How to Develop Fast Twitch Leg Muscles
Your fast twitch muscle fibers are responsible for initiating the explosive speed and power movements required in athletics. In comparison to slow twitch muscles that control endurance, fast twitch muscles are designed to fire and fatigue quickly. Plyometric training can increase the responsiveness and power of fast twitch muscle fibers. You'll use your fast twitch muscle fibers to sprint, lift a heavy set of weights, hit a ball in tennis or baseball or jump vertically in basketball for a slam dunk.
Stand up tall with a straight spine.
Position your feet hip-width apart.
Engage your core by drawing your stomach muscles in.
Bend your knees and sit back, as if you were about to sit in an invisible chair.
Press your feet into the floor forcefully and jump up as high as you can. Straighten your legs at the top of the jump.
Land on the ground lightly, bending your knees into a squatting position.
Perform 12 to 15 squat jumps, working your way up to three sets.
Jog for 20 to 30 paces to find your rhythm.
Land with the ball of your right foot, keeping the heel elevated. Immediately press off strongly with the ball of the foot and leap forward.
Land with the ball of the left foot and bound forward.
Continue bounding with each foot in a light, springy fashion. Perform bounding for one to two minutes at a time, working your way up to three rounds.
Stand directly in front of a 12- to 48-inch plyometric box or bench. If you are new to plyometric exercises, start with a 12-inch box.
Place your hands behind your head, elbows opening away from each other.
Press your feet into the floor and explosively jump onto the box.
Jump forward off the other side of the box, landing lightly on the ground. This completes one set.
Turn around facing the box and repeat.
Perform 12 to 15 repetitions, working your way up to three sets.
Perform plyometric exercises twice weekly, leaving one or two days between each session.
Plyometric exercises are high-impact, and can be taxing on the joints. Wear protective footwear and practice on padded surfaces, grass, track or dirt if possible.
Nicole Carlin is a registered yoga teacher. Her writing has been published in yoga and dance teacher training manuals for POP Fizz Academy. Carlin received a Masters of Arts in gender studies from Birkbeck University in London and a Bachelors of Arts in psychology from Temple University, Philadelphia.