Tongue muscles

Hello Matt:

Me and a friend of mine were wondering, what is the strongest muscle in the body? I say the tongue, he says legs or arms???????

-- Christine and Christine's friend, the net

Tongue? We're not even going to guess why you think it's the tongue, Christine. You're wrong, of course. But it sure is a weird guess. First place, the tongue is a bunch of muscles, not just one. More like eight. It can do lots of tricky stuff, since the muscles go in three different directions (lengthwise, crosswise, and lower side to upper side). So maybe you could get a speed bag going with your tongue if you practiced, but I wouldn't want to try a workout with a heavy bag. But speaking of Mike Tyson, a whole raft of physiologists think the masseter muscle is the strongest. That's the one that closes your jaw when you bite. It can generate hundreds of pounds of pressure; but it has the advantage of being attached to a lever (the jaw) that multiplies the amount of muscular force. I say that's cheating, so I say the masseter is disqualified. Some experts call the heart the strongest muscle because it pumps away for decades without having to take occasional Cancun vacations to recover. Ehhhh�. I don�t buy it, but maybe you do. So what's left? Well, how about your butt. The gluteus maximus is the largest and thickest muscle in the body, therefore, say most experts, it would be the strongest. There's also a contingent of soreheads who say the quadriceps (front of the thigh) would beat the glutes one on one. But since nobody agrees on exactly what "strongest" means anyway, I suppose the whole argument is pointless. Just my kind of question.

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