T Nation

Mind/Muscle Connection or More Weight

I am pretty new to barbell rows but the mind muscle connection I get from this exercise is much greater than my 1 armed dumbbell rows even though I move almost the same weight in dumbbell rows as in barbell rows.
Would you rather chose movements that you can move more weight in or have a stronger mind muscle connection in, and progress on said exercise.

Mind muscle connection, unless getting that connection causes a severe drop in weight.

I, for one, don’t need to drop weight to achieve a good contraction, so all my focus is on the working muscle / speed of contraction / feeling of contraction where I want it.

just do both exercises

I always feel a better MM connection in my back when working bilaterally. Unilaterally I feel my form isn’t as tight, but I can usually move a little more weight. Just do both, or focus on the DB rows for a while.

Don’t know if you ramp when you workout so this might not work for you …

Two days ago i did lat pull downs. I started at 100lbs and ramped up to 220lbs. I would say up until i got to 180lbs i was completely focused on pulling with my back/lats and engaging that mind muscle connection. After that my main focus was just to pull the weight down and trying to keep my ass on the seat.

Anyways what i’m trying to say is focus on your mind muscle connection as much as you can when the weight permits. If the weight gets too heavy just focus on lifting that sucker. Don’t deny yourself progression.

My opinion would be to focus on weight for the most part, until gains start to slow and then put more focus on the mind muscle connection and “working the muscle” This doesn’t mean just focus on using the most weight possible and “cheating” to get that weight up.

This is all my opinions, and I think there are advantages and disadvantages to doing both vs. focusing on one or the other. But if you are going to focus on one, I fell that the weight is more important. I’d much rather have a person that could bench 400 and squat 600 trying to focus on mind muscle connection, than a person that had great mind muscle connection but could only bench 200 and squat 300.

I think if you ramp up to your heaviest set in small increments you should never lose the mind muscle connection. Even if it is heavy enough for just 4 reps or so. It works for me on days that I’m not rushed.

[quote]angus_beef wrote:
Don’t know if you ramp when you workout so this might not work for you …

Two days ago i did lat pull downs. I started at 100lbs and ramped up to 220lbs. I would say up until i got to 180lbs i was completely focused on pulling with my back/lats and engaging that mind muscle connection. After that my main focus was just to pull the weight down and trying to keep my ass on the seat.

Anyways what i’m trying to say is focus on your mind muscle connection as much as you can when the weight permits. If the weight gets too heavy just focus on lifting that sucker. Don’t deny yourself progression.[/quote]

This is exactly how I do it as well. Start with feel and end with heavy weight.

Ramping your weights will definitely help your connection to what you’re doing. I would also like to note that I did BB rows for years, and got up to some respectable poundages. Over the last couple of years though, I have started doing them with 2 DBs at the same time, and definitely feel it has contributed to my mid back detail. I still go fairly heavy, but my mind/muscle connection just feels more natural, and my arms are less prone to want to assist.

S

Well I do ramp on sets and feel like I get a fairly consistent MM connection with the lats but when I do chest workouts I have difficulty in keeping the connection.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Ramping your weights will definitely help your connection to what you’re doing. I would also like to note that I did BB rows for years, and got up to some respectable poundages.

Over the last couple of years though, I have started doing them with 2 DBs at the same time, and definitely feel it has contributed to my mid back detail. I still go fairly heavy, but my mind/muscle connection just feels more natural, and my arms are less prone to want to assist.

S
[/quote]

Stu, do you do those chest supported, or in the same position as you would a BB row? DB’s rotated toward neutral grip or pronated like BB position?

Chest supported on a incline bench, yields the best mm connection for me…but again everyone is different.

[quote]SteelyD wrote:

Stu, do you do those chest supported, or in the same position as you would a BB row? DB’s rotated toward neutral grip or pronated like BB position?[/quote]

I do them standing the way one would typically stand if making use of a barbell. My hand positioning is usually somewhere in between what you would use with a bar, and a completely neutral (palms facing in) position. Obviously you can tinker around with what feels better for you, my training partner Corey has actually done reverse grips with the dumbells and seemed to like it.

Making use of an incline bench is always smart, and I have done so in the past on occasion (when my lower back is ‘twitchy’ or towards the end of a prep when I’m just tired as hell and don’t quite feel in to training). It’s also a good way to force yourself to be stricter if you’re not getting a good contraction when you do the standing variety (too many other things come into play,… other muscles, your ego -lol).

S

In my years of training I’ve had a chance to try all different sorts of lifts/exercises. I ALWAYS choose the exercises which I feel hit the target muscle most effectively, not necessarily the ones I can handle more weight on.

This has to be a better topic than whats been coming up lately? Who here cycles using relatively heavy weight than cleaning up form/technique for a while then starting all over again?

[quote]JoabSonOfZeruiah wrote:
This has to be a better topic than whats been coming up lately? Who here cycles using relatively heavy weight than cleaning up form/technique for a while then starting all over again?[/quote]

Yes, that’s called lifting weights. Well said.

[quote]cally wrote:

[quote]angus_beef wrote:
Don’t know if you ramp when you workout so this might not work for you …

Two days ago i did lat pull downs. I started at 100lbs and ramped up to 220lbs. I would say up until i got to 180lbs i was completely focused on pulling with my back/lats and engaging that mind muscle connection. After that my main focus was just to pull the weight down and trying to keep my ass on the seat.

Anyways what i’m trying to say is focus on your mind muscle connection as much as you can when the weight permits. If the weight gets too heavy just focus on lifting that sucker. Don’t deny yourself progression.[/quote]

This is exactly how I do it as well. Start with feel and end with heavy weight.[/quote]

x3

I have a better MM connection on my right side so focusing on getting a good feel on both sides
during the warm ups is important for me.