Free Study Guide for the NASM CPT Exam Chapter 2 – Basic Exercise Science

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Chapter Two




Human Movement

  • Human Movement System:(Kinetic Chain) is composed of three related systems: Nervous(central and peripheral nerves), Muscular (muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia), and Skeletal (joints) systems.


Nervous System

  • Nervous System: the system of nerves and nerve centers in an animal or human,including the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and ganglia.
  • Sensory Function: The human body’s ability to recognize changes in the environment within the body or outside of the body.
  • Integrative Function: the nervous system processes and interprets the sensory input and makes decisions about what should be done in each moment.
  • Motor Function: The human body’s ability to respond to the information received from the sensory nervous system.
  • Proprioception: the total nervous system input to the central nervous system creating the awareness of the position of one’s body
  • Neuron: a specialized, impulse-conducting cell that is the functional unit of the nervous system, consisting of the cell body and its processes, the axon and dendrites
  • Sensory (afferent) neurons: a nerve cell that conducts impulses from a sense organ to the central nervous system.
  • Interneurons: a nerve cell that transmits nerve impulses between neurons.
  • Motor (efferent) neurons: a nerve cell that conducts impulses to a muscle, gland, or other effector.
  • Central Nervous System: the part of the nervous system comprising the brain and spinal cord.
  • Peripheral Nervous System: the portion of the nervous system lying outside the brain and spinal cord that includes the cranial and spinal nerves
  • Mechanoreceptors: any of the sense organs that respond to vibration, stretching, pressure, or other mechanical stimuli.
  • Muscle Spindles: a proprioceptor that conveys information on the state of muscle stretch or length, important in the reflex mechanism that maintains body posture.
  • Golgi Tendon Organs: A proprioceptive sensory nerve ending embedded among the fibers of tendon that is sensitive to muscle tension.
  • Joint Receptors: sensory receptors in joint capsules that contribute (along with other sensory inputs) to awareness of joint position and movement (proprioceptive sensation).


  • Skeletal System: The framework of the body, consisting of bones and other connective tissues, which protects and supports the body tissues and internal organs.
  • Bones: the hard connective tissue forming the substance of the skeleton, composed of a collagen-rich organic matrix impregnated with calcium, phosphate, and other minerals.
  • Joints: the movable or fixed place or part where two bones or elements of skeleton join.
  • Axial Skeleton: the skeleton of the head and trunk including the skull, vertebral column and rib cage.
  • Appendicular Skeleton: The bones of the limbs, including the bones of the pelvic girdles.
  • Remodeling:  mature bone tissue is removed from the skeleton (a process called bone resorption) and new bone tissue is formed (a process called ossification or new bone formation).
  • Osteoclasts: cells that take away or remove mature bone tissue.
  • Osteoblasts: cells that are responsible for building up new bone tissue.
  • Epiphysis: a part of a bone separated from the main body of the bone by a layer of cartilage and subsequently uniting with the bone through further ossification.
  • Diaphysis: the long, narrow portion of a bone
  • Epiphyseal Plate: the disk of cartilage between the shaft and the epiphysis of a long bone during its growth.
  • Periosteum: the normal investment of bone, consisting of a dense, fibrous outer layer, to which muscles attach, and a more delicate, inner layer capable of forming bone.
  • Medullary Cavity: the small cavity in the shaft of a long bone where blood cell formation occurs and marrow is stored.
  • Articular (hyaline) cartilage: a firm, elastic, flexible type of connective tissue that covers the end of a bone that makes up a joint.
  • Depressions: a flat area of the bone
  • Processes: a point in the bone used for muscular or ligamentous attachment
  • Vertebral Column: the column of 24 bones making up the spinal column. (7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar)
  • Arthrokinematics: Description of the movement of the joint surfaces when a bone moves through a range of motion.
  • Synovial Joints: joins bones with a fibrous joint capsule that is continuous with the periosteum of the joined bones.
  • Non Synovial Joints: non-movable joint that excludes the joint capsule, cartilage and ligaments.
  • Ligaments: connects bone to bone and provides joint support.


  • Muscular System: All the muscles of the body collectively, especially the voluntary skeletal muscles.
  • Epimysium: the outermost layer of muscular connective tissue that encompasses the muscle body.
  • Perimysium: the middle layer of muscular connective tissue that encompasses the muscle fascicle.
  • Endomysium: the deepest layer of muscular connective tissue that encompasses the muscle fiber.
  • Tendons: a cord or band of dense, tough, inelastic, white, fibrous tissue, serving to connect a muscle with a bone.
  • Sarcomere: like the nueron is to the nervous system the sarcomere is the functional unit of muscle or any of the segments of myofibril in striated muscle fibers; composed of actin and myosin.
  • Neural Activation: the nervous system activation of a muscle fiber via the neuromuscular junction.
  • Motor Unit: a motor neuron and the muscle fibers innervated by its axon.
  • Neurotransmitters: any of several chemical substances, as epinephrine or acetylcholine, that transmit nerve impulses across a synapse to a post-synaptic element, as another nerve, muscle, or gland.

 (Compare the above with definitions from the text)


Compare to Figure 2.34 

Skeletal Muscle

Skeletal Muscle Pic

This image from (SEER Training Modules, n.d.) is similar to the one  you may find in the book. It shows how the bundles of muscle fibers can be broken down further as you explore more into the skeletal muscle.


Compare to Figure 2.38