Properties of skeletal muscle

Skeletal muscle possesses four essential properties:

  • Excitability: this refers to muscle tissue being able to react to nervous stimulation.
  • Extensibility: this refers to the ability of muscle tissue to lengthen when contracting and provide the effort required to move the lever system (the bones and joints), producing coordinated movement.
  • Elasticity: this refers to the ability of muscle tissue to return to its normal resting length once it has been stretched. A useful analogy is that of an elastic band, that will always resume its resting shape after it has been stretched. This property enables the muscle to prepare for a series of repeated contractions, which is normally required when performing exercise or sport.
  • Contractility: this refers to the capacity of a muscle to contract or shorten forcibly when stimulated by nerves and hormones (excitability).

All these properties are essential for all body actions including movement and posture.


Please click here to read our advice and updates regarding Covid-19