Voluntary vs Involuntary Muscle: Difference and Comparison

Every human being is constructed with muscles. Muscles are soft tissues that consist of actin and myosin. They both constructively help create and change the shape and length of muscle cells.

Key Takeaways

  1. Voluntary muscles are consciously controlled, primarily used for locomotion and manipulation; involuntary muscles function without conscious effort, regulating internal processes.
  2. Skeletal muscles are the primary type of voluntary muscles, while involuntary muscles include smooth and cardiac muscles.
  3. Under a microscope, voluntary muscles exhibit a striated appearance, while involuntary muscles have a smoother, non-striated appearance.

Voluntary Muscle vs. Involuntary Muscle

We consciously control voluntary muscles to perform movements, such as walking, running, and lifting objects. They are attached to bones and are under the control of the central nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls involuntary muscles and differs from voluntary muscles.

Voluntary muscle vs Involuntary muscle

Voluntary muscles present in the body can have flexible movement on the person’s free will. At the same time, involuntary muscles are present in the body and cannot be controlled.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonVoluntary MuscleInvoluntary Muscle
ControlIt is controlled by the central nervous systemThe autonomic nervous system controls it
ContractionThe contractions are rapid and powerfulThe contractions are slow and rhythmic, always
EnergyThe requirement for energy is highThe requirement for energy is less
CellThe cells are multinucleatedThe cells are uninucleated
ShapeThey are long and cylindricalThey are small, thin, and spindle
NucleusThe nucleus is present in the outer walls of the cellIt is present in the center of the cell
WorkIt works under the commandIt does not work under the control
Rest PeriodIt requires rest at regular intervalsIt works continuously
SarcolemmaSarcolemma present is thickSarcolemma present is thin
Present inIt is present in the tongue, diaphragm and found attached to bonesIt is present in alimentary tracts, respiratory tracts, blood vessels, etc.
InvolvementIt is required in the movement of body partsIt is required in internal organ movement

What is Voluntary Muscle?

Voluntary muscles are muscles on the body that can perform flexible movements on the person’s free will, and they are always attached to the skeleton system.


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The sarcolemma is thick, connecting the muscle fiber to the connective tissue. Voluntary muscle plays a vital role in body movement. Contracting and relaxing the muscles.

voluntary muscle

What is Involuntary Muscle?

Involuntary muscles are muscles in the body that cannot be controlled; they are linked with the organs in the body that make slow and rhythmic continuous contraction and relaxation movements.

Unlike the voluntary muscles, the involuntary muscles are also known as visceral muscles as they are located in the walls of the internal organs such as the urinary bladders, uterus, alimentary canal, etc. They are thin, long, and spindle-shaped.

involuntary muscle

Main Difference Between Voluntary Muscle and Involuntary Muscle

  1. The voluntary muscle requires rest at regular intervals as they are fatigued after some time. The involuntary muscles can work continuously without any rest.
  2. The sarcolemma in the voluntary muscles is thick, whereas the sarcolemma in the involuntary muscle is thin.
Difference Between X and Y 2023 04 17T114817.766
  1. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM196412032712302
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090379812002322
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