Do you need to feel the muscles during exercise?

Coach and author of the Public “Racing Tips” Igor Hammer wrote for Zozhnika this ironic, a link to the author’s research on the relationship post the result, the weight of the projectile and the thoughts of the muscles during exercise. 

To go to workout, a person needs motivation. At the training session itself, it is imperative to sweat, because outwardly it should be noticeable that you were engaged, and even better to practice until green snot – so that you can probably evaluate the productivity of the training. And after training, of course, the muscles should hurt, because if it doesn’t hurt, they did not exercise much. ( If someone did not recognize the irony – then it is she – Zozhnik’s note ). To all those who are so eager to feel all their muscles in training, and consider subjective sensations to be the apogee of the training process, is dedicated …

You may never have thought, but … how do you choose these or those exercises? The guy wants big biceps – he will choose the barbell curl on the Scott bench. Why? Because the biceps feel pretty vivid! Why do heavy lifting while standing when a). it’s hard b). the arms do not rise, but the biceps does not scream with pain at all … and I don’t care that in Scott the biceps can show the least activity in comparison with other exercises [1], but these magical sensations, what could be more expensive?  

The girl wants an ass – she does all sorts of “swinging legs”, also with elastic bands, for the acuity of sensations, and finishes it all with hyperextension with a round back – the “rolls” just burn like fire!

Excuse me, but did you try to do heavy attacks? Oh, you did with those pink dumbbells? Most girls have a handbag that weighs more than dumbbells .

Everyone is trying to concentrate on working muscles, to achieve a burning sensation, coaches always advise doing everything in half the amplitude so as not to lose precious muscle tension and so on.

On the one hand, if you really pull an owl on a globe, there are indeed several studies that say that focusing on a working muscle can increase its activity . On the other hand, the researchers themselves say that this is only a 4-6% increase in activity, and even then not always  

At the same time, the activity increases with the use of weight up to 60% of 1RM, that is, with a relatively low weight. And with a heavier weight – with 80% already neither in the head nor in the priest! And here is the main point! If a person, for example, squats with a lot of weight, all his thoughts are about how to get up so as not to “break his pants.” If he’s doing a heavy press, he thinks about how far the nearest person in the gym is to pull him out of the bar. Exaggerated, of course, but I think they understood the essence. When working with a decent weight, a person tries to concentrate on how to perform the exercise, and not how much the pectoral or gluteal muscles are straining at the moment.

A whole systematic review suggests that the most important factor in increasing muscle activity is the weight of the resistance . By the way, in the same review it is said that when bench pressing, for example, the pectorals and triceps work in almost the same way. So what are you going to focus on on the bench press? And on the deadlift or squat, where in general a lot of muscles work? 

So it turns out that, in fact, a person can really concentrate only on simple single-joint exercises.

Therefore, all of your “you must feel a muscle, you must become a muscle …” seem to be some reason, just not to work with a decent weight that “tense” your muscles, regardless of whether you feel them or not. Many of you, for example, feel your glutes on lunges? Hardly. And why then the buttocks from them then hurt? 

Also, people very often confuse joint / muscle discomfort with actual muscle work. For example, many people like to do the upper block row behind the head, and they really believe that their muscles work better this way. Yes, only studies show that there is no difference in muscle activation when pulling to the chest and behind the head . But it is somehow unnatural to twist the shoulder joints, and it is quite possible to think that the discomfort in them is the work of the muscles.


– If you perform the exercise technically correctly, in principle, the target muscles cannot fail to work for you. At the same time, you feel the muscles – good. If you don’t feel it, it’s a joke with them. The movement is something you carry out due to muscle contraction in any case.

– Concentration on the working muscle can really increase its activity, but only when working with small weights, namely, weight gain is the main factor that increases muscle activity. And it seems incomprehensible what muscles you need to feel during basic exercises, where many muscles work.

– You can strain your buttocks as much as you like during some kind of “extension with a round back”, but they will not work more actively from this, this is a subjective parameter. You can also strain your buttocks when lifting the barbell to the biceps, but it is unlikely that “buns” will grow from this.

– Decide on your training goal – subjective sensations or actual development, from this and dance!

local_offerevent_note February 16, 2021

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