Many athletes across gyms are making steady progress not only by training hard but also by mastering how to use the mind-muscle connection for muscle growth.
If you’ve spent enough time at the gym you’ve probably come across the term mind-muscle connection before. If not specifically, then surely someone has suggested you concentrate on activating a certain muscle when you lift.
This, in very unscientific terms, is the mind-muscle connection.
What is the mind-muscle connection?
A more substantial definition of the mind-muscle connection is that you should intentionally focus on squeezing and isolating the muscle that you are trying to target when doing weight training exercises.
Bodybuilders have promoted this idea for years, but researchers generally suggest simply taking your weight exercises through a full range of motion is good enough for boosting growth.
Does the mind-muscle connection work?
Up until recently, the general consensus was that it was more important to focus on how you move over focusing your attention inwards to the muscle you’re attempting to target.
However, a 2018 study found that the mind-muscle connection can help with better muscle size in certain situations. Still, no real strength gains were found between the two test groups.
How to use the mind-muscle connection for growth?
Jeff Nippard, pro bodybuilder with a BSc in biochemistry/chemistry and a passion for science, explains how to use the mind-muscle connection for growth.
- Heavy, compound exercises do not benefit from a mind-muscle connection.
- Use the mind-muscle connection instead for isolation exercises where the goal is to target a specific muscle.
More research to the topic is needed to really optimise muscle growth and strength through the mind-muscle connection.
Read more: The Best Way to Isolate the Chest for Growth