To put on quality muscle and obtain an awesome physique, many think simply going to the gym, lifting heavy, and eating large will result in the body of their dreams. This could be true for some individuals, but there is a lot more needed ways to improve your body in regards to lifting weights. In a sense, it may not be how much you lift, but rather, how well you lift it. Mind muscle connection is an important concept that helps individuals focus on the target muscle they are trying to work as well as attempt to maximize the full benefit of actually performing a lift. In this article, we will be discussing what mind muscle connection is and the certain techniques that can be learned to improve this phenomenon.
What is Mind Muscle Connection?
Lifting weights is very physical, but to achieve the best results, you need to incorporate psychological methods as well. Mind muscle connection is essentially using your mind to concentrate on the muscle you are trying to target so that you are utilizing a greater amount of muscle fibers, staying in control of the weight, and focusing on the contraction. Besides just lifting the weight up and down repeatedly, it’s the process of completely focusing and making every rep count.
TIP #1: Lighten the Weight and Slow it Down
Going heavy does indeed lead to muscle growth, but sometimes when form is off and using too much explosion, lack of contraction or injury can occur. Lighten the weight down and focus on actually controlling the weight through the movement. Keep form on point and squeeze at the top of every lift. Do not rush through a movement, but rather, use a slow tempo while also focusing on the negative portion of the lift. Keeping the weight controlled throughout the movement should keep the tension on your muscle and help concentrating on them more efficiently.
TIP #2: Flex and Stretch
Flexing and stretching are two techniques that seem distant but can have a huge impact on your mind muscle connection. Understanding what muscle you are trying to work and where it is on your body can truly help you become aware of your muscles as well as knowledgeable about how they feel and work. For example, if you are working on your chest, try concentrating on stretching by opening up the chest then after bringing your hands together and really squeezing your whole chest together. Focus very hard on squeezing and feeling how your chest is contracting. Understand that is what you are trying to hit when you are performing the lift, and then proceed to continue to focus on that area during the movement. This will not only help you mentally feel and understand your muscles, but also helps draw blood to them to make create more of a pump so you feel the area even more.
TIP #3: Concentration Methods
Whatever helps you concentrate more, use it! Mind muscle connection is literally all about extremely focusing on your muscles to make sure form, speed, and concentration is adequate so that you feel your muscles burning. One method that can be used is closing your eyes. Keep your eyes shut and away from distractions. After, try to be in tune with your muscles. Try to think hard about how they are working and what you need to do to really feel it more. Another method that can be utilized is music. Use music to zone into your workout and focus on yourself while maybe also utilizing the beat to feel the movement. Lastly, gum can be very useful in increasing mind muscle connection. The act of chewing gum has been researched to have positive effects on concentration. Keeping your mouth occupied will help you focus more on your lift. For some, these methods may not work, but it is definitely worth trying.
Depending on who you are, some may be more accustomed to mind muscle connection and naturally have it while others may need to improve more on perfecting it for their own use. Going to the gym should be beneficial, so making every movement count to maximize effectiveness is key to being successful. Having a better mind muscle connection will definitely help you with this while also providing a very useful technique that you can utilize for the remainder of your lifting career.