Functional and clinical significance of skeletal muscle architecture

Richard L. Lieber*, Jan Fridén

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

778 Scopus citations


Skeletal muscle architecture is the structural property of whole muscles that dominates their function. This review describes the basic architectural properties of human upper and lower extremity muscles. The designs of various muscle groups in humans and other species are analyzed from the point of view of optimizing function. Muscle fiber arrangement and motor unit arrangement is discussed in terms of the control of movement. Finally, the ability of muscles to change their architecture in response to immobilization, eccentric exercise, and surgical tendon transfer is reviewed. Future integrative physiological studies will provide insights into the mechanisms by which such adaptations occur. It is likely that muscle fibers transduce both stress and strain and respond by modifying sarcomere number in a way more suited to the new biomechanical environment. (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1647-1666
Number of pages20
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2000


  • Architecture
  • Muscle design
  • Muscle fiber
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Tendon transfer surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional and clinical significance of skeletal muscle architecture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this