Most of the muscles in our body have more than one kind of muscle fibers, red muscle fibers and white muscle fibers. Red muscle fibers are also called slow twitch muscle fibers because they have to do the same job for a long time.
For example, the muscles in the back of the lower legs and the muscles in the back are mostly made up of slow-twitch fibers. This is because they have to help you to hold your posture for long periods of time.
Fast-twitch muscle fibers wouldn’t be able to do this because they can’t keep working for a long time. These muscles need speed rather than endurance. For example, the muscles of the eyelids that help you blink are fast-twitch fibers.
Activities that slow twitch muscle fibers do:
Slow-twitch muscle fibers are working hard whenever you’re doing activities like sitting up, standing, walking, slow jogging, running a marathon, biking and many yoga positions. Slow-twitch muscle fibers help you to move longer. They require a rich blood supply because they use oxygen to generate energy in the form of ATP from their high concentration of mitochondria. This is why they are also called red muscles. They can keep you going as long as you get enough oxygen.
What are the benefits:
Slow twitch muscles are great for endurance exercises such as long-distance running (marathons), cycling, swimming etc.
Slow twitch cardio exercises because they’re good for heart health. They’re also good for toning muscles.
Exercises that improve the slow twitch muscle fibers health:
According to some research, if you train hard enough at one sport, you may change the muscle fibers in the body. For example, if you’re a marathon runner and train for a long time then some of your slow-twitch muscle fibers will grow longer. This gives you long and lean muscles.
Fast twitch muscles are optimal for a quick burst of energy. Slow twitch muscles are better for long-term endurance activities and can improve your heart health.
Working on both types of muscle can increase your overall health and strength.