A big problem many people have in the gym is that they can’t feel their muscles working. If this is true for you, you will want to learn how to increase your mind muscle connection for optimal results.
The brain is not a muscle, but it behaves like a muscle. I believe training your brain is just as important as training your muscles, if you want to build muscle.
If you can’t feel the muscle working, you aren’t building muscle optimally, and most likely have a weak mind muscle connection.
Here are some very important tips on how I learned how to increase my mind muscle connection through my experiences.
Increasing Your Mind Muscle Connection
So we know why it’s important to increase your mind muscle connection, but how can we actually do it? Here are some ways to increase it.
Increase Grey Matter
Grey matter is a very important section of the brain; it has various functions.
But why grey matter for bodybuilding?
Listen to this, grey matter includes parts of the brain that are responsible for memory, seeing, hearing, speech, emotions, decision making, self-control, and muscle control.
If grey matter is responsible for muscle control, wouldn’t it make sense for us to want to increase it, so that we can increase our mind muscle connection?
I would say yes, and from my experience it has helped a lot!
Many things we do modern day actually decrease our grey matter, but there are also ways to increase it. So what we want to do is, avoid the things that decrease our grey matter, and start doing more activities that increase it. Easy!
What Decreases Grey Matter?
Here are some activities that are shown to decrease grey matter.
Multitasking has been shown to decrease grey matter in the brain. When you are on your phone, while watching tv, eating, and talking to someone at the same time, you are shrinking your brain.
Scrolling Through Social Media
A study shows that people who would often check their Facebook had less grey matter in the nucleus accumbens. It’s not a fact, but scrolling through Facebook most of the day isn’t good anyways, so you may want to cut it back and see how you feel.
Constantly checking Facebook gives you those instant hits of dopamine, and after a while of doing that, you start to feel more lazy. You can read more about it in this article here.
What Increases Grey Matter?
What can we do to increase grey matter? Thankfully, there are numerous activities we can do to increase it in our brain.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to increase grey matter. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you have to do is to be aware of everything around you, and focus.
You can even do this with your eyes closed and focus on your breathing. Another easy way to practice mindfulness, is to pay attention to your abdominal muscles moving up and down as you breathe.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3’s are fats that are most often found in fish and seafood; it can also be found in fish oil. Studies show that people who consume more Omega 3’s had increased grey matter volume.
Other studies have showed that being deficient in Omega 3’s causes cognitive deficits.
Learning And Brain Training
When you learn new and complex tasks, you increase your grey matter. Scientists have found out that bilingual adults had denser grey matter in the left hemisphere. Learning and working the brain is super important for mind muscle connection. The next section will lead into more information about training the brain.
Workout Your Brain
This is something I’ve learned completely on my own, just through experimentation.
I have learned that the more I problem solve, and learn new things, the easier it is to flex the muscles that I want.
Try this out: Next time you are sitting down doing nothing, take a few minutes and think. Try and do problem solving for areas in your life where you need it.
It’s Hard For Me To Think
Sometimes this is hard for people, because they are so used to having their brain on autopilot. They are doing activities that just give them the reward. If it’s hard for you to focus, just keep trying.
It may be a bit uncomfortable, but this is good, because soon it will start to be easier and easier to problem solve, and your brain will get stronger. If it’s really hard, you can even try flexing your brain.
After doing this for a while, you may start to notice how easy it is to flex the muscles that you want.
The key to this is to learn, and problem solve throughout the day. Don’t spend a little time problem solving, and then spending the rest of the day watching TV while scrolling Facebook. Actually engage your brain for a lot of the day, and just keep at it until you feel that your mind muscle connection has been increased.
Reduce Your Stress
This is a very important one, simply for the fact that stress affects everything we do. When you are working out, you want to be focusing on nothing but the weights at hand, and the muscles that you are trying to target.
How do you expect to focus on your muscles when you are stressed out?
It can be hard to just tell yourself to calm down, and expect results. It’s much easier to just fill our lives with activities and other habits that reduce stress.
Flex Your Muscles
Another great tip that you can do to feel your muscles working is to spend time flexing them.
When you have some free time at home, just spend a little time flexing each muscle. When you do this, use the tip I’ve told you before about flexing your brain. You really want to focus as much as you can with your brain when you are flexing.
Believe that there is nothing else on this earth but you and the muscle that you are flexing. This can also be used for when you are actually lifting weights at the gym; your focus is critical.
Use Lighter Weights
If you are doing all that is described in this article, and you still can’t feel a good mind muscle connection, then you may be lifting too heavy.
Drop the ego, and drop the weight. Feeling the muscle is much more important than lifting heavy weights. Your muscles do not know how much weight you are lifting.
To build muscle, you need to be feeling the muscles contracting. Using the lighter weights will target more muscle fibers, giving you a better feeling in your muscles.
When you lift super heavy weights, you start to use many other muscles, and it starts to get hard to focus on the specific muscles you want to train.
Overall, all of the information I have given you will help create and strong, and healthy brain. Even if you don’t believe it will directly help your mind muscle connection, think about it this way: The brain is responsible for so many things in your body, having an overall healthy brain will make a better you overall.
Train your brain, it’s worth it either way, but I know that it really does help my mind muscle connection. Try it out, and let me know how this works for you.
Thanks for reading!