The Mind muscle connection
In this article I want to talk about something that is very rarely discussed yet is one of the most important factors in fitness, and that's the mind muscle connection. So, what is the mind muscle connection, and why is it so important in the fitness realm?
First, as we all know, for any adaptation to take place, the muscle needs to be broken down and torn. The exercise is the stimulus for that muscle breakdown. After that muscle is broken down, the muscle will have a chance to recover and gain strength. So, the first part of that process, the breakdown of muscle, is what we're going to discuss here. To cause that muscle breakdown, and subsequent repair and adaptation, we need to effectively stimulate the muscle. To effectively stimulate the muscle, we need to discuss the contraction of the muscle fibers.
When performing an exercise, and reaching the point of contraction, it is very important to utilize the mind muscle connection. Many gym-goers that I see often are throwing their weight around and utilizing momentum. When you perform an exercise ballistically, and throw the weight around, you are like I mentioned using momentum and not using the muscle as a prime mover. It is very important to perform exercises slowly and controlled, and putting your mind right into the muscle and feeling the muscle through the full range of motion. On the positive of the movement, or the concentric part of the movement, you want to think about the muscle contracting and squeezing. On the eccentric part of the movement or negative part, you want to feel the muscle stretch. It is very important to emphasize the mind/muscle connection.
Remember our goal in performing these workouts is to stimulate and break down the muscle, not to throw around a bunch of heavy weight. Not only will you not stimulate the muscles efficiently, but throwing around weight can also cause injury and prevent you from achieving your goals. So, when performing your next workout, really try to control the movement slowly, and emphasize the mind muscle contraction. I think you will be very impressed with the results.