraction

Concentration of calcium decreases- relaxation

3. Following is the figure of actin (thin) filaments. Identify parts A, B, C in the given diagram.

Ans: A. Troponin, B. Tropomyosin, C. F-actin

According to sliding filament theory, the contraction of muscle fibres is the result of sliding of thin (actin) filament over the thick (myosin) filaments.

Tropomyosin (regulatory protein) is one of the important proteins that play an important role in muscle contraction and it wraps around the actin and prevents myosin from grabbing. It does not allow the muscles to contract without the signal. Troponin is present at the regular interval on the tropomyosin. During the resting stage of the muscle fibre, tropomyosin partially covers the myosin-binding site on the actin filaments

Solved Problems of Previous Year Questions

1. Select the correct option.

a. 11th and 12th pairs of ribs are connected to the sternum with the help of hyaline cartilage.

b. Each rib is a flat thin bone and all the ribs are connected dorsally to the thoracic vertebrae and ventrally to the sternum.

c. There are seven pairs of vertebrosternal, three pairs of vertebrochondral and two pairs of vertebral ribs.

d. 8th, 9th and 10th pairs of ribs articulate directly with the sternum.

Ans: c. There are seven pairs of vertebrosternal, three pairs of vertebrochondral and two pairs of vertebral ribs.

Vertebrosternal ribs which are also called true ribs are joined to the thoracic vertebrae on the dorsal side and connected to the sternum on the ventral side by hyaline cartilage. The first seven pairs of ribs are true ribs.

The eighth, ninth, and tenth pairs of ribs do not articulate directly with the sternum but are joined by hyaline cartilage to the seventh ribs. These are vertebrochondral ribs, sometimes known as false ribs. 

Only the first seven pairs of ribs are ventrally attached to the sternum; the last two pairs of ribs, 11 and 12, are called floating ribs because they are not connected ventrally.

Trick to remember: 

True ribs- Vertebrosternal ribs

False ribs- vertebrochondral ribs

Floating ribs- last two pairs of ribs

2. The pivot joint between atlas and axis is a type of 

a. Fibrous joint

b. Cartilaginous joint

c. Synovial joint 

d. Saddle joint

Ans: c. Synovial joint

A synovial joint is a form of pivot joint. The synovial joints allow for considerable movement as the area between the articulating surfaces of the two bones is filled with synovial fluid.

Trick to remember: Synovial joint- allow for movement

Practice Questions

1. The _______ muscle is in charge of pulling the lower jaw, head, and tongue together.

a. Backwards.

b. Maximus

c. Retractor

d. Abductor

Ans: c. Retractor

The retractor muscle is the muscle that pulls the body component in the opposite direction.

2. During muscle contraction:

a. ATP is broken down

b. ATP is formed

c. GTP is broken down

d. None of the above

Ans: a. ATP is broken down

ATP is broken down into ADP and phosphate, releasing energy that is stored in the myosin head, and later used for myosin and actin binding, resulting in muscle contraction.

Key point to remember: ATP breakdown- release of energy


This article is written keeping in mind the students who are preparing for NEET 2022 or will prepare in the future. It covers all of the major concepts of the chapter and provides clear explanations, making it ideal for quick and successful study and revision. It covers key ideas, concepts, and problems from previous year's NEET question papers, as well as NEET practice tests and Biology NCERT books. Make sure to test your understanding and level of preparedness by attempting the practice question on your own.

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FAQs on NEET Important Chapter - Locomotion and Movement


1. What are the names of the chapters that hold more weightage in NEET?

Human Physiology, Biological Classification, Molecular Basis of Inheritance, and Biomolecules had the highest weightage from the previous year's NEET paper analysis.

2. What is the number of questions that are asked from Human Physiology in NEET?

The number of questions that come from this unit are 13.

3. For NEET, how many MCQs should I solve per day?

As you will have to solve 180 MCQs in 180 minutes without losing pace and concentration, it is advisable that you practice at least 250 MCQs in 250 minutes per day.