What Are Fast Twitch Muscle Exercises?

Fast twitch muscle exercises are designed to stimulate and train the fast twitch muscles. Improving your athletic performance depends a lot on the fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fiber composition in your body. In virtually all sports, whether it’s sprinting in track and field, shooting a basketball, delivering a killer tennis serve, running a marathon, or throwing a punch, the condition and action of your muscle fibers are critical to athletic success.

Every sport uses a combination of both fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers, though in some sports one type of muscle can dominate. The use of different muscle types also varies by sport, how long and intensively you do it, and whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced athlete. Fast twitch muscle exercises are designed to engage those muscles, and are necessary for improving certain actions that require a burst of controlled activity, like vertical jumps.

Fast twitch muscles exercises are high intensity exercises that require short bursts of activity. They’re anaerobic as opposed to aerobic. In other words, fast twitch muscle exercises are not about the cardio or increasing oxygen uptake, they’re about the power – and power that’s intense and controlled.

Since fast twitch muscle fibers are the light-colored muscles, they contain lower levels of iron, which is where oxygen is stored. These muscles don’t need the reserves of oxygen that the slow twitch muscle fibers, which keep you going during a marathon or long distance bike race, require for sustained stamina.

Fast twitch muscle exercises are usually more complex, due to the fact that there are several types of fast twitch muscles, which are categorized into three subgroups: the fast oxidative fibers which are resistant against fatigue, the fast glycolytic fibers that are more efficient anaerobically, and the intermediate or fast oxidative glycolytic. You don’t need to remember those, but you do need to know that the fast twitch muscles fatigue quickly and are the slowest of all muscles to recover.

What’s ironic is slow twitch muscles actually twitch faster – and recover faster from exercise – compared to fast twitch muscles! This is why you don’t feel very sore after cycling for an hour, but your thigh muscles hurt like hell after doing fast twitch muscle exercises like jump squats.

The quick reflex reactions inside your fast twitch muscles require large amounts of force – step quickness, jumping, sprinting, pivoting. That force plus the lower oxygen levels create chemical reactions that cause the soreness. Without oxygen, fast twitch muscle fibers tighten up. In fact, a fast twitch muscle’s peak lasts only 30-45 seconds before it needs rest!

The best fast twitch muscles exercises for virtually any sport are:

Jump Squats

This is where you rebound fast and high from a fully crouched position. It’s the same as a squat, but when you come back up you jump – as high as you can! Then go immediately back down. Two of three sets of 10 of these is a good workout.

Heavy Squats – Uptempo

These fast twitch muscles exercises develop the overall of the muscle fibers, which in turn will give you a lot more power for vertical jumps and overall quickness.

You do this like a regular squat, but increase the speed at which you go up. So if it takes you three seconds to go down and three seconds to go up, try go to the standing position in just one second. Not easy! Two sets of 10 each can be pretty challenging.

Wall Squat-Jumps

This is another of the fast twitch muscle exercises that can improve your overall quickness. You start by standing about three feet from a wall. Take the first two steps toward the wall and jump up as high off the ground as possible on the third step, reaching up and touching the wall as high as you can. If you keep track of how high you touch with some chalk on your fingers, you’ll be able to track your progress. 10 jumps per leg is a great workout.

Fast twitch muscles are very challenging on your body and should never be done on back-to-back days if you want to avoid injury. You need at least one full day of rest between fast twitch muscle exercises that tax a specific body part (like your legs).

Not that you understand the significance of concentrating on the right kind of muscle fibers, get to work on some fast twitch muscle exercises to improve that burst of quickness on the playing field.

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Train To Run Faster And Beat Your Competition

Learning some exercises and techniques that will help you train to run faster can significantly increase your speed on the athletic playing field. The majority of athletes haven’t yet grasped that fact that that overall athleticism is one thing which can be enhanced – and quite considerably at that – when you train the correct manner.
The best way to train to run faster is to use sprint and speed training drills, but only if you’ve reached a basic level of fitness. In other words, don’t do them if you’re not already able to run for 20-30 minutes at a steady pace and you haven’t been doing athletics for at least three months. If you’re in decent shape and have been training consistently, you can add speed drills to your workouts.

Here’s an example of speed training that is part of an interval training regimen. It’s a beginner level drill you can use to train to run faster.

