10 Differences Between skeletal muscle and smooth muscle

Difference Between Skeletal Muscle and Smooth Muscle

Difference Between Skeletal Muscle and Smooth Muscle

What is Skeletal Muscle?

Skeletal muscle is a type of muscle tissue that is attached to bones, enabling voluntary movement of the body. It is composed of long cylindrical cells called muscle fibers, which are striated in appearance due to their overlapping protein filaments.

Examples of Skeletal Muscle

  • Biceps brachii
  • Quadriceps femoris
  • Gastrocnemius

Uses of Skeletal Muscle

  • Movement: Skeletal muscles allow us to walk, run, lift objects, etc.
  • Posture: They help maintain our body’s stability and upright posture.
  • Facial Expressions: Skeletal muscles enable us to show emotions through facial expressions.

What is Smooth Muscle?

Smooth muscle is a type of muscle tissue found in the walls of hollow organs, blood vessels, and various other structures within the body. Unlike skeletal muscle, smooth muscle is non-striated and contains spindle-shaped cells.

Examples of Smooth Muscle

  • Intestinal muscles
  • Uterus muscles
  • Arterial walls

Uses of Smooth Muscle

  • Digestion: Smooth muscles in the intestines help propel food through the digestive system.
  • Childbirth: The muscles in the uterus contract during labor and childbirth.
  • Blood Flow: Smooth muscles in the arterial walls regulate blood flow and blood pressure.

Differences between Skeletal Muscle and Smooth Muscle

Difference Area Skeletal Muscle Smooth Muscle
Location Attached to bones Walls of organs and blood vessels
Appearance Striated Non-striated
Control Voluntary Involuntary
Cell Shape Cylindrical Spindle-shaped
Nervous Control Controlled by somatic nervous system Controlled by autonomic nervous system
Cell Nuclei Multi-nucleated Single-nucleated
Contraction Speed Fast Slow
Mitochondria Less abundant More abundant
Regeneration Ability Can regenerate to some extent Can regenerate well
Response to Fatigue Quickly fatigues Slow to fatigue


In summary, skeletal muscle and smooth muscle differ in various aspects such as their location, appearance, control, cell shape, nervous control, nuclei, contraction speed, mitochondria abundance, regeneration ability, and response to fatigue.

People Also Ask

  • Q: Can smooth muscle be under voluntary control?
  • A: No, smooth muscle is not under voluntary control. It is regulated by the autonomic nervous system.

  • Q: Do skeletal muscle cells have a single nucleus?
  • A: No, skeletal muscle cells are multi-nucleated.

  • Q: Which type of muscle contracts more slowly?
  • A: Smooth muscle contracts more slowly than skeletal muscle.

  • Q: Can smooth muscle regenerate?
  • A: Yes, smooth muscle has a good ability to regenerate.

  • Q: Why does skeletal muscle fatigue more quickly than smooth muscle?
  • A: Skeletal muscle fibers rely on anaerobic metabolism, leading to quicker fatigue compared to the aerobic metabolism of smooth muscle.

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