Want to get more out of your workouts? Use more body parts, more consciously!
First- FOCUS on what you are doing!
Get your head in the game and your body will follow with more Power & “Umph”!! When you concentrate intently on FULLY using a specific body part while executing an exercise, muscle activity increases by up to 25%! Your brain sends more signals to those tissues which causes a greater number of muscle fibers to fire up!
Next: Pay attention to your Breathing.
You have to get the air in first before you can use it, so the depth and timing of your breath is important! “Conscious Breathing” increases the amount of oxygen not only to your whole body, but to your muscles. The more O2 in the muscles, the more you can work them. The more you work them, the stronger they grow! Get as much oxygen as you can! No gasping. No “Pufffffing”! Always inhale slowly and deeply through your nose BEFORE you start your movement. This filters and humidifies your air so it arrives cleaner into the lungs. Then, exhale slowly and deeply throughout the entire range of motion. An easy way to remember this is: “Exhale on the Exertion!!”
Increase Your Range of Motion:
Many times people hold out their weights only a short distance. This only gets about half the amount of development you could actually have. Barring any injuries or physical limitations, complete the farthest range of motion you can do each direction in the rep. Really “reaching for it”, not only increase your strength and conditioning, but also increases your flexibility and agility!
For longer, stronger, more striated muscles, expanding the muscle to its farthest point (without hyper-extension!) will require more work to pull it back to its original position. Furthermore, the farther out you hold the load, the more gravity plays a greater part in the level of resistance. The extra workload of the pull of gravity plus the weight you’re holding, again adds another tweak the muscles have to overcome, resulting in maximal strength gains.
Learn to Tweak Yourself:
Squeeze as many OTHER body parts (Fingers, Abs, and Butt!) simultaneously while in motion with your primary targeted area.
Whether using dumbbells, barbells, cables, levers, weight plates, etc… don’t let your hands be loose or open up. Focus on squeezing your fingers and increasing your hand grip as you pull or press each way! This adds more work to the forearm muscles which increases the workload to the movement you are doing. Further, squeeze your butt and your abs each rep for even more core work! This added focus improves your posture, balance, stability, and core strength!
“The Tweak” Trifecta”!
Squeezing, Breathing, Reaching! Triple your strength and conditioning! Working out this way, with focus, intention, and commitment, increases “muscles movement” while decreasing “momentum movement” (the, swinging, swaying, and flailing that we often unconsciously do to assist in lifting the weight!).
Focus, Use, and Tweak as many muscles as you can, with as much strength as you can muster, in as much range as you can go safely, and you will see a stronger, ,fantastically fit body sooner than later!
Live Happy and Healthy!