Do you find yourself lost in your workouts?  Do you know why you are exercising in a specific form?  Concentrating on your movements and being present is important.  After all, if you aren’t concentrating on what you are doing and trying to accomplish, you can injure yourself.  Many people may think, I am concentrating on what I am doing and I know why, it’s to strengthen these muscles or lose weight.  When really, they could be getting caught up in what everyone else is doing and trying to do the same thing.  Listen to your body and the only way you can do that is by concentrating on what’s going on with YOUR body while you are moving.

You could lift weights or run for miles but without concentrating on what you are doing and why, it means very little.  Why?  Did you know your mind is very powerful?  It can control how much effort you put into each movement you make.  The more you think about your body, the better acquainted you will be and know when to slow down or pick up the pace.  Why do you do 2-4 sets of 12-16 Reps?  The reason for sets and reps, is to allow your muscles to replenish energy stores so that you don’t start using the wrong form of energy to power the movement.  Also, it allows you to reset your form.  As you fatigue, your good form starts to get sloppy.  I reset myself between sets and sometimes during a set.  I’m in tune with my body and I know that as I get fatigued, I start to recruit muscles that were not intended for that movement.

There is a purpose for each thing we do and each muscle has a purpose.  I was doing overhead triceps press last week.  I noticed my tris getting tired and my shoulders creeping up toward my ears.  I was starting to use my upper traps to move my tris.  That is not the purpose of the upper traps.  They are supposed to support my shoulder movement and secondary respiratory muscles.  So, if I were to continue at that weight and/or pace, I would have been training my traps to move my tris, instead of forcing the tris to do the work.  I see so many people that lift weights, cycle, or run with their shoulders next to the ears.  During a squat, are you using your hip flexors more than your quads and glutes?  The hip flexors are over active because we walk/run forward, sit, and/or ride bikes, so they tend to start working first.  By concentrating on the quads and pelvis as a whole, you can change the difficulty of your squat and muscle recruitment pattern.

Concentrating during your exercise routine is crucial to getting more out of your workout.  You can avoid injury and muscle imbalances as well.  Next time you are exercising, pay attention to where your thoughts are.  Can you focus on making each movement intentional and notice the pattern of your muscle recruitment?  Are you using the muscles that were intended to move that joint/bone?  If not,  work on changing that by concentrating and listening to your body.