See me Flex!


Any animal would always love the liberty to propel itself and ‘flex’. This feat is basically achieved through the activities of the muscles which help the body to contract and relax. Muscles are positioned in different sites in the body for different functions. 

While some can be controlled voluntarily (skeletal muscles), others cannot (smooth and cardiac muscles).More than half of the body mass is muscular. Muscle mass of body builders was put at 65.1% while non-athletes possess muscle mass of 56.5% when compared to body mass1.

Smooth muscles lack stripes that run across the muscles i.e. they are unstriated . They are found in walls of hollow organs such as the stomach, oesophagus, blood vessels, bladder, male and female reproductive organs. 

The structure and function of smooth muscles are alike despite the location however; they are excited by different stimuli. They have the ability to contract slowly, automatically and are controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Energy required for the contraction of smooth muscles is provided by the hydrolysis of ATP- this is the breakdown of ATP (energy storage molecule) by the addition of water.


Smooth muscles are classified to single-unit smooth muscles and multi-unit smooth muscles. The single-unit smooth muscles have pacemaker regions where contractions are spontaneously and rhythmically generated

Smooth muscles are also found in the prostate gland where they assist the prostate in carrying out its function of expelling fluids to the urethra and ejaculatory ducts. These smooth muscles occupy most part of the prostate. With the support of elastic and collagen fibres, smooth muscles give the prostate gland the required support and firmness.



L.F. Spenst et al (1993). Muscle Mass of Competitive Male Athlete. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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