Fast Twitch Muscles

What it is and why it is important for golf.

courtesy: Sports Medicine

Skeletal muscle is made up of bundles of individual muscle fibers called myocytes. Each myocyte contains many myofibrils, which are strands of proteins (actin and myosin) that can grab on to each other and pull. This shortens the muscle and causes muscle contraction.

It is generally accepted that muscle fiber types can be broken down into two main types: slow twitch (Type I) muscle fibers and fast twitch (Type II) muscle fibers. Fast twitch muscle fibers can be further categorized into Type IIa and Type IIb fibers

These distinctions seem to influence how muscles respond to training and physical activity, and each fiber type is unique in its ability to contract in a certain way. Human muscles contain a genetically determined mixture of both slow and fast fiber types. On average, we have about 50 percent slow twitch and 50 percent fast twitch fibers in most of the muscles used for movement.

Slow Twitch (Type I): The slow muscles are more efficient at using oxygen to generate more fuel (known as ATP) for continuous, extended muscle contractions over a long time. They fire more slowly than fast twitch fibers and can go for a long time before they fatigue. Therefore, slow twitch fibers are great at helping athletes run marathons and bicycle for

Fast Twitch (Type II): Because fast twitch muscle fibers use anaerobic metabolism to create fuel, they are much better at generating short bursts of strength or speed than slow muscles (perfect for golf). However, they fatigue more quickly. Fast twitch fibers generally produce the same amount of force per contraction as slow muscles, but they get their name because they are able to fire more rapidly. Having more fast twitch fibers can be an asset to a sprinter since she needs to quickly generate a lot of force.

photo courtesy of Anatomy of muscle fibers

Studies have shown that high-intesity training train can alter the skeletal muscle fiber type in the body so that you can alter the proportion of Type I (slow twitch) and Type II (fast twitch). Not ONLY can you use the Swingnature Speed Trainer as a great warm-up aid before playing golf, but you can use the 3 Speed training programs that you have access to at our Performance Training Portal to really get the full benefits from the product.

Read about the principles of Overload & Underload training.

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