Having a strong Mind Muscle Connection is KEY in any workout, but it’s not always easy to establish. Today, I’m sharing 2 simple tips for building a strong connection!
2 Tips for Building The Mind Muscle Connection
WELCOME to the Capable & Strong Series!
This series is all about strength training. We will be chatting about things from reasons why women should lift to suggested supplements to building a strong body and mind! And you can expect strength training workouts!
Good Morning! Happy Monday!
Do you have a strong Mind Muscle Connection? Not sure what the Mind Muscle Connection is? Have you started singing Rainbow Connection yet? I started singing yesterday as I was typing this post!
I’m not sure there is a real definition for Mind Muscle Connection. I like to think of it as understanding and being mindful of the way your body and muscles are moving and working during a workout. Often in my classes I’ll say, ‘Mind on Your Muscle.‘ It’s really easy to just go through the motions of an exercise, especially when it’s a basic body weight movement. But building a strong connection is key, no matter how far you are into your fitness journey. Here are 2 super simple steps for building the mind muscle connection that anyone can do!
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This might overly simple, but it’s important. Are you being intentional in all your workouts? Whether you go to classes, work with a trainer or create workouts on your own, are intentional in your movements and exercise selections? Let’s take group fitness classes. As a participant you are either following along with your instructor or doing exercises assigned for the workout. I remember times when participants would fling around weights, jump into a workout without really understanding what’s going on, and more. Before starting anything, take a moment to get your mind in the right spot. This is where a Workout Goal can come in handy.
For me, I try to make sure I’m focused in on my workout and the movements I’m doing at multiple points throughout a workout, especially if I find I’m not really ‘feeling’ an exercise like I should be (I’ll be doing a post on this next week!). Even those that are far along in their fitness journey still focus on the mind muscle connection, so don’t discount it!
THINK ABOUT THE MUSCLES YOU ARE USING
Now, this can be done without having a deep understanding of muscular functions. Take the squat for example. The movement is virtually the same as sitting down in a chair. Your knees will bend, your butt will sit back, your chest will be lifted. From that, we can take it one step further: If I’m bending at my knees, my feet are planted on the floor and my thighs will be moving from vertical to horizontal (depending on depth). My butt muscles are obviously going to be working. To keep my chest lifted so I don’t flop over, I need to keep my shoulders back and down, which means I’m also using my back muscles. And because I visit Burpees for Breakfast or have taken classes with Jen, I know that my core is used in pretty much every single exercise I do.
So, I can see that a squat is really a full body movement, but more leg dominant. Just by thinking about the muscles or parts of my body that are used in an exercise, I’m building the mind muscle connection.
Going back to the squat, let’s say that I notice my knees are a little shaky and falling inward. That’s a cue to chat with a trainer / coach or even visit Google to figure out WHY my knees are shaky and what I can do about it. Research would reveal that it’s likely due to weak glutes and I’ll be able to find some exercises that help build glute strength so that in time, my knees will track over my toes or out slightly.
The trainer in me wants to expand on these even more and cover muscle imbalances and such. If you ever really focused on the mind muscle connection, these two tips are great places to start!
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How was your weekend?! Gosh, it’s Sunday night and I feel like I can’t remember Friday night! Ah! I do remember that it was a busy work day. I took on a big new group and have to transition about 7 of my others, so I was a big day of documentation and meeting requests. I’m pretty sure we just hung out Friday night.
Saturday started at the gym. I PR’d my deadlift at 205#. I realized I haven’t really done a solid DL day since hitting 200# a few months ago. I just need to train it and get my 225# goal soon! I rushed to get coffee and get ready before filming a Welcome video for The Squad. I did a bit more work before driving to have coffee with the Bestie, which was so fun! The Hubs was at a party when I got home, so Oscar and I walked, made dinner, did some work and watched Girlboss. Totally enjoying that show! Sunday was a slow morning, shopping trip, food prep (I rockeddddd it this week), dinner, a little house decorating and a relaxing night.
Oh, we also got butcher block counter tops Friday! So beautiful! I’ll share a full kitchen reno photo soon!
What are you looking forward to this week?!!?
SO, TELL ME:
Do you have trouble establishing the mind-muscle connection?
What did you do this weekend?!