Woman flexing elbow to show toned biceps

Are You Focused When You Work Out?

Some tough love coming at you today...

What are you thinking about when you are doing your workout?  It is what you are going to have for lunch?  Maybe what the weather is like today?  Or all of the things on your to do list?   Maybe it’s trying to remember who you needed to send an email when you get done?  

ALL of those things are NOT what you should be thinking about!

Your focus should be on your muscles!

So here is my next question, and you need to be honest with yourself when you answer it.  Are you really using your muscles, squeezing them (not your weights), while you are doing your workout?  Or are you just moving?

I want you to do this little exercise with me right now.  Hold your arm down to your side, bring your opposite hand across your chest and place in on your bicep (upper front of arm).  Now bending at the elbow bring your hand to your shoulder.  There is a good chance you felt movement in your muscle as you raised your hand.  Let your arm down and let’s try that again but this time I want you to really focus on your bicep and think about squeezing your muscle while you lift your hand, resisting the upward movement.  Chances are you felt the muscle “engage” in the movement more than when you simply moved it. 

Listen to the cues to know which muscles to squeeze

Exercise may be new to you and you may not understand the lingo.  That is why you need to listen to the cues from your instructor.  When I teach I often say things like “press your heels into the floor and squeeze your glutes”, “pull your belly button in to squeeze your abs”, etc.  This is done to remind you which muscles are being used and where you should focus your attention.

Weights or no weights - you still need focus

Having weights in your hands creates resistance which is making your muscles work but you still need to focus on the squeeze.  Weights, or bands, whatever you are using for resistance, also needs to include your focus and a squeeze for maximum benefit.

All of the workouts at Coach Mel’s are 45 minutes long.  That’s 45 minutes out of the 1,440 minutes in your day to focus on YOU!  Make every minute of it count!

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