This week's challenge is going to get you moving. Quickly. When people go to the gym and only lift weights slowly and methodically, they forget about fast-twitch muscle fibers. Within almost all skeletal muscles, you have two primary muscle fibers; fast twitch and slow twitch. You have two types of fast-twitch muscle fibers; fast oxidative and fast glycolytic. My fitness theory has always included using all muscle fibers in your fitness routine. This week we will activate your fast-twitch fibers.
The big reason for including this type of workout in your routine has more to do with muscle fiber recruitment and proprioceptive ability, than it does about building strength in your fast-twitch muscle fibers. The saying, "use it or lose it" applies to muscles. You know that if you have ever been in a cast or a brace for any amount of time. The incredible shrinking muscle. More than that, you lose the ability to control the muscle well. It doesn't "fire" as quickly or precisely. When we are young and bouncing off the walls, we teach our muscles to fire quickly and precisely. If we stop demanding our fast-twitch muscle fibers to fire quickly and precisely through a lack of quick movements, we lose that ability to one degree or another. So let's fire them up!
This week we will be doing a side shuffle drill. If you haven't done this in years or decades, start slow and methodical. You set your own pace. However, you want to move as fast as is safe. You will set up two boundary marks (lines), either 8 feet or 10 feet apart. To perform the shuffle movement, without crossing your feet, shuffle your feet sideways from one line to another, always facing in the same direction. Level 1 and level 2, you only touch your foot on the line. Level 3, you will touch the line with your hand. Pick your level and off you go!