Functions of skeletal muscle

Skeletal muscle has several important functions within the body.

  • Movement: skeletal muscles attach to bones, against which they pull to enable movement.
  • Support and posture: skeletal muscles are seldom fully relaxed and are often in a constant state of slight contraction.
  • Heat production: when skeletal muscle contracts, it involves the production of energy (see lesson 10). In breaking down glycogen to provide this energy, heat is released. This is why the body gets hot when exercise is performed. When the body is cold, the muscle often goes through a series of involuntary muscle contractions (shivering) in order to release heat and keep the body warm.


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