MR is a powerful technique for studying the biomechanical and functional properties of skeletal muscle in vivo in health and disease. This review focuses on 31P, 1H and 13C MR spectroscopy for assessment of the dynamics of muscle metabolism and on dynamic 1H MRI methods for non-invasive measurement of the biomechanical and functional properties of skeletal muscle. The information thus obtained ranges from the microscopic level of the metabolism of the myocyte to the macroscopic level of the contractile function of muscle complexes. The MR technology presented plays a vital role in achieving a better understanding of many basic aspects of muscle function, including the regulation of mitochondrial activity and the intricate interplay between muscle fiber organization and contractile function. In addition, these tools are increasingly being employed to establish novel diagnostic procedures as well as to monitor the effects of therapeutic and lifestyle interventions for muscle disorders that have an increasing impact in modern society.