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Pivot diagram of a Class 3 lever

Different classes of levers are identified by the way the joint and muscles attached to the bone are arranged.

For a Class 3 lever the load is further away from the pivot than the effort. There is no mechanical advantage because the effort is greater than the load. However this disadvantage is compensated with a larger movement. This type of lever system also gives us the advantage of a much greater speed of movement.

A bent arm is a Class 3 lever. The pivot is at the elbow and the forearm acts as the lever arm. The biceps muscle provides the effort (force) and bends the forearm against the weight of the forearm and any weight that the hand might be holding.


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