We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Striated Muscle?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A striated muscle is a muscle composed of thousands of units known as sarcomeres. Each sarcomere is composed of distinct bands of different material which give the muscle a striped or striated appearance when it is viewed at a high level of magnification. These muscles move when various bands within the sarcomeres contract or relax, causing the muscle as a whole to shorten or extend. The interactions between bands in the same muscle are designed to keep the muscle moving smoothly and powerfully through a flexing motion or extension.

There are two types of striated muscle: skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle. The skeletal muscles are voluntary muscles which allow for the movement of bones and joints, while cardiac muscles are involuntary, and found only in the heart. The cardiac muscle also has a slightly different appearance from skeletal muscle, although both share the striated trait characteristic of muscle tissue which contains sarcomeres.

Some people use the term “striated muscle” to refer specifically to skeletal muscle, separating cardiac muscle into another category to avoid confusion. These muscles all have a point of attachment known as the origin where the muscle connects to a bone, and a point where the muscle meets a tendon, known as the insertion. When the muscle contracts, it pulls the tendon, causing a flex, and when the muscle relaxes, an extension occurs. Striated muscles usually work in pairs, with one relaxing and one contracting, to keep movements smooth and even.

Striated muscle is the most common type of muscle tissue in the body. It can be found in both slow and fast twitch forms. Fast twitch muscles can produce a burst of high energy for rapid and powerful movement, but they tire quickly. Slow twitch muscles produce less energy, but are designed for endurance and sustained work. People can further condition their muscles through exercises which are designed to improve muscle tone, stamina, and function.

While the striated skeletal muscle is primarily controlled by the body, it can also be involved in involuntary movement. Many of the skeletal muscles will react in a reflex when triggered to do so, and they also help to maintain posture by maintaining a specific tension level and position which keeps the skeleton together and in alignment. As many people have learned, posture can be influenced through exercise and concentration, illustrating the difference between striated muscle which is toned and exercised, and those which are not.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By rugbygirl — On Jun 07, 2011

@robbie21 - The opposite of striated muscle is smooth muscle. Contraction of smooth muscles is involuntary; you don't control it, which is probably why you don't think of smooth muscle when you think of "a muscle."

Smooth muscle is found in lots of places in your body, including your blood vessels and your digestive tract. These internal systems use contraction to move things along, digest your food, etc., but you don't have any control over it and usually don't feel it. One exception: The uterus is a giant smooth muscle (that's why OBs talk about "contractions") and that one, people feel when it contracts!

By robbie21 — On Jun 05, 2011

OK, so I get the idea that striated muscle is basically what I think of when I think of a muscle. Like the biceps or hamstring. So what's non-striated muscle? Is all muscle striated? Or maybe just all human muscle?

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.