MIND-MUSCLE CONNECTION

Balivada Sravan Kumar
Balivada Sravan Kumar

 | 1 minute to read
Exercise Science
If you’ve always wondered what Mind-Muscle connection means, here’s a simple definition for you: “Mind – Muscle connection in body building is how the muscle gets activated when you focus on that particular muscle while training it”.

Mind – Muscle connection is your brain telling the targeted muscles that they need to contract. This is important because improved Mind – Muscle connection means that more muscle fibers are focussed while training. There is numerous evidence to prove that focusing on the particular muscle while performing the exercise actually helped increase its size, especially when the exercise is performed with light loads. There are primary and secondary muscles involved while performing most exercises. Suppose you are performing a bench press for developing your chest. Bench Press focuses on the Chest, while also engaging the Shoulders and Triceps. To make sure you’re developing your chest, you must focus the chest muscles while performing Bench Press and not the shoulders or triceps. Mind – Muscle connection is important because it helps you develop a particular muscle when different muscle groups are involved. A little science now: Mind – Muscle connection actually happens at the "myoneural junction (neuromuscular junction)", which is the contact point between a motor neuron and muscle fiber. A neurotransmitter called ‘Acetylcholine’ is released by the brain to communicate with the muscles. As we saw in the case of the Bench press, exercises tend to utilise multiple muscle groups for executing the movement. So, targeting a particular muscle by focusing on it with your mind helps in the greater development of that muscle. There are numerous studies which show that internal focus on a particular muscle helped target and develop the intended muscle. Mind – Muscle connection may sound complex but is actually easy to do. The only thing that you need to take care of is the weight you are using for performing the exercise. Moderate loads (60-80% intensity) are definitely better than heavy loads (>80% intensity). Studies show that Mind – Muscle connection is effective when performed with moderate loads rather than heavy loads because you better focus on a muscle when you are lifting moderate loads. Take Away: From the studies, it is evident that Mind – Muscle connection helps for better development of muscles and also for targeting a particular muscle while performing an exercise. However, it is also proven that Mind – Muscle connection actually works when the exercise is performed with moderate loads. Hence proving exercise included with Mind – Muscle connection with lighter loads provides better development of muscle tissues. But, also remember that form is more important than mind-muscle connection while performing compound exercises such as squats as they target many muscles at once and if you concentrate on mind-muscle connection, you may end up compromising on form. References 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2681207/ 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19826287 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19826307 4. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167945717300301 5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28500415 6. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00421-015-3305-7 7. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/291018876
user

Tejal Sonwalkar

Very informative. Appreciate the way it is explained...

Global Community background