T Nation

Achieving MMC


I thought this could have some good potential for a thread. What the idea behind this thread may it be short lived thread or long is if people post ideas or ways they are able to achieve a good mind muscle connection (MMC) when training. It can be anything from hand position, tempo, rep ranges, exercise selection etc. It will be very subjective but someone might be able to find something else to work.

My example came to me while training rear delts. I have a background in human kinetics and I look at training in a very anatomical way in trying to train the muscle on how it acts on a specific joint. Usually turns out I am able to get good contraction of the intended muscle and fatigue the muscle I am trying to train. Here is my example;

Reverse Pec Dec Flys-Posterior Deltoids
Depending on exercise machine

  1. Hand bar height- In line where arms when abducted 90 degrees.

  2. Hand position- Pronated hand on the part of the handle that is horizontal pushing outwards with your pinky knuckle. For the initial part focus on having a light touch or grip. Zero contraction of the forearms, biceps and triceps.

  3. Body alignment- Seated upright chest out touching back rest (when you would do pec flys)

  4. *Scapula position- Imagine your scapula are relaxed and “spread” out away from one another. The rhomboids major and minor contract the scapula together. I find people use their upper back and traps way to much for this exercise. Again, we only want to contract the rear deltoid.

  5. Anatomically (see above pic)- The posterior part of deltoid originates from the lower lip of the posterior border of the spine of the scapula and inserts on the humerus at the deltoid tuberosity. This is why the scapula needs to be relaxed at stationary so the rear deltoid contraction is strongest.

  6. Tempo and intensity- 2 seconds concentric- 1 second isometric contraction - 2 second eccentric. Light weight to achieve 12-15 reps. Momentum can ruin the intended contraction.

  7. Range of motion- Stop shy of relaxation in the beginning position. Keep tension constant.

  8. *Visualization- Looking at the above pic during the exercise just focus on the read delt contraction and pulling on the humerus (remember ALL muscles pull, do not push). It helps if you have a training partner that taps your rear delt to further feel the muscle being worked.

  9. Partner assisted- For my buddy I pushed in and out (not to hard) against his scapula to further extenuate the rear delts to only contract. You should be able to poke the rhomboids and feel no tension in them.

*Important parts

I know this is such a small muscle etc but it is one that will make the shoulder round. A lot of guys are to anterior delt dominated. Traditional back days or shoulder days do not focus enough on the read deltoids.