Every weight training novice and expert has that specific stubborn muscle groups that refuse to grow. This is where most lifters learn that there are vital psychological aspects to this kind of sport. Focus has a major impact on the how vigorously muscle groups are contracted during a workout, and to better understand how to improve this mind muscle connection, we must first delve into what exactly that "connection" is.
What is The Mind Muscle Connection?
In the simplest of terms, the mind muscle connection is a conscious and purposeful muscle contraction during exercise. This is done by focusing the tension on the specific muscle group you are working out, and picturing the muscle contract as you pull/push the weight. This makes the difference between a passive and an active movement of the weight and ultimately makes the difference in growing muscle. At the end of the day, time under tension during resistance training is going to be the key component for muscle building. This connection will aid maintaining tension in the right muscle group. In other words, if the mind muscle connection is not well developed, then you will never reach your full potential. Here are some top tips to help make the most of your next workout!
Tips to Improve the Mind Muscle Connection
1. A Warm Up Set
This step helps with blood circulation and getting the muscles prepped for proper contraction. Think of it as a practice round!
2. Slow Down Your Reps
By slowing down on the concentric and eccentric parts and pausing in the middle, you can mentally and physically target the main muscle for a stronger contraction. This is more easily and effectively done with a lighter weight.
3. Flex the Muscle Group Before and After Each Set
If you flex the targeted muscle group before the set, not only does this force more blood to the area (increasing pump), but it makes it mentally easier to isolate the muscle.
4. Use EMS
An EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) Unit can aid with employing a full muscle contraction, as well as improving circulation to flush out lactic acid after a workout (ie the component responsible for that dreaded day-after soreness). Not only do these units help with the mind muscle connection, but they are used by athletes everywhere for muscle recovery post workout as well. We recommend the VPod, since it has TENS/EMS and NMES technology all in one wireless device, as well as 24 different functions and intensities. To learn more, visit VPod.Life.