Creating The Mind Muscle Connection
Today was back day for me, and my left lat is lagging. It has always been a problem area for me to grow. I struggle getting the mind muscle connection to my left lat. After finishing my sets of heavy compound lifts, came the isolation exercises. I was trying single arm pull downs, single arm rows, and eccentric pull ups. I noticed I am still struggling to target my lat. I was hitting my triceps hard, my pec, and forearms, and a little lat.
It sounds a little silly, but before my next back day, I am going to try to visually flex in the mirror to contract my lat. I will also try lifting a very light weight very slowly over and over to just focus and create that connection. I have found that closing my eyes and even tapping on the muscle I want worked helps a lot. Hopefully this will do the job and create that coveted connection for me so that I can overload that muscle for the next lift session.
Why is the mind muscle connection so important? Slinging heavy weight around without proper form and targeting the muscle you want to build is not the best way to achieve hypertrophy, and usually isn’t very safe or smart. You need to control the weight on the concentric and eccentric. Once you can create great form and the connection to the muscle you want to build, then cheat reps are great for finishers, still controlling the eccentric. Creating the connection to that muscle will engage those fibers more, thus causing more damage, which equals more gains!
Do you have a certain muscle group that is hard to create the connection? If so, how are you working on it? Leave your comments and techniques in a comment below. I would love to hear some tips from you!