Reestablish your Mind-Muscle Connection

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Tricks & Tips from a Personal Trainer!


As a trainer, one of the most important things to me is ensuring my clients know how to


  1. Utilize the correct muscles for everyday functional movement and range of motion and

  2. Understand which muscles are being used and why.


I believe having knowledge of the human body and understanding each muscle's purpose is what creates the mind-muscle connection we all search for.


However, at the beginning of the client’s fitness journey attaining and applying this knowledge can seem like a very daunting task; after all, each individual body is different and therefore their training will unique to their specific muscular biases and compensations.


So how do we retrain a client who, over time has created strong but unstable movement patterns?

How best can we reestablish correct muscle activation and utilization when they have been relying on muscle compensation; how do we reengage their sensorimotor system?


Though there are quite a few ways to help cue and teach a client proper movement, one of my top “go-to” methods is incorporating a resistance band for assistance during the training (or re-training) regimen.


The correct use of bands can be monumental in helping the client understand the connection between specific movements and the correct muscles being utilized. From adding stabilization, needed muscle contraction, or ongoing cueing during a lift we encourage our clients to feel and learn what correct movement feels like so they can translate it to everyday life and activities!


Below are some ways I utilize bands for common lifting problems!


Stay strong and healthy my friends!



Workouts:


Single Leg Squat: Helps allow for full weight transfer through foot as well as pelvis alignment. Assists with correct movement of exaggerating hips back while keeping knee, ankle, and foot in line.


Kneeling Single Leg Hip Extension: Allows you to focus on full glute activation with less compensation.



Hip Extension: Allows you to focus on correct pelvis movement and engagement of correct posterior extension muscles: gluteals, hamstrings, core, etc.



Pull Up: Allows you to focus on full reset of shoulders before pull as well as utilization of correct pulling muscles: lats, mid - low trap, rhomboids, etc.


Lateral Lunge: Allows you to establish correct foot, ankle, & knee positioning (should stack on top of each other) as well as full hip hinge (exaggerate hips back) while still stabilizing you so you can feel the correct use of muscles.


Push Up: Assists with correct body positioning during press by maintaining set shoulders and encouraging shoulder retraction while correct muscles work during press. Allows you to focus on full body positioning from tuck pelvis, shoulder - elbow - wrist alignment, to relaxed shoulders in order to maintain active plank entire exercise.


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