We hear it all the time, “you need to create a mind to muscle connection” But how many of us actually know how to do this?
What is a Mind to Muscle Connection? Well movement is controlled by the brain, the brain sends a signal to your muscles telling them to contract at the neuromuscular junction, this is where the mind meets the body by releasing a neurotransmitter called “acetylcholine” which communicates with the muscles in the body.
When acetylcholine is released in the neuromuscular junction it crosses the “synapses” which is the tiny space that separates the nerve from the muscle and once they meet just like that we have a muscle contraction!
So how to we apply simple methods to create a mind to muscle connection?
This is where a few methods come to play such as:
1. Using Our Free Nerve Ending
What’s this you’re probably asking, well. Free nerve endings are formed by branching terminations of sensory fibers in the skin. these are the terminal receptor structures of C – fibres, this are found in connective tissues. Electrophysiological recordings of FNE show that they respond to several sensory modalities. Some FNEs respond to moderate cold or heat (thermoreception), to low-threshold mechanical touch (mechanoreception), or to damaging heat, cold, or deformation (nociception).
Essentially using something like touch, tape or a sensation can create a stronger mind to muscle connection as these connect to our FNE’s. You can read more information here on: (nerve endings)
2. Warm Up Sets
Sometimes it’s about getting some blood to the muscle group first so we can start getting that area contracting with a better connection.
3. Contracting muscles between sets
That’s right you have permission to flex away in your rest periods to gain a stronger mind to muscle connection, just don’t be doing it in the mirror to much or you might send the wrong impression to others haha.
4. Using kinesiology tape while working out
If we place a bit of tape around the area we are working on we can let our free nerve endings work for us in creating a sensory stimulus input which in turn will create a stronger mind to muscle connection. This would be the same as poking your quad when doing something like a leg extension.
These are simple but effective ways in creating a stronger mind to muscle connection and can be used not only to being aware with our body but also correcting posture placement to re enforce positions when walking, standing or just sitting down.
Now go get to know yourself and enjoy being more mindful of your body awareness to help correct some of your issues at hand.