Q:

What is the difference between involuntary and voluntary muscles?

A:

Quick Answer

One of the differences between involuntary and voluntary muscles is how each muscle moves. An involuntary muscle is one that can't be controlled. A voluntary muscle, however, is one that can be controlled through stimuli, such as movement.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Involuntary and voluntary muscles also appear differently when viewed under a microscope. Involuntary muscle, called smooth muscle, is located within blood vessels, digestive system and internal organs, with the exception of the heart. It looks smooth when viewed under a microscope and doesn't have the striations or stripes that are seen in voluntary muscle tissue.

Voluntary muscles are also called skeletal muscles. These are the muscles attached to the bones, and movement is caused through contraction of these muscles. Every movement a body makes is due to voluntary muscles contracting and relaxing. There are several proteins contained in voluntary muscles that help the muscles to contract and relax, but the two primary proteins are myosin and actin. These muscles contain more than one nucleus and, depending upon the part of the body, can be up to 30 centimeters in length.

A third type of muscle, called cardiac muscle, is found within the body. This muscle is only found within the heart. It is a type of involuntary muscle, meaning it is one that can't be controlled.

Learn more about Muscles

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are muscle spasms?

    A:

    Muscle spasms are sudden involuntary contractions of one or more muscles and often lead to cramping. Some muscles are more prone to spasms, including the calf muscles and abdominal region. Causes include vitamin deficiency, magnesium or potassium deficiency and fatigue.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is in a gluteal muscle diagram?

    A:

    As the Stanford Visible Female explains, a gluteal muscle diagram is a 3D image of the muscles in the buttocks. According to My Weight Lifting, a diagram of the gluteal muscle should include the three gluteal muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What muscle allows you to raise your arm laterally?

    A:

    The deltoids are the muscles that allow humans to raise their arms laterally. In addition to the deltoids, there are several other muscles groups that assist in lateral motion.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What muscle extends the toes?

    A:

    The muscles that extend the toes are the flexor hallucis longus, which flexes and extends the big toe, and the flexor digitorum longus, which flexes and extends the “lateral” four toes. The muscle known as the “flexor hallucis longus” is found on the posterior surface near the fibula and shaft.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore