Skeletal Muscle Allows Movement What Is Skeletal Muscle

Skeletal muscle is made up of very specialized cells that have the ability to shorten when they are stimulated. With the exception of reflex mechanisms, such as the knee tap by a physician, movement of our skeletal muscle is under the command of our brain, as mentioned earlier. Because muscle cells are very long they are often referred to as muscle fibers (see Figure 2.6). The fibers are bundled up like a box of dry spaghetti or

Figure 2.6 General structure of skeletal muscle.

Myofibril

Figure 2.6 General structure of skeletal muscle.

straight wires in a cable. The muscle fiber bundles are themselves bundled up and are part of larger collection of similar bundles which make up a particular muscle. Skeletal muscle is so named because it is generally anchored at both ends to different bones of our skeleton by tendons. When muscle contracts, it pulls on a specific bone, which moves the bone, thus moving a body part.

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