Do you know about M&Ms?
No, I’m not talking about the yummy chocolate candy with the hard outer shell. Instead, I mean the ever-important Mind-Muscle connection.
You don’t want your workout routines to consist of doing three sets of 10 of these and four sets of 12 of those. Your muscles truly don’t care how well you can count. To maximize the benefit that awaits them from a workout, slow down your movement and really put your thoughts into the exercising muscle—contracting, lengthening, strengthening and changing its shape before you ever move a single inch.
For example, when doing an arm curl believe and see your arms developing into the granite-type guns you so deserve. When you start to lift the weight, do so slowly and focus exclusively on the biceps, making them totally responsible for the up phase.
At the top of the curl, pause and contract the muscle extra tightly like you did as a child when you were asked to “make a muscle.” When lowering, don’t let gravity take over, but do so with total control and make the biceps benefit. Mentally make the specific muscle work for every centimeter of the entire movement.
By connecting the mental and physical components of the exercise, your body will respond much quicker. After all, it really is about the quality of the movement and not the quantity. Put your mind in your muscles and feel, then see, what a difference it makes.
Frank LaCoco is a personal trainer at Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Burr Ridge. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 708-710-9422.
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