What is Skeletal Muscle?
Skeletal muscle is striated muscle tissue that is attached to bones. It is composed of fibers that look like a mixture of dark and light bands bundled together that run along the bone. These muscles are responsible for contracting and relaxing when a person moves. Skeletal muscles are the muscles that we can see and feel through our skin. An individual skeletal muscle is considered an organ within the muscular system of the body. The skeletal muscle works with nerve tissue, connective tissue and vascular or blood tissue. Skeletal muscles vary in different sizes and shapes as well as the arrangement of the muscle fibers. The sizes of different skeletal muscles range from as small as a muscle within the ear to a muscle large enough for the thigh. They may be broad or narrow, but no matter what the size, each skeletal muscle is composed of many muscle fibers that are wrapped and bundled together and covered by connective tissue. The connective tissue covering is called the epimysium. The
Skeletal muscle is the muscle, unsurprisingly, you find attached to your skeleton. It is largely under voluntary control – that is, in order for the muscle to contract, the individual has to think about it. When we talk about ‘muscles’, we are usually talking about skeletal muscles – biceps, for instance, is a skeletal muscle, made up of the characteristic striated muscle. Skeletal muscle is described as striated because of its appearance. Under the microscope it is possible to see parallel lines – ‘striations’ – running across the muscle cells. These are due to the myofibrils found in skeletal muscle cells, which will be discussed shortly. Each muscle, then, can be split into compartments known as fasicles, with each fascicle wrapped in a sheath of connective tissue known as the perimysium. Surrounding the whole bundle of fascicles is the epimysium, keeping the muscle together. Within each fasicle are the muscle fibres or muscle cells, each wrapped in endomysium. Within each of these