One thing I have found all too often is people tend to just be going through the motions and they are not really concentrating on how they are lifting, their mind is at the office or what’s happening on Facebook, to make good progress in the gym, you really need to get your mind into what your doing.
A lot of people have spent a lot of time and energy on their physique and have seen minimal gains. Many people have spent a lot of money on products to enhance their gains but have faced discouragement. Today I am going to cover something that a lot of people never really give much thought to is how to achieve a better mind-muscle connection for faster results.
Even if you are hitting the weights hard and workout six days a week, follow the right kind of diet, train with 8-12 reps per set for upper body and 10-20 reps for lower body, you won’t necessarily see the results you would like to see. What a lot of people are missing is the working of your nervous system and connective tissue.
You don’t get big just from hoisting a lot of weight, it’s consciously training the muscle, their is a major difference between the two, the big difference is how well you develop the connection between you’re mind and muscle.
Mind and muscle
Developing a good mind-muscle connection means, being able to isolate a specific muscle or muscle group and feel it working throughout every inch of every rep, you need to feel the muscle contract as you push, pull or raise the weight, you need to feel the muscle stretch as you return the weight to starting position.
This can be a key element with every body part you train, mastering the neural connection behind the mind-muscle connection is the key that unlocks growth throughout every muscle. This all sounds pretty complicated your probably thinking, but there are some proven methods to implement in your training.
A good way to learn how to isolate and contract any given muscle is to spend time forcefully flexing the muscle. You don’t need to learn how to become a professional poser like the pro body builders do, all you need to do is concentrate on flexing and squeezing the muscle as hard as you can and you can do that with any muscle. After flexing the muscle and squeezing it hard then return to the bottom at stretching position.
For instance if you flex and squeeze your biceps, hold the flex position for 10 seconds and then straighten your arm so that the biceps is fully lengthened, that is how a rep should feel when doing a biceps curl.
Practicing these muscle contractions will improve the neural connection between you’re mind and muscles. I would also recommend flexing and squeezing the muscle you are working in between set’s. You should get in the practice of doing this with every muscle you work in between set’s. This will also help to keep blood pumped in the muscle you are working.
Free weights have always been the old stand by for muscular development and they help to develop the stabilizer muscles through balancing the weight, but when first starting out with developing a mind-muscle connection, it may be easier to to start by using weight machines.
You don’t need to concentrate on stabilizing the weights like you do with weight machines. For example, peck-decks are great for isolating the chest muscles, after you have developed the mind-muscle connection, you can go on to implementing free weights for the mind-muscle connection.
Slow motion reps
You will likely use lighter weights to do this, take for instance you are doing barbell curls, when curling the weight upwards, take 10-20 seconds to raise the weight and another 10 seconds to lower the weight. When doing slow motion reps, even though you will be using lighter weights, they won’t feel any lighter when you spend a longer duration with your muscles under stress.
Static holds these days are rarely used, it is a intensity technique used a lot some forty years ago. These holds are performed by stopping a rep at a given point in the range of motion and holding that position for 5-30 seconds.
Static holds will definitely help you to feel exactly how the muscle works, after a while you will become very aware of the muscle, not only while the muscle is flexed, but at all points, from full stretch to full contraction.
Palpate means to feel, (as in touch) the working muscle. If you are doing dumbbell curls with your right arm, you palpate your right biceps by placing your left hand or fingers on it and feeling the muscles as it contracts and stretches. You will find that this technique puts you in touch with your muscles at a deeper level.
Become a master at the mind-muscle connection
When watching a lot of people workout, you can find a lot of interesting things going on, there is a lot of hoisting of weights, plenty of cheating practices, minds that are not paying attention to their form, talking while in the middle of a set, the list goes on.
There are many styles of weight training, not to say only one of them is right, but if you find yourself in a rut and you haven’t been seeing progress like you should be after countless hours in the gym, take into consideration trying out the mind-muscle connection. If you have never put this principle to use, then your muscles have never been truly put to the test.
Another thing to take into consideration with this principle is you are using a lot lighter weight which means less stress on other joints like your lower back, your elbows, your knees, shoulders.
This method has been test driven and it really works, you will be surprised and you will love the results and the pump you feel will be incredible.
If you are interested in top of the line products that will improve your muscle growth, then click on this link. Best of luck to you and keep pumping those weights. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the box.