The mind-muscle connection is a topic that often gets brought up in the lifting community. Some people believe that it's a critical factor in making gains, whereas others believe that it doesn't impact you that much.
But, what's the truth?
We're here to tell you that the mind-muscle connection is a real phenomenon that can be very beneficial, but it's not a magical solution to all of your lifting problems.
Continue reading as we will dive into the long-debated topic. We're also going to explain how you can improve your workouts by strengthening the bond between your mind and body.
This article also includes several beneficial tips that can help you improve the connection between mind and muscle. Let's dive right into it!
What Is Mind Muscle Connection?
The mind muscle connection is the communication between your brain and your muscles. When you're lifting weights, your brain sends signals to your muscles, telling them to contract.
The stronger the connection between your brain and your muscles, the better your lifting performance will be.
There is plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that the mind muscle connection can improve your performance, but it takes effort and will not fix everything.
Luckily, the mind-muscle connection is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice.
As with any skill, the more you develop the connection between your mind and muscles, the better you'll become at controlling your form and getting the most out of your lifts.
Why The Mind Muscle Connection Is Important
The mind muscle connection is important because it's key to activating the proper muscle groups, resulting in more hypertrophy and growth.
As you master the connection between mind and muscle, you'll find it easier to focus on a specific body part you are trying to target and thus get better results from your lifting.
You want to focus your mental attention on the muscles you're trying to work to ensure that you get the most out of your time in the gym.
Continue reading as we show you several tips that can help you improve the mind muscle connection.
How To Improve Your Mind Muscle Connection
Improving your mind muscle connection is a process that won't happen overnight. But eventually, you'll find that your body and focus work as one with some dedication and effort.
If you want to improve your mind to muscle connection, check out the video below.
It's also good to know that you can apply these tips to any muscle group - go over them and try them out during your next workout.
We're also going over these tips more in-depth, so make sure to keep reading.
#1. Focus On Using Proper Form
One of the best ways to improve your mind muscle connection is to focus on using proper form. When you're using proper form, you can better focus your attention on the muscles you are trying to work.
This is important because it will help you develop the mental fortitude to feel a connection between your thoughts and movements.
However, using proper form means more than just focusing on a target muscle group.
To practice lifting with good form, pay attention to the following areas:
- Focus on your posture
- Use the right amount of weight
- Use a full range of motion
- Keep control of the weight
- Remember to breathe
It may seem like a lot to keep in mind, but by focusing your attention on every step of the exercise, you'll quickly strengthen the connection between your mind and muscles.
Soon enough, you'll have complete control over every little movement.
#2. Implement High Repetition Sets
Using a higher repetition range with shorter rest periods is hands-down one of the best methods to improve the mind-muscle connection.
It's also an excellent method to help improve the metabolic stress that you are under throughout each set. When you are using more reps, you put your muscles under more stress and build muscular endurance faster.
This is especially important when training to improve the mind-muscle connection because you'll have to maintain focus for extended periods.
When going very heavy and doing low reps, it's easy to lose focus and allow your mind to wander. However, when using higher reps, it becomes increasingly difficult to think about anything besides the muscle group you are trying to target.
Implementing high repetition sets into your workout routine is easy. Simply select a weight that you can do for 20 to 30 reps in a single set.
For example, when doing a push workout, try performing an exercise such as dumbbell presses for a few sets of 20 to 30 repetitions to stimulate your chest muscles.
And when doing a pull workout, you can do an exercise such as lat pulldowns for several sets of 20 to 30 repetitions to emphasize and focus on the back muscles.
Perform multiple sets to feel the muscle doing its job; it'll allow you to connect to that specific body part.
The other benefit of using this technique is that you increase the amount of constant tension on your muscles and break down more of the tissues.
Your body is then forced to adapt and grow back stronger and larger. As you start to hit fatigue, you'll really feel your muscles and be able to connect your mind to their motion.
#3. Focus On The Muscle You’re Training
Focusing on the muscle group you are training can work wonders. Simply visualizing the exact part of your body you are moving can help to improve the connection between your mind and that muscle.
As you focus on each muscle group, try to flex them as hard as possible while still maintaining control. The goal here is not to move but rather just focus on the sensation of flexing that particular muscle group.
By doing this, you'll be able to better connect with each individual muscle and learn how to control them during lifts.
This will become second nature and help you achieve better results from your workouts. You'll also find it easier to perform exercises with proper form without dedicating as much thought to the process.
#4. Apply Time Under Tension
Time under tension is the amount of time that your muscles are actually working during a set. When you're lifting weights, you want to ensure that your muscles are under constant tension to force them to adapt and grow.
The longer you can keep your muscles under tension, the better results you'll see from your workout. Again, weight isn't important here; you want to ensure the stress your muscles are under is high.
As you get more comfortable with the technique, feel free to increase the weight but be sure not to sacrifice form for heavier weights. The key here is to focus on quality over quantity.
If you can keep your muscles under tension for extended periods, you'll force them to adapt and grow stronger.
Allowing yourself more time under tension means that you can slow down the movement of the exercise and concentrate on the physical sensation of each rep.
The more you feel the exercise in your muscles, the more your mind will focus on the correct form.
#5. Flex And Pose
One of the most effective ways to improve your mind-muscle connection is to flex and pose between sets. You're essentially contracting your muscles as hard as possible without moving when you're flexing.
This is important because it helps blood flow to the muscle group and allows you to focus on the sensation of each muscle group better.
Posing is similar to flexing but with one key difference – you hold the contraction for an extended period. This is important because it increases the time your muscles are under tension.
The more you practice this technique, the better you'll become at connecting with each individual muscle group. You'll also find it helps make your muscles pop and adds a little more tension after you finish lifting.
Posing and flexing is an excellent way of finishing off your workout, so try it out for yourself.
The Bottom Line
The mind muscle connection is a real thing, and it can help you improve your lifting performance. However, it's important to remember that it's not a magical solution to all of your problems.
The mind-muscle connection takes time and effort to develop, but if you're willing to put in the work, you'll find that it can positively impact your workouts.
To start developing your connection, focus on using proper form, implementing high repetition sets, and focusing on the muscle group you're trying to train.
As you become more comfortable with the process, start adding in other techniques like flexing and posing to improve the communication between your mind and muscles.
If you're struggling to develop the mind-muscle connection, be patient and keep working at it. With enough time and effort, you'll eventually get there. Of course, don't forget to train with high intensity and make sure your nutrition is dialed in.