Workout Trick
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Workout Hack: Boost Your Results

Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion
January 1, 1970
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If you’re looking to break through any plateaus in your training, closing your eyes during bodyweight movements might be just what you need.Through a feedback loop, our sense of sight provides us with exceptional balance and aids in proprioception. Don’t believe us? Stand on one leg and close your eyes. Whereas you might have been able to do so quite easily with your eyes open, the absence of that feedback loop constantly giving you guidance on where you are in space, challenges your senses.Starting a lifter off blindfolded when learning new movements allows for the lifter to focus more on the joint angles and the muscular tension while performing the reps. This helps establish what’s commonly referred to as the “mind-muscle” connection where a lifter can engage the muscles voluntarily to maximize the strength of the lift. Focusing on the movement itself and not what it looks like translates to better body mechanics and improved movement competency. Becoming efficient at a movement translates into strength gains and more efficiency of your work out. In a study done to test balance in older women, they conducted trunk stabilization exercises for 20 minutes each day. One group was blindfolded, the other group was not. The blindfolded group saw the most benefits from the exercises, significantly improving their balance over the non-blindfolded group.To introduce this technique into your workout, start slow. We don’t want to load up the bar with a 1RM (one rep max) and start performing lifts like the squat, clean, or jerk while blindfolded. Introduce the eyes closed or blindfolded method during warmups while performing an exercise such as air squats or pushups. You can further advance to lunges as the exercise already provides a level of instability, challenging your balance to an even greater degree. If you’re going to try and learn new lifts, especially complex ones like jerks, cleans or snatches, it is imperative that you have a qualified person teaching and monitoring your movements so they can provide feedback on form. Olympic lifts are highly technical and if you do them improperly even with lighter weights, you could injure yourself. The idea is to move with purpose. Eliminating the sight aspect allows you to focus more on the muscle and less on any distractions that might be plaguing you at the gym.

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