Top 3 Smallest Muscles in the Body

muscles anatomy
The body is made up of lots of different muscles that help us move and feel things. Out of all the muscles in the body, there are three that are particularly small yet still perform important functions. These smallest muscles in our bodies may be tiny but they do big jobs!

Why are small muscles important to the body?

When it comes to muscle strength, many people think of the large muscles that are visible on the body. However, it is actually the small muscles which do most of the work in our bodies.

These smaller muscles are responsible for intricate motor skills such as writing and typing, as well as stabilizing our joints so that we don’t suffer from dislocations or fractures.

Furthermore, the small muscles play a major role in helping us maintain balance and good posture; without strong small muscles we would be constantly losing our footing.

Although these tiny muscles may not get much attention compared to their bigger counterparts, they are incredibly important for keeping us functioning properly!

So next time you’re at the gym make sure to give those little guys some love too!

The top 3 smallest muscles in the body

Now that we know why small muscles are important, let’s take a look at the top three smallest muscles in the body.

1. Stapedius muscle (ears)

2. Levator labii superioris alaeque nasi muscle (face, next to nose))

3. Superficial head of the flexor digitorum brevis muscle (feet)

Stapedius muscle


Size: 1-2 millimeters

Location: In the middle of your ear.

Primary use: Contract in response to loud noises.

The stapedius muscle is a tiny skeletal muscle located in the middle ear of humans and other mammals. It is the smallest skeletal muscle in the body, measuring just 1 to 2 millimeters in length.

The stapedius attaches to the neck of the stapes, one of three small bones that make up the ossicular chain within the middle ear.

Its primary function is to contract reflexively in response to loud noises or other sudden acoustic stimuli, reducing vibrations traveling from the eardrum. It does this through this chain and dampening sound waves before they reach inner structures such as cochlea. This helps protect sensitive hearing mechanisms from damage due to loud sounds or sudden increases in pressure inside or outside of the ear canal.

The contraction of this muscle also plays an important role in regulating balance and equilibrium by helping maintain proper positioning of these ossicles during head movements.

In addition, it can help prevent vertigo when moving between different elevations or orientations. By controlling movement within its associated structures which are critical for maintaining equilibrium within our inner ears.

Levator labii superioris alaeque nasi muscle


Size: ~25 millimeters

Location: From the upper lips, next to your nose, to under your eyes.

Primary use: For facial expressions.

The levator labii superioris alaeque nasi muscle (LLSAN) is a facial muscle located in the upper lip and nose area. It is one of the muscles of facial expression that helps create various facial expressions, such as smiling or frowning.

The LLSAN originates from the maxilla bone near the nostril and inserts into the skin around the upper lip and wing of nose.

Its primary action is to lift and elevate both structures, which can help create an upturned smile or wide-eyed expression.

Additionally, it aids in wrinkling of the nose when smelling something unpleasant or raising one eyebrow while expressing disbelief or surprise.

Because this muscle has a strong connection with other muscles surrounding it, any weakness in this region can cause drooping lips or sagging cheeks.

In order to maintain proper function of these muscles for optimal facial appearance, regular exercise may be beneficial for strengthening them over time.

Superficial head of the flexor digitorum brevis muscle


Size: Differs for everyone.

Location: Foot

Primary use: Flex or curl up all four tendons simultaneously when walking or running on uneven terrain.

The superficial head of the flexor digitorum brevis muscle is a small muscle located in the foot, near the base of the toes.

It originates from two tendons that attach to bones in the ankle and lower leg, including the calcaneus (heel bone) and cuboid.

The superficial head has three parts: a long tendon that connects it to other muscles in the foot, a middle part composed of several short fibers running parallel to each other, and a distal end that divides into four slips which then attach to different digits on each toe.

The main function of this muscle is to flex or curl up all four digits simultaneously when walking or running on uneven terrain. This action helps with stability and balance as well as providing cushioning for impact forces transmitted through your feet during these activities.

Additionally, it also helps support arch height by compressing and stabilizing various structures within your feet such as ligaments, tendons and fascia.

As such, an injury or strain involving this muscle can lead to pain in your foot’s arch area as well as decreased flexibility when moving around on uneven ground surfaces.

How can you train these small muscles?

close up on small face muscles woman

Training small muscles such as the stapedius, levator labii superioris alaeque nasi, and superficial head of the flexor digitorum brevis muscle can be achieved by engaging in a variety of exercises.

For example, to strengthen the stapedius muscle which is located in the middle ear, you can perform exercises that involve placing your index finger against your tragus (the outer ear) and pushing inward while resisting with your middle finger. This action helps to strengthen this small muscle.

Similarly, strengthening levator labii superioris alaeque nasi muscles which are located around the nose and mouth area can be done by gently pulling up on both sides of your nostrils while resisting with an opposing force from your fingers or palms.

Additionally, working out these muscles requires performing facial expressions such as smiling widely or frowning deeply for several seconds at a time to build strength and tone.

To target the superficial head of flexor digitorum brevis muscle which is located in the foot arch region near toes two through five you can use simple stretching exercises.

Such as pointing each toe away from its neighbor for several seconds then releasing it slowly back into place repeating this motion multiple times per day until desired results are achieved.

Finally it is important to remember that no matter what type of exercise routine you choose to engage in. It should always include proper warm-up before starting any physical activity. So that all involved muscles are properly prepared for movement thus reducing risk for injury.

Conclusion on What is the smallest muscle in the body? The top 3

There are hundreds of muscles in your body, bigger ones like the gluteus maximus to the smaller ones like the 1. stapedius muscle 2. Levator labii superioris alaeque nasi muscle 3.Superficial head of the flexor digitorum brevis muscle. The bigger muscles of your body are the ones that get the most attention which causes the smaller muscles to fall behind. This is a common problem because the smaller muscles also have a very important role in our daily movements for example writing, facial expressions and balance. Next time you think about these smaller muscles make sure to try the exercises we provided in the article.

Article written by
Scroll to Top