What are you thinking about when you are exercising? Are you just waiting to finish? Are you stressing out about your job? Or are you concentrating on using the correct muscles and improving your form? If you answered anything other than my last question, you may be missing out on much more than you think. The power of the mind is absolutely amazing, especially when it comes to controlling your body. Twenty absent-minded squats are less beneficial for you than five, full-focus squats.
Study after study has been done documenting the power and control the brain has over exercise. From rehabilitation to general fitness to sports performance, “locking-in” with your mind has generous benefits. One study looked at “cross-over” from one leg to another in regards to preventing atrophy (muscle degeneration). Participants in the study were unable to use the quadriceps muscle in one leg due to injury, surgery, or restriction. Some were instructed to perform exercise with only their “free” leg, while the control group remained stagnant while recovering. At the end of the experiment, the group that exercised the opposite leg had significantly less atrophy in the restricted leg. New experiments and concepts are even being developed where “neurological practitioners” are developing techniques to help treat pain and dysfunction through mental visualization of movement and “thinking” about moving pain free. Even from our perspectives as coaches, we can tell when you are mentally focused and when you are just going through the motions. We see much better form, less injuries and stronger work-outs when the mental focus is there!
Bottom line, our challenge for you is this: if you feel as if your routine is not as effective as it could be, try increasing your focus. Emphasize proper form, stabilizing your core, pulling your shoulders back and performing everything with intention. Even if you move slower, we want you to FOCUS and FEEL your body working. Then let us know if something feels strange or “off” and we can begin to pinpoint and critique until we find out how to help you move optimally! Take the challenge and let us know what you think!
Be Sociable, Share!