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Types of Skeletal Muscle

Types of Skeletal Muscle

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Description:

This lesson will describe the two basic types of skeletal muscle: "fast" and "slow" muscles.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This lesson will focus on the types of skeletal muscles and the differences between them by covering:

  1. Red skeletal muscles
  2. White skeletal muscles

1. Red Skeletal Muscles

Red skeletal muscles are also known as slow skeletal muscles. They are the types of skeletal muscles that can contract slowly for long periods of time. These are muscles that you use on a regular basis and include muscles that help you to maintain your posture.

These types of muscles have fibers that have more myoglobin and more capillaries in them to allow for the sustained activity they require. Myoglobin is a protein that binds to oxygen and is found in the fibers of red muscle cells. This protein is also red in color, and is what gives this type of muscle it’s red appearance. Red skeletal muscles also have more capillaries running to them. This allows more blood to run to them, delivering oxygen and taking away carbon dioxide as these muscles work.

Terms to Know

    • Slow Skeletal Muscle
    • Also known as red skeletal muscle; a type of muscle that can contract slowly for long periods of time.
    • Myoglobin
    • A protein that binds oxygen which is necessary for the production of ATP.

2. White Skeletal Muscles

White skeletal muscles, or fast skeletal muscles, can contract quickly for short periods of time.

Example The muscles in your hand can contract quickly, but they can't sustain activity for a very long period of time. If you are writing, you can only write so long before your hand really starts to cramp up.

Term to Know

    • Fast Skeletal Muscle
    • Also known as white skeletal muscle; a type of muscle that can contract quickly for a short period of time.

This type of muscle lacks the amount of myoglobin that red skeletal muscles contain, so they are white in appearance. They also have fewer capillaries running to them, meaning less blood is supplied to them as well. This is why they can only contract for short periods of time. White skeletal muscles also have fewer mitochondria in them; mitochondria provides muscles with ATP and energy to sustain contractions.

Summary

There are two types of skeletal muscles. Red skeletal muscles, also knows as slow skeletal muscles are muscles that contract slowly over a long period of time. They contain more myoglobin and capillaries carrying blood to sustain long periods of work. The myoglobin is red, and gives slow skeletal muscle’s their color. White skeletal muscles are also called fast skeletal muscles, and , while they can contract quickly, cannot sustain activity for a long time. They do not have as much myoglobin, blood flow, or mitochondria as red skeletal muscles do to allow for extended use.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Fast Skeletal Muscle

    Also known as white skeletal muscle; a type of muscle that can contract quickly for a short period of time.

  • Slow Skeletal Muscle

    Also known as red skeletal muscle; a type of muscle that can contract slowly for long periods of time.

  • Myoglobin

    A protein that binds oxygen which is necessary for the production of ATP.