Mind Muscle Connection: The New Key to Effective Muscle Growth?
It is trained for hours and still arises often after initial success, unfortunately at some point the desired muscle growth again. Many athletes, especially strength athletes this problem is known. Fitness experts, therefore, advise against isolated strength exercises in these cases. For this purpose, a fitness concept called “Mind-Muscle Connection” should now help. Complex full-body exercises create a connection between the mind and the muscle that promotes muscle growth again.
Fitness expert Mike Branke is a lecturer in strength and equipment training at the German University of Applied Sciences for Sports and Health. He is convinced that many hobby strength athletes train incorrectly. Most dumbbell exercises and fitness equipment isolate a particular muscle. According to Branke, such isolation exercises make no sense to most amateur athletes. Much better are complex full-body exercises that build a so-called mind-muscle connection. The American sports researcher Brad Jon Schoenfeld has investigated this effect in a study.
What is the Mind Muscle Connection?
Targeted exercises aim to build up a mind-muscle connection in the body. The relationship between mind and muscles should help to maximize muscle development. This is achieved by concentrating on the affected muscle during training. By consciously feeling the muscle, a more targeted stimulation should be performed.
The course of the study
In a study published in the European Journal of Sport Science, 30 untrained men completed strength training over a period of eight weeks. At random, half of the subjects trained on classic muscle building training, focusing on increasing the weights used. A second group trained on the concept of mind muscle connection. Instead of increasing the weights, this group focused on increasing muscle utilization through a targeted contraction.
After eight weeks, changes in muscle thickness in the elbow flexor and quadriceps were measured by ultrasound. The group, which trained on the principle of mind-muscle connection, could achieve almost twice the muscle gain, as the subjects who completed a regular muscle building training. Muscle gain in the Mind Muscle Connection group was 12.4 percent after eight weeks. With classical muscle training, only an average growth of 6.9 percent could be achieved. The researchers conclude that the targeted construction of a mind-muscle connection leads to an improvement in muscle development.
From the dirt road to the highway
Fitness professional Mike Branke compares the concept of the connection between mind and muscle with the quality of ways. For less used muscles, there are only “dirt roads” as a connection between the brain and muscle. Through the Mind Muscle Connection, this way to the highway will be expanded. He advises concentrating with each muscle exercise specifically on the respective muscle. The muscle must be deliberately led to fatigue. Of course, diet also plays a central role in muscle building. For more information read the article: These are the 10 best foods for healthy and fast muscle.
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