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Rarely in the human body do muscles work in isolation. Most of the time, especially with the skeletal muscles, pairs of muscles (and sometimes even more than pairs) work together to create smooth and diverse movements. One typical model for muscle functioning is the push/pull muscle pattern, such as can be found in the biceps/triceps pairings of the arms. In truth, muscles can only contract to exert force. They can also relax, but this doesn't exert a force, so it is necessary for the body...
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Muscles pull on bones by contracting. They generally operate in opposing pairs, allowing the bone to be moved back and forth by contracting alternating pairs.
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