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26.06.2022


Focus on a muscle group during strength training | This is the effect

If you really want to develop a muscle group through strength training, focus your attention on that muscle group, some trainers and strength athletes advise. This advice is not without scientific foundation, we read in a study we came across today.


Focus on a muscle group during strength training | This is the effect


Study
In 2016, Danish exercise scientist Joaquin Calatayud published a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology in which he got 18 experienced strength athletes to bench press on three different occasions. On all occasions, Calatayud had electrodes placed on the subjects' chest and arms that recorded the electrical activity of the muscles under the skin.

The greater the electrical activity in muscles, the more intensively those muscles exert themselves.

On one occasion the subjects were asked to bench press and nothing else. On the other occasion the subjects had to focus on their triceps, on the other on their pectoral muscle.

Results
When the subjects concentrated on their triceps, the electrical activity in that muscle group increased. If they concentrated on their pecs, the activity in that muscle group increased.

Focusing on a muscle group, however, only increased the electrical activity at a load of up to sixty percent of the 1RM.


Focus on a muscle group during strength training | This is the effect


Focus on a muscle group during strength training | This is the effect


Conclusion
Focus on a muscle group during strength training | This is the effect
"Experienced participants can increase muscle activity at low and moderate intensities without increasing external load after receiving instructions to focus on activating specific muscles during the bench press exercise", resumes Calatayud.

"Verbal instruction not only increases muscle activity without subsequent decreases in the concurrent muscle activity, but also may provide additional activity to some extent of the concurrent muscle."

"The practical application is that intensity of muscle activity can be increased to some extent simply by focusing on using that muscle without increasing external load."

More coming soon.

Source:
Eur J Appl Physiol. 2016 Mar;116(3):527-33.

More:
Athletes can learn mental techniques for performance enhancement in a few hours 25.10.2019
Keep training in your imagination between sets to increase your strength 29.06.2010
Muscle groups work harder during a set if you focus on them 26.11.2009

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