If you’ve never exercised mind muscle connection before, then you are surely missing out on some potentially incredible results. See, it’s only when you display such a technique that you can truly manifest the zenith of your potential and all of your efforts. Developing a sound mind muscle connection takes time. It takes intense focus and tunnel vision. But above all, it takes practice…
In this article I’ll go over just what it takes to develop a mind muscle connection when working out, as well as all of the benefits of this highly useful technique. Upon your initial development of it you’ll find yourself having vein splitting muscle pumps, more focus, and overall more successful training sessions.
How does mind muscle connection work?
In a nutshell, a mind muscle connection is the relationship that your mind and muscles share when performing an exercise. It is when you consciously “feel” the muscles being worked that you are training.
Feeling the blood rush into your muscle tissue and consciously being aware of the concentric and eccentric portion of every single repetition you perform is what mind muscle connection is all about.
People who don’t exercise a sound mind muscle connection will never reach their true potential. If you are unsure of how or where to start, don’t let yourself become overwhelmed. Try it out during your next training session. You can start it off by clearing your mind of everything else in that moment except the muscles being trained. Think about how the contractions feel. Consciously feel the muscle’s shorten and lengthen as each contraction progresses.
The do’s and don’ts of mind muscle connection…
- Prepare yourself mentally for the workout ahead of you
- Clear your mind of any unwanted thoughts or anxieties
- Run through the workout in your head beforehand
- As you begin your exercises, think only of the contractions
- During rest periods, retain the same focus
- Don’t let your thoughts wander
- Don’t allow your peers to distract your focus during reps
- Don’t just go through the motions
- Don’t use your phone or peer at the gym’s TV’s
- Don’t expect to develop mind muscle connection with little to no effort
Here are some specific examples of how to implement this technique.
Let’s start off with the most popular weight resistance exercise in existence: The barbell bench press. Exercising mind muscle connection with this movement will engage your chest in new profound ways that you’ve never experienced before. This intertwined relationship is essential for adequate and optimal development in the chest, as well as for any other body part for that matter.
So, as you position yourself on the bench and begin to grip the bar, focus your attention on your forearms contracting as you prepare to progress to the starting position of the exercise. Control the weight as you press it upward off of the rack and over your chest.
As your chest subconsciously contracts, focus ALL of your thoughts on this contraction. As you eccentrically lower the weight to your chest, CONSCIOUSLY FEEL your chest stretch. Likewise, with the concentric portion of the rep, THINK about your chest muscles shortening.
TIP: As with virtually all exercises, it’s nearly impossible to isolate the targeted muscle 100%. This is why mind muscle connection is so important. Using this technique will allow you to hone in on the chest with greater precision and accuracy, all while giving less conscious attention to secondary muscles (e.i. triceps and anterior shoulders).
I see it all too often. People bounce up and down on the calf machine with nothing more than quarter reps. Why?! This is so far from optimal it’s scary. You should aim for near full range of motion with calf raises. Getting a good stretch at the bottom is very important also to help rush blood into the muscle.
If you use mind muscle connection when doing calf raises, the foregoing vice shouldn’t happen. Using your mind to feel the calves contract and burn will allow you to better isolate them so they can receive the attention that they require to grow efficiently.
The same technique that was used with the chest in the barbell bench press exercise is used for the calves as well. There is no difference in mental execution, only the variations of the exercises themselves. Think about your calves’ contractions as you go through your repetitions. Keep this focus throughout each set. Consistency is key.
Mind muscle connection summary
Utilizing the power of your mind when training will undoubtedly help to take your progress to another level. You’ll have heightened focus, better workouts, and greater progress. Attaining a mind muscle connection takes practice to master. Nevertheless, all you have to do is become more conscious of your target muscle’s contractions.
The mind muscle connection is how bodybuilders, figure competitors and even bikini competitors contract and flex specific muscle fibers, all isometrically. Not many people can flex their latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus, or quadriceps on command.
They usually will have to perform an exercise or body movement to activate these muscles. Another example is when men flex one side of their pecs while the rest of their body remains still. How is this done? With mind muscle connection.
I hope that the examples I’ve laid out herein have given you a better understanding of what mind muscle connection is and how you can implement it into your current exercise routine. You will most likely be extremely surprised at how much more attentive you are once you focus all of your thoughts on the target muscle’s contractions instead of letting your thoughts wander.