If you want to maximize your cognitive potential — your alpha brain power— you may want to focus on improving your mind-muscle connectivity. Mind-muscle connectivity refers to the ability to consciously activate and control specific muscle groups through mental focus and visualization.
But having such control provides a variety of other mental benefits that in all, lead to increased brain activity and ultimately enhance your capabilities.
Developing this connection can lead to better athletic performance, a positive mindset, increased focus, and a more confident, alpha brain.
Why is Mind-Muscle Connection Important For an Alpha Brain?
Research shows that merely thinking about the muscles moving and working activates the muscle fibers even more than if you performed the exercise without any conscious focus on that particular muscle.
The more you concentrate on the muscle being worked on while exercising, the greater your impact on that muscle will be. This can enhance muscle memory and lead to greater gains.
When we focus our attention on our movement, the neurons within our brain send intense signals to our muscle fibers to contract. This improves the strength of contraction and also our neuroplasticity. This is the ability of the neurons in our brain to change.
The more we intentionally focus on each movement the better a connection and neuropathway we develop in our brains.
So how exactly can you improve your mind-muscle connectivity to lead to an alpha brain? One effective technique is to use visualization exercises.
Visualization works like this: before starting a workout or athletic activity, start to picture the muscles you will be training during your workout. And visualize yourself in the moment of your sport; making a juke move or taking a 3-point shot.
Focus on mentally activating those muscles and feel the tension and contraction. This can help establish a stronger neural connection between your mind and your muscles, making them easier to activate.
Mindfulness Can Increase Your Alpha Brain Power
Another way to develop our alpha brain is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is being fully present and engaged in your current moment, without distraction.
Focusing on the present and paying attention to your body and your breath, can increase self-awareness, improve concentration, and develop a stronger mind-muscle connection.
A strategy commonly used to grow mindfulness habits is by using deep, controlled breaths to calm your mind and increase your focus.
This allows your brain to pay attention to one singular thing, your breath, contrary to the continuous chaos that dwells in everybody’s brain.
You can also use your breath to help activate specific muscle groups. For example, take a deep breath in and visualize the muscles in your arms expanding and contracting. Exhale slowly and feel the tension release.
This can help establish a stronger connection between your breath and your muscles, leading to better control and coordination.
Strengthening your body can strengthen your brain
Physical activity provides many benfits to the body but it is also advantageous to the mind. It can help you think, learn, comprehend info, and even have emotional stability. Being active can also improve memory and reduce anxiety or depression.
Exercise feeds the brain
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain becuase of the high metabolic demand occuring during a workout. The brain requires just as much blood circulation as the muscles being uitlized. Exercise also generates good blood flow to deliver necessary nutrients required to carry out brain function.
Exercise helps us hold on to our memories
As we age, we only remember a fraction of our lived exerperiences. There are methods to help us improve our memoery like writing them down and sharing them with others but exercise enhances our memory capacity and strength.
Regular exercise improves memory by increasing an important protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This compound stimulates synaptogenesis (formation of synapses, the points of contact where information is transmitted) which is critical for creating brain networks, and for the integrity of brain connectivity.
The more BDNF created, the more memory improves in function and capability.
Exercise lowers the impact of stress
Exercising is not a definite cure of stress but it does soothe its affects. It decreases the number of stress receptors in the brain. Reducing stress receptors lowers the affects stress hormones can cause on the brain, decreasing the impact of stressful situations.
Have you ever had a feeling of joy and or a sudden surge of energy during or even after your workout? This sensation is commonly known as “runner’s high.”
Working out promotes the release of endorphins (feel good chemicals) that create this blissful feeling of a workout high. This can be felt during or after any workout and usaully results in a reduction of anxiety and depression.
Let’s bring it home
Mind-muscle connectivity is a key factor in building an alpha brain and maximizing your cognitive potential.
By employing visualization exercises, mindfulness, breathing techniques, and a variety of physical activities in your routine, you can develop your ability to control your body and your mind more powerfully.
Mind-muscle connectivity can be a valuable asset in giving you an advantage in your work, athletic career, and in everyday life.
Remember to be more conscious during your next workout, and as you make a habit of this, record how you are feeling and gauge its effectiveness.
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No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other licensed clinician.
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