Difference between Voluntary Muscles and Involuntary Muscles

Main difference

The main difference between voluntary muscles and involuntary muscles is that voluntary muscles are under your control, while involuntary muscles are not under your control.

Voluntary versus involuntary muscles

The shape of the voluntary muscles is elongated and cylindrical. The involuntary muscles are tiny and spindle-shaped. Voluntary muscles contain many nuclei in their cells. They unwittingly contain a single nucleus in their cells. Voluntary muscles experience fatigue and need to rest after a period of time. Involuntary muscles can work continuously and do not need to rest or fatigue. Voluntary muscles require a large amount of energy to perform a specific function. Involuntary muscles require less amount of energy to perform a function. The voluntary muscles are attached with the help of the z disk. The involuntary muscles are united by the intercalated disc.

Voluntary muscles show rapid contraction and relaxation of the muscles. Involuntary muscles show slow relaxation and contraction of the muscles. Voluntary muscles are attached to the bones of our body. Involuntary muscles are found within the walls of the different organs of the body. Voluntary muscles are controlled by the willpower of the individual. Involuntary muscles are not under the will of an individual. Voluntary muscles help different parts of the body to locomotion. The involuntary muscles help the different organs to perform different functions like breathing, digestion, etc.

The voluntary muscles are not branched. The involuntary muscles have been reduced from the extremes. Voluntary muscle nuclei are present at the periphery of the muscle. Involuntary muscle nuclei are present in the center of the muscle. The voluntary muscle has origin and insertion at the end of the muscle. The involuntary muscle does not have origin and insertion at the end. Voluntary muscles have a strong contraction. The involuntary muscles exhibit a rhythmic contraction.

Comparative chart
Voluntary muscles Involuntary muscles
The muscles that are controlled and you can choose to do the job are voluntary muscles. Automatic muscles that work on their own without your control are involuntary muscles.
Type of fabric
Striped striped fabric No stripes found
Controlled by
Somatic nervous system Autonomic nervous system
Skeletal muscles Smooth muscles
Found in
Attached to our skeleton Internal organs, for example, heart, stomach, etc.
Thick slim
Works at regular intervals Works continuously
Pharynx, muscles under the skin, muscles of the middle ear, diaphragm and abdominal wall of the tongue, etc. Respiratory tract, duct glands, blood vessels, digestive tract and urogenital tract, etc.

What are voluntary muscles?

Voluntary muscles are a type of muscle that is regulated by the somatic nervous system, since we know that these muscles are attached to tendons or a bone, that is why they are also called skeletal muscles, which are used mainly for the purpose of locomotion. . Voluntary muscle cells are multinucleated and cylindrical in shape. Each cell in voluntary muscles is wrapped in connective tissue and is called “endomysium.” The cells of the voluntary muscles are arranged in the form of a bundle, which then forms a functional tissue.

Each bundle of cells is surrounded by a connective tissue that is “epimysium.” When the bundle of cells is wrapped, they are arranged into compartments called “fascicles.” Each bundle is wrapped again in connective tissue called “perimysium.” The connective tissue covering in the muscle is to provide them with support or nutrition. Voluntary muscles have about 40% of total body weight. Voluntary muscles are regulated under the control of the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Voluntary muscles are long and striped and are found in the bundle of muscle fibers. These bundles of muscle fibers are joined by sarcolemma, which also consists of sarcoplasm, uninucleated, found at the edges and the sarcoplasmic reticulum. The dark and light bands are present in the muscles, which are known as myofibrils. These muscles play an important role in the movement of the body. These muscles are also necessary to maintain the posture of the body. These muscles generally work antagonistically.

What are involuntary muscles?

Involuntary muscles are those muscles that are not under our conscious control. Involuntary muscles categorized in the smooth muscle of our body. In the walls of our hollow organs like stomach, intestine, uterus, blood and blood capillaries, etc. smooth muscles are present. Involuntary muscles have a single core located in the center, and these muscles are spindle shaped. For these muscles, the motor neurons of the autonomic nervous system function as neurotransmitters.

There is a junction space between the cells of the involuntary muscles and the signals from the neurons are transmitted from one cell to another. Involuntary muscles also play an important role during stress conditions in which they respond to stress by releasing fluid in the stressed organ. Involuntary muscles are also called non-striated muscles or non-striated muscles. Since we know that these muscles are also present in the walls of internal organs, they are also called “visceral muscles.” The reason they are known as involuntary muscles is because they are not under the desire of an individual.

The shape of the involuntary muscles is a long, thin, spindle-shaped muscle fiber. They are structurally very simple and maintain an oval-shaped nucleus in each muscle cell. The oval-shaped nucleus is covered by a sarcoplasm called myofibrils. In involuntary muscles, there are no light or dark bands. Instead of the dark or light band, there is actin or myosin. The involuntary muscles are firmly attached with the help of interspersed discs. These intercalated discs help the muscle in sync.

Key differences
  1. Voluntary muscles present as a mass in the body flash; on the other hand, involuntary muscles are present only in hollow organs.
  2. Voluntary muscles show a slow response; on the other hand, the involuntary muscles show a rapid response.
  3. Voluntary muscles involve conscious thoughts; conversely, involuntary muscles do not involve conscious thought.
  4. The voluntary muscles are long; on the other hand, the involuntary muscles are small.
  5. The voluntary muscles are under the control of the will; on the contrary, the involuntary muscles are not under the control of the will.
  6. Voluntary muscles experience a response to benefit, while involuntary muscles experience a rapid response to avoid danger.
  7. Voluntary muscles attached to bones or tendons compared to involuntary muscles, which are not attached to bones.
  8. Voluntary muscles have many nuclei compared to involuntary muscles that have only one nucleus.
  9. Voluntary muscles tire early; on the other hand, the involuntary muscles do not tire early.
  10. Voluntary muscles are also known as skeletal muscles; On the other hand, involuntary muscles are also known as smooth muscles.

Final Thoght

It is concluded that the voluntary muscles are in our conscious and the involuntary muscles are not in our conscious.

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