There are two types of muscles in the body- voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary muscles are under our conscious control, while involuntary muscles are not. This means that we can choose to move our voluntary muscles, but the involuntary muscles work without us having to think about it. For example, when we breathe, the diaphragm is an involuntary muscle and will contract without us having to tell it to. When we blink, the eyelids are involuntarily closing. However, when we flex our biceps, we are using voluntary muscle. We have to consciously decide to do it!
What are Voluntary Muscles?
Voluntary muscles are muscles that can be controlled by the mind. These are the muscles used for walking, writing, and other intentional movements. Most of the muscles in the human body are voluntary. The opposite of voluntary muscles are involuntary muscles, which are muscles that contract without conscious effort.
- Examples of involuntary muscles include the heart and the digestive tract. Voluntary muscles get their name from the Latin word “voluntarius”, which means “willing” or “voluntary”. The term was first used in 1836 by French anatomist Jean-Baptiste Dumas.
- Voluntary muscles are controlled by the somatic nervous system, which includes both motor neurons and sensory neurons. Motor neurons carry signals from the brain to the muscle, telling it to contract.
- Sensory neurons carry signals from the muscle back to the brain, telling it how much force is being generated. Voluntary muscles are also known as striated muscle because they contain alternating light and dark bands, or stripes.
This pattern is caused by the way individual muscle cells align themselves with each other. Voluntary muscle cells are typically much longer than other types of cells in the body. This allows them to generate more force when they contract. Voluntary muscle tissue makes up 40% of the human body weight.
What are Involuntary Muscles?
Involuntary muscles are those that we do not have conscious control over. They make up the majority of the muscles in our body and are responsible for functions like keeping our heart beating and digesting food. Involuntary muscles are controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which regulates all of the body’s automatic processes. Even though we can’t control them directly, we can influence involuntary muscles indirectly by controlling our breathing and heart rate. Involuntary muscles are always working to keep us alive and functioning properly, even when we’re asleep!
Difference between Voluntary and Involuntary Muscles
Voluntary muscles are the ones we have conscious control over, like those in our arms and legs. We use them when we choose to move in a certain way. Involuntary muscles are muscle types that work without us even thinking about it and we have no conscious control over, such as the muscles in our digestive system.
These types of muscle contractions happen automatically in response to various stimuli. involuntary muscles are also called smooth muscles because they’re smooth in texture with very little striation compared to the highly-striated appearance of voluntary muscles. Voluntary muscles are also called skeletal or striated because they’re under our conscious control and attach to our skeleton.
Muscles can be broken down into two categories- voluntary and involuntary. The vast majority of muscles in the body are involuntary, meaning they work without us having to think about them. These muscles include the heart, which beats continuously whether we are awake or asleep, and the muscles that control our digestive system.
Voluntary muscles are those that we use when we move our arms and legs- these muscles are under our conscious control. Understanding the difference between voluntary and involuntary muscles is important for anyone who wants to improve their physical fitness or train for a sport. When you know how your body works, you can better target your training so that you see results faster.