The Value of Developing a Strong Mind-Muscle Connection to Improve Performance
Mon 03 05 2021

The mind-muscle connection is a conscious way to focus the tension of your exercise on a muscle of your body. Focusing on the use of a specific muscle will help create contractions in it and more high muscle fibers will be activated to complete the task at hand. It can also prevent the degradation of unused muscle fibers. Creating tension in the right muscles allows your body to increase strength and size where needed. Let’s discover the value of developing a strong mind-muscle connection to improve performance.

Internal and external focused attention

The ability of your brain to focus on an activity for an amount of time is called focused attention. It makes a great part of cognitive development and can be beneficial during resistance training. There is the internal and the external focus during an exercise. The internal focus consists of focusing on the details of things that your body is performing. Whereas the external focus is about the relation of your body to the environment during an exercise. Both internal and external focus is important to improve your performance, but the internal focus’s role is more integral in muscle development and growth.

More time under tension

This an important component for building muscles. Increasing the time under tension spent during a lift can make your muscles grow bigger and stronger. There are many ways to increase time under tension. You can pause when your muscles are at the peak of the contraction. If you are doing a bridge pause, you can squeeze your glutes when they are at the top. You can also pause when performing a bicep curl and the position is flexed. Or you can hold for few seconds when performing a pushup. Another way to do so is to slow down the elongated or eccentric portion of the exercise. Add up to 3 seconds of eccentric movements to improve your mind-muscle connection because your mind will try to control the slowed-down movement.

Furthermore, you can use isometric contractions to improve your time under tension and how your brain relates to the muscle. Good examples of isometric contractions are planks, iso-hold squats, loaded carries, and isometric chin-ups.

Turn off distractions

Whether you think you are a multitasker or not, when it comes to your fitness it is better to focus on one goal, and this means turning off distractions. Therefore, instead of thinking of how hard an exercise is, or if you are feeling discouraged for doing it, think of the gains you will get by doing this exercise. Turn of distractions such as your phone and other electronic devices to give your brain the chance to focus on what it is doing. Use music as a way to energize and keep your body in the workout.

Wrap up advice:

  • Turn off any distractions around you
  • Visualize the muscles you are training
  • Warm-up before your session
  • Add cues, such as telling your body to row
  • Increase your time under tension