First warm up by jogging in place for about 5-10 ┬áminutes. Do this at a slow pace, since it’s just a warm up to get the blood to your muscles. Then do some slow stretching of the major body parts: for your shoulders, neck, head, hips, ankles, and trunk.

And whatever you do, don’t go to the next phase if you’re tired from an intense workout. If you’re tired your form will suffer, which means no results or even an injury. Proper form means no bending forward at the waist and pushing off the balls of your feet, not the toes. Basic track techniques should be used, such as pumping your hands properly and backard-forward swings of your arms.

Once you’re certain you can keep true to form, you can stat to train to rin faster with standard 20 meter speed drills. Do each of these 2-3 times each session:

  • High-step walking
  • High-step jogging
  • Crossovers
  • Heel kicks
  • Ladder drills
  • Plyometrics

This workout can be done twice a week with a minimum of two recovery days between workouts.

You can also do sprint types of drills to train to run faster. You start by doing a 10 meter sprint repeated 5 times. You then increase the length of the run to 20 meters and then 40 meters, repeating each 5 times. Rest between each sprint for about 1 to 1.5 the time of your run.

You can also vary these sprints up. Simply search online for various types of sprint drills and you’ll find blogs where coaches and trainers share their favorites. These types of sprints should be performed on a stadium track if at all possible to avoid slips and falls. After you’ve done your speed drills, end like you began: cool down with a 10 minute jog and some stretching.

Believe it or not, another way to train to run faster is to run slower. Adding some endurance running into your routine can be a crucial element because it increases overall fitness. Developing muscular endurance over a long distance is great cardio, gives you a mental edge, and in the long run can make you faster physically and mentally. So it’s no wonder that many professional coaches will take their players on endurance runs. Of course you won’t be running a marathon, since that’s a different type of sport altogether.

The range of your endurance runs are determined by your individual fitness level and preparation. Don’t worry at first about covering a long distance, and don’t push it since you can make yourself prone to injury if you overdo it on an endurance run too soon. Most athletes who are training at the college or semi-professional level can easily work up to a run of 1.5 to 2 miles on a regular basis. And don’t forget to clock yourself.

You should be convinced by now that no matter what your sport, you can train to run faster and get that winning edge. Now just go out there and do it!

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Boosting Athletic Quickness

If you play a sport and are looking to get ahead of the competition, maybe even make a name for yourself on the playing field, then you should have something extra in you – something that your opponents do not have. That ┬ásomething extra is athletic quickness, that combination of speed, power and agility that makes your teammates rally around you and strikes fear into the heart of the opposing team.
Athletic quickness can take you from good to great on the court or field, and it can also make your entire body stronger and tougher no matter what sport you play. Many athletic quickness programs looks to the research of renowned muscle speed expert Dr. Larry Van Such. He developed some simple but revolutionary exercise programs that can be used to increase speed and help you develop that elusive athletic quickness.
Simple athletic quickness workouts can be customized for various sports, and any of them can be integrated with any existing training program. Every athlete must regularly work at quickness using speed drills. An added side benefit is that athletic quickness training will enhance your overall fitness and performance. It develops the muscle fibers responsible for not just bursts of speed but also agility and great reflexes in general.
The first thing to understand about athletic quickness exercises is they are quite different from strength and endurance exercises. In order to develop that amazing speed, your muscles need to learn to retract and contract very fast. Athletic quickness training aims to achieve that by conditioning your muscle fibers and making them your reflexes much more responsive.
And second, don’t get bogged down in wondering how to train for athletic quickness in your particular sport. It doesn’t matter all that much whether your sport is football, basketball, tennis, hockey, baseball, soccer or even martial arts. It’s like doing squats or core exercises – football players don’t do them any differently than basketball players. Quickness drills are very much the same. There may be a slight variation from one sport to the next, but any basic athletic quickness training will translate into increased speed in the game.
All sports movements are complex. They require the use of a diverse group of muscles to add power as well as speed and agility so you can attack and execute, leaving your opponents in the dust. The whole point of adding athletic quickness exercises to your workouts is to develop the fundamentals of speed. That happens by conditioning the twitch fiber muscles of the specific body parts activated in a variety of movements that improve performance.
Athletic quickness drills can also employ isometric movements using resistance bands, which will strengthen and quicken your muscle fibers much more effectively and faster than other types of exercises. Many speed training programs are available on the Internet just by doing a simple search, so get out there and add this performance enhancing exercise to your workouts today.

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