Make the Effort Worth It
If you are anything like me, the best part of your run is when your mind starts to drift away from the cramps and toward something more pleasant. Maybe it is the sound of birds calling, your jam playing through your earbuds or the virtual happy hour this Friday with friends. Whatever your nirvana is, it is always nice to daydream instead of focusing on the 30-minutes you have remaining – which is three more 10-minute intervals and that is six more 5-minute intervals. We all do that right?
Don’t Cheat Yourself
When training with a goal in mind however, it is important to execute every movement in a deliberate manner. Every contraction, extension, and breath serves a purpose and we should strive to direct each movement with the endgame in mind. When I am training with weight resistance, I focus my mind on the specific muscles I am exercising in what is called Muscle Mind Connection. This connection allows me to identify when I am properly executing a movement. If I am cheating myself by using improper form or another muscle to “cover” some of the resistance, as well as when I have worked that muscle to the desired level of exhaustion.
When contracting a muscle, I focus and ask myself, “Am I feeling this movement in the desired location?” If not, I know I need to make a change before proceeding with the next rep. For example, if I am performing bicep curls, but I am feeling soreness in my shoulder, I should inspect my posture and movement in the mirror. Is my elbow projecting forward allowing it to get under the weight? Am I swinging the weight up instead of curling in a smooth and controlled movement? If either of these two things are occurring, amongst several other possibilities, think about what is occurring, why it is and what you can do to fix the issue. While you can never completely eliminate utilizing additional muscles, the goal is to limit this from occurring. If I am working by biceps, I do not want another muscle to “steal” the work load I am attempting to apply.
Set Yourself Up for Success
The movement you make when conducting bicep curls, or any exercise, with weight should look the same as it does when you have no weight. If it does not, it is likely you are attempting too heavy of a weight and will benefit more if you lower the weight and lift with proper form.
For more information on Muscle Mind Connection, join one of Epic Fitness’ Virtual Classes or reach out to us with your questions. An experienced and knowledgeable trainer will happily discuss this concept in greater detail, as well as how they can help you achieve your fitness goals.