Muscle contraction is at the basis of all skeletal movements. Skeletal muscles are composed of muscles fibers which in turn are made of repetitive functional units called sarcomeres. Each sarcomere contains many parallel, overlapping thin (actin) and thick (myosin) filaments. The muscle contracts when these filaments slide past each other, resulting in a shortening of the sarcomere and thus the muscle. This is known as the sliding filament theory. Cross-bridge cycling forms the molecular basis for this sliding movement.