Fitness is more than just toning the muscles or building an impressive physique. It’s essential to achieve a strong mind-muscle connection in order to maximize your training. In fact, a study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation found that you could gain more power by combining mind and muscle connection.
The science behind this is simple: when your mind and body work together, you are more motivated to stay fit. Focusing your energies on the stretching and contracting muscles on an almost meditative level will give you the best results. In today’s post, we are giving you tips on how can enhance mind-body connection when working out:
1. Controlling the Heart Rate Through Breathing
The first step in strengthening the mind-body connection is through breathing. This is a biological way to control the heart rate. Pressure increases the heart rate and pro athletes control their heartbeat through measured breathing. To control the heart rate when working out, breathe in for six seconds, hold your breath for a couple of seconds then breathe out for seven seconds.
2. Mindful Exercising
Research shows that visualizing the muscle activity alone can improve muscle activity by as much as 10%! So don’t just perform an exercise without checking to see if you achieved the right form. By exercising mindfully, you will target major muscle groups more effectively. This makes your workout more efficient, you don’t waste time and effort at all. Targeted workout will also lead to more fitness gains. Don’t let gravity do all the iron pumping for you. Pay close attention to the contractions of your muscles, focus on slow, deliberate movement and feel the tension.
3. Practice Visualizations
Powerful imagery can improve performance by up to 35%. This, according to a research conducted on participants who practice visualization on a 12-week workout. Participants performed visualization on both workout and non-workout times. After the study, those who practiced visualization improved their strength from 13.5% to 35%!
When the brain focuses on an image – say visualizing toned biceps – it sends a message to the corresponding muscle to increase in mass. And these muscles tone up regardless if you don’t train it that often. When you practice visualization and combine it with training, you will surprise yourself with the amazing result.
4. Remove all Distractions
To achieve better mind-muscle connection, you have to remove yourself from everyday concerns that keep you from focusing on your mental and physical self. That means not thinking about work, TV, food and petty concerns and focusing on what you hope to achieve for the day. This disconnection from everyday anxiety does not apply to fitness alone. You can practice this to re-focus your mind when you are too overwhelmed.
Find the quietest spot in your home. Sit comfortably and affirm your intentions. Close your eyes, remove all distractions in your mind and breathe deeply. Meditate on your fitness goal or any goals you have to eliminate anxiety. Bask in the quietness for five to ten minutes every day to improve mental focus.
6. Flex Your Muscles
Flexing stretches and strengthens the muscle tissues. Stand in front of your mirror and start flexing certain muscles. Contract the muscles one at a time in slow, deliberate movement. This will help you achieve a sculpted form and improve muscle control when you exercise.