Muscle-Mind-Connection: This is how it helps you build muscle

Muscle-Mind-Connection: This is how it helps you build muscle
Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / 5132824

The muscle-mind connection combines sporting activities and mindfulness and is intended to boost muscle growth. You can find out what’s behind the concept here.

The muscle-mind connection (in German: body-mind connection) describes the close relationship between our physical actions and our mental processes. At its core, it’s about how our thoughts, emotions, and mental states can affect our physical performance—particularly when it comes to sporting activities. The mind-body connection is increasingly recognized as a critical factor in enhancing athletic and physical performance.

What is the muscle-mind connection?

The Muscle-Mind Connection emphasizes the idea that our thoughts and emotions can have a direct impact on our physical movement and performance. This connection stems from the idea that conscious control of our thoughts and feelings during physical activity can lead to more efficient use of our muscles. By paying attention and concentrating on the movement to be performed, we can improve muscle contractions and make the movement sequences more precise.

Mindfulness exercises, as well as visualization and concentration exercises, are used to implement the muscle-mind connection. For example, athletes can imagine exactly how the muscle moves during an exercise, feel every contraction and stretch exactly, or carry out exercises at the beginning of the training session to become more aware of their body and their movements.

Muscle-mind connection: what does the research say?

Some studies have already explored the so-called muscle-mind connection.
Some studies have already explored the so-called muscle-mind connection.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / anncapictures)

The extent to which the muscle-mind connection exists in different sports or influences your training is still being scientifically researched. Nevertheless, there are already some studies that provide promising indications. For example, one of the studies examined the extent to which mental training affected the movements of the little finger and elbow. According to the results, the test persons activated the muscle groups more and built up more strength if they also mentally focused on them. According to another article, there are other studies – almost exclusively in the weight training field – that show that the muscle is activated more when you concentrate on it during the movement. For example, a 2016 study examined the muscle-mind connection in the bench press. According to the results, athletes can actually increase the activity of the muscles involved if they focus on the muscle in question.

According to Science Daily, the muscle-mind connection is now largely recognized in science and has been proven to promote muscle growth. However, if the goal is not only muscle growth, but above all muscle performance, the muscle-mind connection reaches its limits. In this case, new scientific evidence suggests that it makes more sense to focus on the weight being lifted rather than the muscle itself.

Mindfulness training: pros and cons

Previous scientific studies therefore allow the conclusion that the muscle-mind connection can actually promote muscle growth. So, according to this theory, with the same training but improved attention and focus, you can boost muscle growth.

If you also develop a higher awareness of your own body during training, you may be able to prevent injuries, as you will feel more quickly when a movement causes even minor pain. However, such an effect has not yet been scientifically proven. Last but not least, not doing the training and thinking about the rest of the to-do list, but really focusing on the moment could help reduce stress.

However, there are also some possible disadvantages: Learning and practicing the muscle-mind connection requires time and patience. Also, in situations or sports that require quick reactions, over-focusing on the mind-body connection could be a hindrance.

Muscle-mind connection in training: Here’s how it works

Mindfulness can help you with your muscle-mind connection, among other things.
Mindfulness can help you with your muscle-mind connection, among other things.
(Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / mariya_m)

The implementation of the muscle-mind connection requires mindfulness and concentration. Here are some practical steps to encourage this connection in your training:

  1. Mindfulness Practices: Start with short mindfulness practices or learn meditation to focus on your body and breathing. This will help you become more aware of your movements and muscles. Relaxation techniques or short yoga units such as yoga in bed also contribute to this.

  2. Visualization: Imagine how you execute the movements perfectly and how the muscle changes as you do so. This visualization can help improve muscle activation and refine movement patterns.

  3. Concentration: During training, consciously direct your attention to the muscles being used. Feel every contraction and stretch intensively.

Read more on Techzle\.com:

  • Back training: simple exercises for strong muscles
  • Back stretch: Simple exercises for every day
  • Exercising on an empty stomach: healthy or dangerous?

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