Activation exercises and drills are so important when it comes to having an effective workout and should be done before you begin your actual workout.
They are much more than a quick stretch before your workout. Activation exercises will work deeper into the muscles you are trying to target and are designed to prepare your muscles and nervous system for the exercise you are about to do. Also, by doing these activation exercises you will be increasing your range of motion within this muscle group. The idea of activation exercises is to ‘switch on’ the key muscles to not only help prevent injury but to also improve your performance.
Your muscles are activated by electrical signals sent from the brain when they are activated by exercise. These signals cause contraction of the fibres in the muscles and are either on or off, there is no middle ground. These exercises not only help to warm up the specific muscle groups, it will also help you to make a stronger mind muscle connection whilst doing your main workout. If you struggle to make that mind muscle connection, either have a gym buddy place their hand or finger on the muscle you are trying to focus on to really zone in on that muscle. For example, if you are trying to work your lat muscles, because it’s hard to see this area of your back, by having some one put slight pressure in this area, will help your mind to focus in on it and visualise the muscle instead.
Activation exercise are not going to make you sweat or use up your precious energy stores, it will be more like a warm up where you can feel the muscle contracting? If you can feel them contracting then they are activating as they should be which means you are doing it correctly.
The more you do these exercises, the easier it will become to feel them contracting and activating, so keep at it, even if you struggle to begin with.
– Glute bridges
– Pulsing bodyweight squats
– Donkey kicks
– Frog Bridges
– Fire hydrants
– Leg swings
Here is a clip where some of these are being performed – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX7Url8Pz0w
We hope you found this article helpful to you when trying to activate your muscles for an awesome workout.
The Fitness Focus Team