Voluntary Muscles: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

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Voluntary Muscles Definition

A muscle that can be voluntarily controlled.

Some of the body’s muscles can be intentionally controlled. Other muscles function at a subconscious level. Voluntary muscles are those that can be regulated at the user’s will (volition).

Involuntary muscles are those that are not controlled by the brain. Smooth and cardiac muscles are involuntary muscles, whereas skeletal muscles are voluntary.

Skeletal muscles are linked to the bones and are striated muscles (thus the name). When examined under a microscope, the striations are generated by the presence of transverse patterns in the muscle fibre.

Striations aren’t just seen in skeletal muscle fibres; they’re also found in cardiac muscle fibres.

The heart muscle, on the other hand, contracts in a rhythmic and autonomic manner. As a result, the heart muscle is classified as an involuntary muscle.

Skeletal muscles, in general, function at the will of an individual and are thus voluntary. The somatic nervous system is a component of the peripheral nervous system that is involved in skeletal muscle voluntary control of bodily motions.

Afferent and efferent nerves make up the somatic nervous system. The afferent nerves transmit information to the central nervous system, whereas the efferent nerves stimulate skeletal muscle contraction.

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