The last thing you want to do is find yourself “going through the motions” or being distracted by outside elements when you are exercising. It takes a great deal of discipline and desire to walk into a crowded gym and accomplish what you set out to do for that session without being distracted. Even the privacy of your own home can offer the occasional distraction. Concentration, or what I like to refer to as mind to muscle connection, is essential to fully achieve the maximum effort needed for greater success from your training.
A good exercise to practice the mind to muscle technique is the Concentration Bicep Curl. This basic exercise isolates the bicep muscle and requires single joint movement in elbow flexion and extension. Heavy weight is not required or encouraged as this movement is regarded for it’s shaping of the bicep muscle not for mass building. Seated on a bench, grasping the dumbbell, place your upper arm against the inside of your thigh. Start the movement with your elbow extended and slowly begin to flex the elbow joint, contracting the bicep. Focus on the bicep, watch it contract and squeeze it throughout the movement. Hold the contraction at the top or the peak for a count of three. Because you can visually see the muscle working your mind to muscle connection is enhanced. Extend the elbow and return the weight to the bottom of the movement slowly, stretching the bicep in the process. Continue the rest of your set in this fashion, concentrate, control and contract. Even a weight that seems too light in the beginning will seem almost impossible to move once you reach the end of the set. Work in a range of twelve to fifteen repetitions.
You will find that once you start training your back muscles that the mind to muscle technique becomes much more challenging because you don’t have the visual advantage of seeing the muscles work. Concentration and visually seeing your back muscles work in your mind will help you maximize muscle stimulation throughout your training. Practice is what it takes so if you intend to go through your training with your head in the clouds you can expect your results to be just as thin as the air up there.
A fantastic power food to start the new year is Kale. Besides being rich in nutrients, vitamins K, A, C, manganese and dietary fiber to name a just a few, Kale also supports the bodies detoxification system and contains over forty five different flavonoids including quercetin that combine to offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. With it’s risk-lowering benefits for cancer also leading Kale’s upside, this cruciferous vegetable also lowers cholesterol. The fiber related nutrients in Kale bind together with bile acids in the intestine. Bile acids are responsible for aiding in the digestion and absorption of fat through emulsification. The fiber related nutrients and bile acids that have bound together stay inside the intestine and are passed out of our body in a bowel movement instead of getting absorbed along with the fat that has been emulsified. The liver must now draw upon the bodies existing supply of cholesterol to replace lost bile acids therefore the bodies cholesterol level drops. To receive the maximum cholesterol lowering benefits along with all of the other health promoting greatness of this “mean green”, prepare by steaming for five minutes.
It’s always time to fight cancer and now it’s time for South Fork Relay For Life 2011. Friday April 1-2, 2011 6pm-6am, SYS Southampton Town Rec. Center 1370A Majors Path, Southampton NY. Log onto : http://www.relayforlife.org/southforkny for more information.