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    Default What does the research on mind-muscle connection actually show?

    Mind-Muscle Connection
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    We often hear that it's good to have a mind-muscle connection. So to actively think about engaging the muscle group you are trying to train. But what does the research on mind-muscle connection actually show?
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    In a 2018 study, researchers investigated the effects of having a mind-muscle connection over 8 weeks of biceps and quadriceps training. The researchers divided 30 male volunteers into 2 groups. One group trained while having an internal focus on the muscle (a.k.a. Mind-Muscle Connection), while the other group simply lifted the weights up with good technique (a.k.a. External Attentional Focus). After 8 weeks, it was found that biceps muscle growth improved while having an internal focus on the muscle group you are training, but the growth of the quadriceps was the same between groups.
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    The researchers speculate that the reason the quadriceps didn't grow more while focusing on mind-muscle connection, is that it's more difficult to have an internal attentional focus on lower body muscle groups. Just think about it, it's typically easier to feel and control your biceps engagement than to engage the quadriceps while lifting. This likely is due to having more motor control in our hands and arms since we use them more in daily activities.
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    All in all, it seems like having a mind-muscle connection is beneficial for muscle growth when used on biceps curls. But for lower body movements, it may not make a difference and you can focus on simply executing the lower body exercises with proper technique.
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    I can buy that we dont have as much Mind Muscle Conection in our lower body for sure! Pretty cool study. Any idea who did the research?
    Author: Ben Presser
    Ph.D. P.E.D. Kinesiology
    Intramuscular Injection Certified

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    Reference:
    Schoenfeld, B. J., Vigotsky, A., Contreras, B., Golden, S., Alto, A., Larson, R., ... & Paoli, A. (2018). Differential effects of attentional focus strategies during long-term resistance training. European journal of sport science, 18(5), 705-712.

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