What is Muscle and Mind Connection?
The brain controls movement and the first step toward muscular contraction is a signal sent by the brain to your muscles telling them to contract. The more you can improve this communication, the more muscle fibers you will recruit. A single muscle head is made up of many individual muscle fibers. By improving your Muscle Mind Connection (MMC) you are actually increasing the number of muscle fibers being recruited when you perform a lift. This results in a better quality muscle contraction and better workout.
Too many people get obsessed with how much weight they’re pushing rather than how much work their muscles are actually doing. Your muscles don’t grow because of the change in weight, they grow because they’re forced to contract by acting on added weight. If you maximize the force placed on your target muscles you will maximize your gains, and that’s what it’s all about: maximizing the work done by your target muscles. Not maximizing the weight moving up and down, this is secondary.
1. You don’t need to lift heavy: One of the most common reasons why people fail to develop a proper Mind-Muscle Connection is because they are obsessed with pushing more and more weight. Forget about how much weight you’re pushing, concentrate instead on the quality of each repetition.
2. Warm up or practice sets: Try doing a few warm-up sets (high reps of 15-20) with a very low weight. Close your eyes and concentrate on your target muscles. Concentrate on “squeezing” the weight and pause for a moment at the point of maximum contraction. If you’re worried about wasting energy before your working sets, try this on an off day.
Perform the exercise slowly: Use lighter weight and really focus on the muscle contraction.
3. Don’t be afraid to FLEX! This forces additional blood into your muscles, pumping them up further. You are more aware of your muscles when they’re fully pumped, which makes it easier to mentally isolate them.