Focus leads to results. Focusing on the muscles you are working, mind muscle connection, can lead to greater results. Fitness and healthy habits are a lifestyle and exercise should be a celebration of movement.
Focusing on the process is where to find the greatest change.
If I want to run faster, going out and running as hard as I can every time isn’t how I get there. (Sometimes less exercise is better than over exercising.)
If I set a goal to be able to do more squats, I shouldn’t just blast through them as fast as I can.
Thinking only about the results won’t create nearly as much change as if you focus on the process of how to get there.
Another way to think about this is mindfulness.
Plus, even exercises that I think (or you might think) are targeting one area, are actually more full body than we think.
Where you place your focus is where you will see results
Squats don’t just work your glutes and your quads. Squats work your abs, hamstrings, and lower back. And specifically thinking about all the muscles that are involved makes such a huge difference in the results.
I once heard someone say that push-ups were their favorite full body exercise. When I concentrate on my push-ups, which are essentially a moving plank, I can feel how they work: shoulders, back, abs, glutes, and yeah, basically everything.
This really has become apparent to me as I continue to work to heal my core muscles. I’m not strengthening my core by doing tons of crunches. Quite the opposite in fact. I’m healing my core by focusing on lifting my legs higher when I run, I’m healing my core by doing squats and deadlifts, and I’m thinking about engaging my core in almost every exercise that I do. And that focus on the process is where I’m finding change.
Mind Muscle Connection
Connecting mentally with your movements, mind muscle connection, is part of focusing on the process. Thinking about all the muscles involved in a movement helps to improve form. In the end, this focus on the process will give you the results you’re looking for.
The mind muscle connection also helps with focusing on progress, not perfection. Focusing on progress can improve body perspective and put you on a path to success.