Chapter 10. Muscle Tissue

10.0 Introduction

This photograph shows a man playing tennis.

Figure 10.01 – Tennis Player: Athletes rely on skeletal muscles to supply the force required for movement. (credit: Emmanuel Huybrechts/flickr)

Learning Objectives

After studying this chapter, you will be able to:

  • 10.1 Describe structural and functional differences of skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle tissue
  • 10.2 Describe the structure and function of skeletal muscle fibers
  • 10.3 Explain the process involved with initiating muscle contraction and relaxation
  • 10.4 Explain how the nervous system is able to regulate force generation in skeletal muscle
  • 10.5 Describe the types of skeletal muscle fibers
  • 10.6 Relate the connections between exercise and muscle performance
  • 10.7 Understand the structure and function of smooth muscle tissue
  • 10.8 Explain the development and regeneration process of muscle tissue

When most people think of muscles, they think of the muscles that are visible just under the skin, particularly of the limbs. These are skeletal muscles, so-named because most of them move the skeleton. But there are two other types of muscle in the body, with distinctly different jobs. Cardiac muscle, found in the heart, is concerned with pumping blood through the circulatory system. Smooth muscle is concerned with various involuntary movements, such as having one’s hair stand on end when cold or frightened, or moving food through the digestive system. This chapter will examine the structure and function of these three types of muscles.