The mind-muscle connection refers to the neuro-pathways that are created between your mind and your muscles. This connection, especially when strong, can impact our performance and even our health.
The mind-muscle connection is so important because this connection directly impacts your movement patterns and mechanics.
Your ability to move freely, and correctly, will directly impact your performance, risk for injury, recovery from injury, and your overall health.
Stretching for improved movement patterns.
Many different types of stretching and help will help your movement pattern when you exercise and participate in sports. There are different stretching techniques you can utilize, however, these have been shown to work better and more efficiently than others.
Though there are many forms of stretching that can be used to improve movement these are two many aren’t familiar with which rep many benefits.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching is a form of stretching that encourages the use of the mind-muscle connection.
To implement PNF stretching, you initiate a contraction of the muscle being stretched. This contraction is held for 3 to 5 seconds.
You initiate this contraction by pushing against a form of resistance such as another individual who is working with you, the floor, or a wall.
Once you release, you enable your muscle to relax further. This deepens the stretch.
This form of stretching initiates the Golgi Tendon Organ which is where your muscle and tendon come together.
PNF stretching focuses on creating a better mind-muscle connection and can help you find improved results in many areas quickly!
Learn more about the Golgi Tendon Organ here.
Passive stretching is another great way to encourage improved movement and range of motion.
This type of stretching requires assistance, it can be very helpful especially when recovering from an injury.
The goal of passive stretching is to enable you to relax while another individual or apparatus, such as this, takes your joint through the available range of motion.
The idea is that by stretching passively, you are more likely to relax and less likely to guard.
As you can see in the article posted above, passive stretching is utilized often in physical therapy settings.
Don’t worry! You are not limited to just these two techniques!
As I’m sure you’re aware, there are many other stretching techniques available. These can include:
- Static stretching
- Active stretching
The key is to find the best techniques that work for you. Yes, the best approach is to find a combination of what is available to you to provide you a well-rounded, synergistic approach.
How do these stretching techniques impact the mind-muscle connection?
When you are stretching regularly, you begin to become more aware of your movement patterns and your available range of motion.
One of the keys to a solid mind-muscle connection is awareness.
When you include active stretching and PNF stretching in your routine, you will begin to build active neuromuscular connections.
When you add stretching to your exercise routine before you begin and after you finish, you gain awareness.
You begin to engage mindfully.
You acknowledge your limitations.
And, you begin to focus on moving through your available range of motion. This alone will begin to improve your workouts.
After you finish your workout or practice, you can foam roll and static stretch to encourage further lengthening and move lactic acid from your muscles.
Taking the time to stretch more will provide far more benefits then you can imagine!
As you incorporate stretching into your routine, you will begin to experience many great benefits. The benefits will vary from person to person, we are consistently seeing results such as:
- Improved strength
- Fewer injuries
- Better recovery
- Less soreness
- Faster, longer lasting results
Each of these is attributed to an improved mind-muscle connection and range of motion.
Work with an M3 trainer to be guided towards your best success yet!
You have it in you! But, you don’t have to navigate this alone.
It is like taking a trip through the jungle and knowing where you want to go but not having a clear path.
Our team at M3 can help clear the path for you! We can equip you with the tools you need to navigate your journey with success – no matter where you want to go!
Sign-up today, and let us guide you towards success and an improved mind-muscle connection.