When it comes to physical fitness, you would be surprised as to how much the mind contributes to successful results during training. Most professional athletes and body builders know the importance of implementing a “mind-muscle connection.” It has been a bodybuilding theory for decades and today we are seeing more and more research to validate the technique.
What is mind-muscle connection?
As with anything there is in life, you need to have the right mindset to make the most out of whatever it is you’re doing. We have all experienced an off day at the gym. When you’re stressed, have too much on your mind, and are not feeling the workout, your performance won’t be as good either.
The idea behind the mind-muscle connection is simple – when one consciously focuses on moving the targeted muscle during exercise, the quality of the contraction is enhanced. By using concentrated, internal focus during each rep makes the muscle work as hard as possible.
How does mind-muscle connection work?
Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter that stimulates your muscles to move. Muscle contraction begins when the nervous system generates a signal. And studies have shown that placing mental attention on your muscles while contracting results in a higher percentage of these muscle fibers to ‘activate’, thus, better results and more gains.
What are the benefits of practicing better mind-muscle connection?
By training consciously and improving your mind-muscle connection, you will begin to notice its benefits such as:
- Improved muscle coordination
- Improved self-awareness and control
- Compensation for asymmetries
- Better hyper- irradiation
- Better results
Tips on how to create a better mind-muscle connection for Muscle & Strength
1. Move Slowly
Firstly, be mindful of your form and we cannot stress this enough so as not to risk any injuries. When doing a movement, move slowly and it helps to pause toachieve peak contraction. Rushing on the reps won’t do you any good. The more time your muscles are under tension, the more they have to work and the more time you have to mentally connect to the muscle movement.
2. Tempo and tension
When you’re building muscles, tension is your best friend. You’ll want that muscle activated and under stress to see results.
A goodworkout formula to achieve tension would be:
- FAST:Perform the movement relatively quickly.
- HOLD: Squeeze and hold at the climax of themovement.
- SLOW: Resist and perform a slow movement back to feel the muscle fibers stretching.
3.Flex your muscle targets in between sets
Yup, flexing is part of the process and be proud of your gains! The mirrors are there for a reason. Take a few seconds between sets to flex the muscles you’ve been working on.Conscious posing between sets helps not to break that momentum.
4. SUPPLEMENTATION WITH PRE-WORKOUTS
Any supplement containing ingredients that improve cognition (focus, memory, alertness) will help you stay in focus while training. Most of these are found in pre-workouts. They not only help boost your focus but also endurance and strength. VPA has a great range of pre-workouts. Check out our pre and intra-workout supplements today.
Sometimes getting in the “zone” is one of the many barriers that help us achieve results. It’s not just something that’s part of your coach’s motivational speech. Athletic performance is enhanced when you are able to mentally turn off all external pressures and distractions.
Think about your off days at the gym and all the wasted energy. Try out the mind-muscle connection tips next time you’re training to experience the difference and achieve better results.