Testing Muscle Strength

Some groups of muscles are stronger than others because each group is designed for a different and specific function. It just makes sense that the muscle groups in our legs would need to be stronger than the ones in our toes.

For this experiment, you will use a bathroom scale to test the strength of various muscle groups.

Here’s what you need

    • 1 bathroom scale
    • 1 pencil
    • 1 partner

Here’s what you do

  1. Put the scale between your knees. Now squeeze it as hard as you can and have your partner record the scale’s reading.
  2. Use the technique to test the muscles in the following list. Place the scale between the body parts and squeeze! Be sure to record the readings for data-keeping purposes.

a. thighs

b. ankles

c. palms

d. elbows

e. elbow and rib cage


What’s going on?

Not all muscles need to be big and powerful. Actually, muscles have various functions and uses that vary by their design. The muscles in our fingers are detail-oriented. They need to be fast and perform relatively small, precise movements like the ones used in writing. The design of a specific muscle group will vary depending upon the muscles’ ultimate use.

Have you even had a muscle cramp? They occur when a muscle is overworked and fatigued. The muscle simply contracts and stays contracted. Not fun!


  1. What are the two main types of muscles?
  2. Give an example of a muscle group that’s more specific than your answers above.
  3. Why aren’t the muscles in our fingers big and strong like those in our arms and legs?