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Uniting Mind & Muscle

Authored by: Andy Bix, MA, CSCS


Do you find yourself performing a movement with poor or sloppy form? Fatigue can certainly be a factor in maintaining proper form, as is having good mind-muscle connection. Mind-muscle connection can keep your form intact, even in a fatigued state, but it requires focus and form building. It may take time but it's worth the investment in the end.


Mind-muscle connection pertains to a focused contraction of a targeted muscle or muscle group. It's is a direct relationship between "moving" weight and lifting weight. In aerobic exercise, focusing on breathing intensity and patterns over time will increase aerobic capacity and decrease fatigue.


Planks

Planking is a core movement that targets stabilizing and posture muscles. For proper form, don't let your hips fall down or rise too high, and avoid too much pressure on your wrists and shoulders. Tighten your core and keep your hands and elbows straight to eliminate pain and keep proper form. Pro Tip: Contract glutes and abdominals to ensure the core is engaged and spine stays aligned.

Running vs. Jogging


Breath is the biggest difference between running and jogging, and focusing on your breath can turn your jog into a run. When jogging, using the heel-toe method typically doesn't cause too much fatigue on longer distances. When running, staying on the balls of your feet is more efficient but more fatiguing. Run wisely! Pro Tip: Controlling your breathing will help you control your heart rate. Take deep, controlled breathes when your heart is racing.


Burpees

Burpees are the bane of any workout. As you are coming up from the ground, inhale deeply! Then, on the descend, let out one big breath. This can slow fatigue and uses your oxygen efficiently! Pro Tip: Control your body on the descent to ensure you maximize all phases of the movement.


Lunges

Lunges can be tricky to grasp. Since your weight is constantly shifting you may feel your core start to weaken causing the legs and hips to falter. Focus on keeping your core engaged to stabilize your body and decrease fatigue. Pro Tip: Be sure to keep pressure in the heel of the lead leg to reduce knee strain.