Friday 7 December 2018

Bone types

There are five bone types involved in the human movement system: long, short, flat, irregular, sesamoid and. The following concern us most: long, short and sesamoid.


  • Long, cylindrical shaft with irregular or widened ends.
  • Consist primarily of composit bone for strength and stiffness.
  • Such bones include the femur, humerus and metacarpals. The epiphysis, or end of the long bones, is the primary site for bone growth.
  • Until its epiphyseal plate fuses in adulthood, it is vulnerable to injury. This is why weight-bearing exercise can be dangerous for children, however on the flip side it does allow children to develop stronger healthier bones.


  • Appear somewhat cubical in shape being similar in length and width.
  • Consist primarily of spongy bone to maximise shock absorption such as in jogging, jumping or punching.
  • These include the small bones of the wrists (carpals) and upper foot (tarsals).


  • Small, and often round, they are found embedded in joint capsules or where a tendon passes over a joint where there is considerable friction or tension.
  • They help improve leverage as well as protecting the joint from damage. The most notable being the patella, or "knee-cap".
Bone types: long, short, sesamoid, irregular, and flat
Types of bones in the body (click to enlarge). Image from Wikipedia.

Articles within this series

Lyle Richardson,
Gym Pal - Your Friend In Fitness


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