Usually when you come to the gym you think about working out your body: your muscles, your heart, everything from your shoulders on down.
Starting now, it’s time to get your head in the game.
No, we aren’t talking facial exercises or anything crazy like that, but we are going to work your brain. Your brain may not be a muscle, but we are sure going to exercise it as if it were. Once you get your head in the game, you will be able to recruit more muscles per movement, get better results, have better form, and be able to perform more reps.
Who wouldn’t want that?
Besides reflexive movement, muscle contraction begins in the brain. These intentional movements start with a thought. That thought causes your brain to release acetylcholine- a chemical neurotransmitter- which is basically a messenger to your muscle. This same process happens when you turn on a light. You flip a switch (have a thought in your brain), the electricity runs to the light bulb (neurotransmitter is released), and the light turns on (muscle contraction).
Let’s flip your switch.
Normally, you hardly have to think twice to get your muscles to do what you intend them to. But we don’t want to just squat. We want to squat with purpose. To do that you have to think the right thoughts.
This is MIND-MUSCLE CONNECTION.
Mind-muscle connection is the synchronicity between your thoughts and your muscle. Proper mind-muscle connection recruits your secondary movers and more fibers to more fully support your primary muscle. Mind-muscle connection draws more focus to your primary mover with the result of more strength for your movement.
That sounds great, but what are the right thoughts?
To create the kind of mind-muscle connection that will elicit results, it really comes down to FOCUS.
- Focus on proper technique.
- Focus on contracting the target muscle.
- Focus on controlling the movement during both concentric and eccentric phases.
Bring energy to your muscle. Transfer all of your brain power into your movement and you will achieve results. So, next time you are lifting. Don’t just curl to get the reps in. Curl with purpose and squeeze through every angle of your movement. You will be amazed the difference.