Day in, day out, I see not only ladies but men as well, walk into the gym, start their training session and with each exercise they do – they aimlessly just ‘go through the movements’. Then they complain that they aren’t getting any results.
In order to improve or get continued results, you need to switch on and recruit the muscles for each exercise.
Now, by ‘aimlessly’ I mean they aren’t contracting or squeezing the muscles in order to do the work/exercise. Instead, they are just swinging the weights with no concern for form and no concern for actually engaging the muscles to lift the weight.
To me, this is a BIG NO NO! Time is precious, so why would you waste your time in the gym when you are not going to activate your muscles to do the work!
Now I know not everyone, especially Bandar Toto Macau beginners, have a vast knowledge when it comes to knowing every single muscle group in the human body, but as I’ve mentioned earlier, having even a basic understanding is important and WILL help immensely. If you don’t know what muscles you are meant to be using for a particular exercise, then look at doing another exercise or ask for help – hire a personal trainer until you are confident and can go on by yourself.
A perfect example would be (I see this all the time) when someone is using the back-extension machine to work the glutes. I commonly see extreme hyperextension of the back and a huge amount of swinging instead of recruiting the gluteus muscles to do the work. Then they complain about having a sore lower back. If you are doing the movement properly and switching on/engaging the glutes correctly, then your ‘lower back’ shouldn’t come into the equation.
REMEMBER: To efficiently activate the muscles, your mind is what matters! You need to adapt that mind-muscle connection to get the best results out of your workouts.
5 TIPS TO ENGAGE YOUR MIND/MUSCLE CONNECTION:
- Don’t try to lift too heavy – If you can’t ‘feel’ the muscles working then drop the weight down and work your way back up
- Always chose correct form over adding weight
- NEVER be in any rush to perform a movement – An appropriate sense of cadence/speed throughout your repetitions is what you need to focus on and adapt
- Try holding or touching the particular body part/muscle you are training – By doing this, it helps to mentally visualise and engage the muscles so you can engage them properly. If you can’t do this yourself this is when a friend/spotter comes in handy.
- If all else fails try incorporating ‘tempo’ into your workouts and exercises (more info below)
IF YOU ARE CONFIDENT TRY INCORPORATING ‘TEMPO’ INTO YOUR WORKOUTS:
Tempo is referred to as the “total amount of time it takes to complete an entire repetition” (Poliquin, 2013. P19).
The ‘tempo’ is the speed at which an exercise is performed; you may see this as numbers such as 4010 for example:
For example: If you were to perform a squat
The first number is the eccentric portion of the exercise which means it is the lowering part of the squat
The second number is the length of pause after the eccentric/lowering phase. This would be the pause at the bottom of a squat
The third number is the length of the concentric phase, standing up out of a squat is concentric.
The final number is the length of pause after the concentric phase. This would be standing at the top of a squat.
From my experience, this is the part of the training that most people overlook. Performing repetitions at an appropriate speed allow you to build the connection between your mind and your muscle! Personally, I believe there is no point training with weights if you are simply ‘going through the motion’ without actually controlling the movement and feeling your muscles squeeze or do the work.
Incorporating tempo into your workout regime can also be a useful tool to add variety to your workouts or to help break through a plateau.
Author: Emillie Cole – Academic Coordinator (Vast Fitness Academy)