Don’t underestimate that mind muscle connection! It can definitely make a difference in your workouts and when it comes to engaging the appropriate muscles!
Mind to muscle connection helps you to focus on the tension you create during the exercise and completing the movement pattern. More specifically, on the muscle or muscle group that should be engaged and activated during that exercise.
When we are working out and completing the exercise, we don’t want to just rush through it passively just to get it done by going through the motions. We want to complete the exercises actively with intent, focus and purpose!
By focusing on the specific muscle and that muscle going through the full range of motion, we can enhance the muscle fiber recruitment and activation. This is essential for muscle growth. Poor muscle to mind connection can result in muscle imbalances and injuries.
Crunches is a common area that people struggle with connecting to and tend to use their momentum or their hip flexors instead of their abs.
Focus on engaging your core to lift you up NOT the momentum. You might not be able to lift yourself completely up at first, and that is okay! We all have to start somewhere and you are only going to set yourself up for success! We are in this for the long run.
If you feel yourself using momentum during a weighted exercise, try using a lighter weight!
3 TIPS To Getting That Mind To Muscle Connection:
- Educate yourself! Google what muscles the exercise is working and then picture it as you complete the exercise.
2. Slow down. Go at a slower tempo. Focus on feeling the muscle stretch during each exercise at the bottom and then when it reaches the top, squeeze the muscle!
3. There is a lot of benefit to compound exercises. However, here is a great opportunity for those isolation exercises to step in! Machines can be a bit more helpful in this area. You can’t always focus in on one specific muscle, but you can isolate the muscle group. For example, dumbbell chest fly.
Try this first next time: Perform10-15 reps of an isolation exercise. Use slow, controlled tempo. Focus on feeling the muscle stretch through the negative portion of the rep. Then squeeze it as hard as possible at the “top” of the rep. You should feel the muscle burn towards the end of the set!
For example: Use a resistance band to complete tricep push downs. Then complete a tricep kickback with a dumbbell and feel the burn!
We all have our areas that we struggle with! I still have a hard time with mind muscle connection when it comes to my lats or a lot of my back exercises! It can take time but just keep trying!