Let’s get out of the blocks straight away, with our fast-twitch fibres blazing; on the ‘B’ of the bang, as Colin Jackson once put it!
There are more than 250 million muscle fibres in our bodies and more than 430 muscles that we can control voluntarily. Fibres are, in fact, bundles of cells held together by collagen (connective tissue). Each fibre consists of a membrane, numerous nuclei and thousands of myofibrils (inner strands) that run the length of the fibre.
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In order to perform a sport skill numerous muscles and muscle fibres have to interact. The process is controlled by the brain, which sends out electrochemical messages to the muscles via the spinal cord. These signals are received in the muscles by ‘anterior motoneurons’, whose role is to stimulate muscular contraction. Muscular force is generated through the interaction of...