If you’re a strength athlete or interested in increasing strength, using the mind-muscle connection may not be best for improving strength. Several studies show that using an external focus is better. You can do this by focusing on the movement of the weight or objects around you instead of your muscles contracting. For example, rather than focusing on squeezing your glutes on a squat, think about pushing the floor away from you as you stand up. This can help increase strength! Check out our article, “The Mind-Muscle Connection,” here for more info.
Reference: Marchant, D. C., Greig, M., & Scott, C. (2009). Attentional focusing instructions influence force production and muscular activity during isokinetic elbow flexions. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 23(8), 2358-2366.