When it comes to training for anything fitness related, the mind muscle connection is something that is affecting your body. Whether you know what it is or how to use it doesn’t matter, it’s happening. If you don’t understand it though, it can be all the difference between boosting your performance that little bit further or lifting that extra weight that you need and keeping you in a plateau for weeks on end.
If you want to be able to harness this mysterious yet essential and omnipotent force of mind over muscle, you really need to learn about what it is, how it works, and why it’s so important. From your first ever gym session to your physical peak, your mind muscle connection is what is going to make all the difference.
What it is
The mind muscle connection is the connection between you consciously sending the signals from your brain to your muscle to recruit the highest number of muscle fibres being used for any particular action. The more muscle fibres that are being used for any given action is the direct factor affecting the overall output that the muscle group as a whole can provide. Simply put, thinking about what you’re doing means you do it better.
Why you need it
Without this conscious mind muscle connection that is so important, you’re running on autopilot pretty much. You aren’t thinking about what you’re doing, and it takes a serious toll on your muscles. Your performance is simply not as good as it could be as your mind begins to wander or you are checking your phone between sets to catch up with friends. Whatever it is, you’re not putting in the effort you need to.
As you work a particular muscle group, you have supporting muscles to help you out and keep things stable to create a natural movement, like your arms when training your shoulders or back. When you aren’t focussing on your target muscle, it’s easy for you to use these supporting muscles much more and therefore get worse contractions all round.
The best thing you can do in order to help you get the most out of what it is you’re doing, you need to focus on the exact muscle you want to work. This applies to both the bigger muscles you’re hitting in a compound exercise and the smaller muscles that may not be trained as much as they should be in your workouts.
To really get the best of the mind muscle connection, you need to be able to use the best of your ability for every single rep. One of the best ways that you can do this is to make sure that you’re using the right weight for every single exercise. This usually means you need to lower the weights that you’re using so that you can get the very best from every contraction rather than lifting as heavy as possible because you think this is what will give the biggest gains overall.
To sum it all up, take your time and get your head in the game, and your progress will skyrocket, even using the same weights that you are used to. You put in that little extra effort, and it will take you such a long way. Do whatever it is that you have to do to make it work and keep away from distractions. It might take you a while to get it nailed, but when you do, you’ll thank yourself for it.
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.