Mind Muscle Connection
I’m sure you have heard your coaches say, “squeeze those glutes” or “pinch your back” during training. This is to help you focus on the muscles that we want you to contract during a specific workout. The more we can focus mentally on the action we are performing and which muscles groups we are using, the more effective our workouts can be. This can be referred to as mind-muscle connection, or MMC for short.
Research shows that consciously focusing on the target muscle as it works through a full range of motion can help recruit a greater percentage of muscle fibers to “fire up”. Just by doing this alone you can get and feel a better contraction of your muscles. Which in turn can greatly enhance your muscle development during your training. This is why it’s important to try and not let yourself just “go through the motions” of an exercise. Otherwise, we can lose out on maximizing the potential for muscle growth.
To improve your mind-muscle connection, really try to feel your muscles contract every single rep. For example, when doing band hammer curls. As you work through the concentric contraction of the workout, (lifting the band up towards your shoulders), really concentrate on your biceps pulling the band up. Once you get to the isometric contraction, (when your at the top of your motion and you’re holding the band up by the shoulders), really squeeze and flex your biceps and hold that tension for a quick second. Then control the band as you lower it down towards your legs.
You will notice a distinct difference when performing your reps this way. The same can be said for every exercise you perform while working out this way. Feel free to try it out the next time you come in to train. The mind is a powerful thing.