Abstract Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a dietary fat, has been considered beneficial in metabolic syndrome. Despite several findings indicating that CLA improves glucose clearance, little information is available regarding the cellular dynamics of CLA on skeletal muscle. We sought to investigate the role of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) in cis-9, trans-11(c9,t11) and trans-10, cis-12 (t10,c12) CLA isomer-mediated glucose transport by L6 myotubes. t10,c12-CLA stimulated both intracellular Ca2+ release (Cai2+) and CaMKII phosphorylation, whereas c9,t11-CLA showed only modest effects on both. Sequestering Cai2+ with BAPTA/AM abrogated the effect of both CLA isomers on Akt substrate-160kDa (AS160) phosphorylation and glucose uptake by myotubes. Exposing myotubes to KN-93 or autocamtide 2-related inhibitory peptide to block CaMKII activity prevented both CLA isomers from inducing AS160 phosphorylation and glucose transport. Likewise, genetic knockdown of CaMKII in myotubes using siRNA completely abolished CLA isomer-mediated glucose uptake. These results indicate that CLA isomers require Cai2+–CaMKII to mediate glucose uptake. Evidence that CaMKII blockers inhibit t10,c12-CLA-mediated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation indicated that CaMKII acts upstream of AMPK in response to t10,c12-CLA. Lastly, CLA isomers stimulated the formation of reactive oxygen species but had no effect on stress-activated protein kinase/c-jun NH2-terminal kinase. These data establish that t10,c12-CLA acts via Cai2+–CaMKII–AMPK–AS160 to stimulate skeletal muscle glucose transport, whereas the mechanism of c9,t11-CLA remains unclear. Given that impairments in muscle glucose utilisation are apparent in metabolic syndrome, delineating the molecular mechanisms by which CLA isomers mediate muscle glucose uptake may identify new approaches to manage this condition.