Right, what is the Welsh man going on about now? In sessions I always find myself saying;
“Put your brain in your bum!”
Now this isn’t me asking my client to think as a bum would and sit down. I’m talking activation. There’s a concept in bodybuilding call mind muscle connection. Arnold Schwarzenegger believed in it and so do we at Equilibrium.
Having spent years shouting cues like “switch your core on” and “find the hamstrings” and from my own training actually I realise you can, to some degree, perform movements with minimal muscle engagement and get through it.
Let’s look at the burpee. Everyone hates burpees. The problem with burpees is that they are fucking brilliant. Think about it. In one movement you are doing a squat into a press up back in to a squat and then if you’re jumping out if you get a power movement. It’s certainly my desert island exercise.
Ok so you’ve done a burpee yourself. You know it’s easy to cheat. You can actually get away with just collapsing to the floor without engaging the legs and glutes that much. As you drop to the floor your core can completely switch off making you look like you’re doing a disco worm. Then to get up you reverse the worm not engaging the chest and triceps that much, then acting like a drunken teenager as you crumble your knees inwards and standing up like a new-born. Burpee done let’s all go home and eat a Dominoes.
NO PEOPLE NO!
In this town we burpee properly! Which brings me back to the mind muscle connection. Put your mind in the process. Think about the muscles and joints you’re using whilst performing an action. As you drop in the squat don’t just drop. Let the hips open, allow the glutes and hamstrings to drag you down whilst our core holds the upper body in static position. Place your hands to floor, jump your legs backwards and engage the press up. You lower through the chest not the hips. Once you’ve hit the surfboard as I call the floor explode again through the chest and triceps and when at max height of the press up jump your feet in firing up out of a strong squat position and jumping in to the air using the hip, knee and ankle joints and booming through your quads and ass as you move. Sounds bit more poetic and beautiful no? That’s how you burpee.
Mind muscle connection. We encourage this in any movement. You have to feel it and know it and it will develop. You will look better and become a stronger version of yourself.
So when you’re deadlifting, squatting, lunging or bridging PUT YOUR BRAIN IN YOUR BUM!