I am after some exercises which work the fast twitch fibre muscles, both isometric and weight training wise. Could you guys please suggest some?

I also wanted to know, when I curl a dumbell I pull it up faster and drop slower and when I bench I push up faster and come down slower, what type of training is this? I am trying exposive movements, but does it train the fast twitch fibres in any way? or if there is a special name for this type of training I would like to know the name.

I would be grateful if you suggest more isometric exercises than ones that require weights simply because isometrics are new to me and I would love to try a whole bunch out, thank you :)

The purpose of wanting these if to be able to punch to and kick faster (if the context helps make more accurate/relevant suggestions).

2 Answers 2


I doubt if isometric exercises could improve punching speed – maybe you meant bodyweight exercises? Isometric exercises are ones where the muscle that's working is being held in a constant state of contraction, as in a plank.

Here are some exercises to improve punching speed and power that we use in my boxing class:

  • Push jabs: Hold a medicine ball so it is touching your chest. Then quickly push it out horizontally with the same fast, snapping arm motion you'd use when throwing a punch. Build up to several minutes of this. You can also work on your footwork at the same time.
  • Resistance punching: Attach a resistance band to an A-frame or similar at around shoulder height. Face away from the point of attachment. Hold the handle in one hand and throw fast, snapping punches against the resistance.
  • Explosive pushups: Like normal pushups, but you explosively push yourself up off the ground at the end of each rep. The badasses (not me) manage to clap while airborne.
  • Heavy bag training: We do intervals, alternating a longer period of lightly hitting at fast as possible with a much shorter period of hitting as hard as possible.

For lower body (kicking):

  • Tuck jumps: Jump vertically, trying to bring your knees to your chest. Repeat. Great for tabata training. If you have a plyo box, you could jump onto that instead.
  • Mini hurdle jumps: We use small hurdles (about 12 inches) for this, but imaginary hurdles would work just as well. Set 4 or 5 hurdles in a line and hop through with both feet at once. These should be clean, strong hop-jumps with no pauses or running steps in between.
  • Burpees: Just awesome all around. If you do them with an explosive push-up at the bottom and a tuck jump at the top, that's a pretty solid workout.
  • wow, thank you for this! I am going to try them all! Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 9:34

Lowering a weight slowly then explosively curling it is doing a "slow negative".

For fast punches and kicks you should be working on your basic barbell lifts: squat, deadlift, power clean, overhead press, push press. These are the best method for developing a high power output. Add in some fighter-oriented bodyweight and dumbbell work from Ross Enamait and you've covered all the bases.

  • Thank you! I already do some of these, I already try some stuff that Bruce Lee used like punching with dumbells, but I will try the rest of these! Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 9:35
  • Punching with dumbbells is not generally a good idea. The resistance is in the wrong direction (down, not horizontal), it can be stressful to the joints, and the motor pattern is close enough to an actual punch to mess up your technique and in some cases even train you to be slower. Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 10:12
  • But I have found my punches to become extremely fast using them over the past 3 days, I was surprised to be honest at the speed... Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 14:09
  • 2
    3 days isn't long enough for your body to get much faster. It's more likely that what happened was you got used to the feeling of punching slower, and so without the dumbbells it feels like you're punching faster. See the "Skill Specific Neurological Specificity" heading on page 28 of this google book. Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 14:26

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