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How to Work Your Fast-Twitch Muscles

Fast-twitch muscle fibers provide explosive power which can be helpful during sports which require sprinting, jumping and quick reaction times. Fast-twitch muscles can be grown with plyometrics, exercises that force your muscles to stretch before contracting explosively, much like the action of a rubber band. Jump squats are plyometrics that will add power to your legs and buttocks. A clapping pushup will increase the fast-twitch muscle fibers in your chest and arms. The medicine ball throw will build up explosive power in your core, back and arms.

Jump Squats

  1. Stand with feet slightly wider apart than your shoulders. Bend your knees to place your body in a squatting position. Thighs should be parallel to the floor. Touch the floor with your fingertips.

  2. Jump up as hard as you can with your arms extended above your head. Try to touch the ceiling or an imaginary point in the sky far above your head.

  3. Land on the balls of your feet. Keep your knees soft. Repeat for 3 to 5 sets of 12 repetitions.

Clapping Pushups

  1. Lie face-down on the floor with your legs straight and toes together. Place your palms on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight.

  2. Push up with your arms explosively, lifting your torso off the floor. Bring your palms quickly together in front of your chest in a clapping motion.

  3. Catch yourself on the floor with your palms, keeping your elbows soft. Lower your chest to the floor to complete one repetition. Do 2 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

Medicine Ball Throw

  1. Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Ask a partner to stand in front of you. Hold a medicine ball with both hands and lie back. Let your arms fall over your head so the ball rests on the floor above your head.

  2. Sit up quickly. Bring your arms overhead and throw the ball to your partner. Aim for your partner's chest or head so the throw is controlled.

  3. Catch the ball when your partner throws it back to you and raise it overhead. Lie back and repeat the exercises for 2 sets of 10 repetitions.

    Tip

    It is important to land as softly as possible when performing plyometric exercises to reduce impact on the joints. When available, perform jumps on padded surfaces.

    Perform jumping exercises where you have plenty of overhead space.

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Things Needed

  • Medicine ball

About the Author

Tricia Ross is a full-time journalist who studied English at the University of California-Los Angeles. She has run a marathon and three half-marathons and has training in sports massage therapy.

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