During muscle contraction in humans, the
During shortening of the muscle, i.e., contraction, the ‘I’ bands get reduced, whereas the ‘A’ bands retain the length.
When the muscle is maximally contracted, thin filaments slide inward, the I band and H zone narrow and eventually disappear altogether. However, the length of the A band and the individual lengths of the thick and thin filaments remain unchanged. Since the thin filaments on each side of the sarcomere are attached to Z discs, when the thin filaments slide inward, the Z discs come closer together, and the sarcomere shortens. Shortening of the sarcomeres causes shortening of the whole muscle fiber, which in turn leads to shortening of the entire muscle.