Doctors and healers have noticed the connection between our physical and mental health before millennia. Until the XIX century most people were convinced that emotions are directly linked to the illness and people were advised to go to sanatoriums and coastal centers where to heal both body and mind. Gradually emotions began to give way as causes of diseases to bacteria and toxins, and newly discovered antibiotics treated disease after disease. In recent decades, scientists have even gone so far as to try to ascribe biological foundations of behavior imbalances such as autism and others. In parallel, however, scientists began to reinventing the relationship between stress, emotions and health, and specifically the mind muscle connection.
We all have mind-muscle connection and it is practiced in many ancient medical and philosophical systems. Our bodies react physically to our way of thinking, and this is not a relative doctrine of the Far East. It is a proven scientific fact.
There is also a connection body – mind. A typical example is premenstrual syndrome in women when changes in hormonal background lead to certain changes in behavior. On the same principle, one usually feels psychologically uncomfortable day before his throat starts hurting, he has stuffy nose, etc.
There is another connection that links the body and brain, and that is food. We’ve all heard the maxim “a man is what he eats.” This means that any crumb or drop passing barrier of our mouth, has an effect (positive or negative) on our health and how we feel.
For now we will focus on mind muscle connection, and in particular, how can we use it to optimize their physical activities through it.
Mind Muscle Connection
We have all heard in the gym “think about the muscle while you train it.” What does this mean and what is the effect of “thinking” or “unthinking” during the workout?
Whoever of you has come across in yoga class, has probably noticed that almost all the time it is repeated to “connect” the mind and body to “realize” the practice. This is virtually the same as in training: directed thought, brain impulse is what makes us perform movements in a certain way.
There is of course another opinion on the matter, if you execute movements with proper form and technique, it is not necessary (and according to some, it is even impossible) to activate a conscious muscle work.
So – how important is conscious control over the muscles in training? If we combine the ancient knowledge of yoga with the latest sports research, we find that the mind can do a lot for our training. Targeting thought and targeted activation of certain muscles increases the work of the muscle group on which to focus attention.
In a recent experiment, there were taken exercises in which we can transfer the focus on one or another muscle group, for example:
- squat with a focus on the quadriceps or focusing on seat musculature;
- Romanian traction with a focus on the seat or on the rear thigh;
- ups with a focus on arms or on the latissimus dorsi muscle;
- pushup with a focus on the triceps and chest muscles on the other.
The results show a significant difference in the effectiveness of muscles, depending on whether they are activated consciously or not. The greatest difference in the results show movements covering the lower part of the body.
The study clearly shows that yogis (and bodybuilders) were right about the mind muscle connection, and this proves the phenomenon of neuromuscular dynamics during resistance training.
Factors that hinder conscious activation of muscles
In recent years №1 enemy of workouts themselves are phones. You can see every third trainee to talk on the phone, write text messages or updated your status in a social network. If you want to achieve high efficiency of your workout, keep the phone away. It distracts you from your workout and lets you concentrate on the movements you make.
Conversations. No matter how enjoyable and educational sometimes talks with “fellow exercisers” are they also distract you from your main activity in the gym.
Do not think about what you will eat for dinner or what you have to do during the day. Take your time in the gym or yoga only for you.Concentration requires the most effort and most practice. Apply daily efforts. To improve it, turn your attention on your breathing and try to synchronize their movements. Thus you satisfied your cells with oxygen and all the muscles begin to work more efficiently. Another practice that you can apply is when you walk, you can count the steps – this is a proven method of improving the ability to concentrate.
Study well the mechanics of the movements that you will perform in the gym. When you do not know the exercises and do not know which muscle groups are involved, you just imitate exercise without get a real benefit from it.
Nowadays, all the people are emphasizing on mind muscle connection. Scientists and psychologists ever more insistently persuade us to pay attention to the health of our brain, since it depends on our overall well-being.