Zebrafish possess a number of specific advantages for the study of muscle cell disease and regeneration. Foremost amongst these attributes is the fact that the externally-developing, transparent, zebrafish embryo and larva allows simple optical inspection of living muscle. Using both forward and reverse genetic approaches we have generated mutations in the zebrafish orthologues of the vast majority of human dystrophy disease-causing genes. Using this resource, we have sought to understand the basis for the pathology evident in the least well understood of the inherited muscle diseases. Amongst the most enigmatic of the dystrophies at the mechanistic level are those grouped as the Congenital Muscular Dystrophy class. Here I describe our studies, that use the image intensive and genetic approaches that are facilitated in the zebrafish system, coupled with studies in patient cells, to make novel insights in to the pathological basis of a number of these disorders. I will also describe our contributions to the understanding of the muscle regenerative process, a focus of the laboratory that aims to document and understand the collective cellular response triggered in muscle disease and tissue injury.