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We all have that muscle group that just won’t grow. And while we’d love to blame it on genetics- it COULD just be the way we’re training. How so? A lack of mind muscle connection.
You’ve probably heard people talk about it, and even think you’re doing it. But the fact of the matter is, few people master the mind muscle connection right off the bat.
What is the mind muscle connection?
So, what is the mind muscle connection? Simply put- movement is controlled by the brain. So, the more in-tune you are with the muscles you are targeting, the more muscle fibers you are able to recruit.
The more muscle fibers you are able to recruit, the quicker the progression is in the gym. Not sure you’re there yet? Here are 3 tips to help you master the mind muscle connection.
3 tips to master the mind muscle connection
Tip #1: Warmup
Pre-workout dynamic stretches are definitely important, however sometimes that’s not enough. Try warming up for each exercise with 15-20 reps of a lighter weight.
This will not only activate the muscles that are needed for the movement, but it will make your mind aware of what you’re asking your body to do.
The result? Both mind and body will work together to isolate muscle groups.
Tip #2: No. More. Ego. Lifts.
If you really want to progress in the gym, you need to leave your ego at the door and focus on how your body is moving rather than how much weight it is pushing around.
Try decreasing the load so that you can concentrate on contracting your muscles with each rep. Once you’ve mastered the movement you can increase the weight. Quality over quantity!
Tip #3: Slow it Down
Rushing through exercises will result in more swinging weight around and less muscle activation.
To help slow it down, try performing pause reps or eccentric movements.
Both methods will force your targeted muscles to work overtime and allow you to really think about squeezing each and every fiber.