You decide to reach for a glass, and just like magic, your brain sends signals to the appropriate muscles to make the necessary movements. It takes no genius level of understanding of muscle connection, nerve impulse, or physics to complete this task. The simplicity of such an act makes our lives exponentially easier as it allows us to go through our daily routine without having to actively concentrate on the specifics of every little movement. However, it is this same simplicity that often leads to injury when significant weight is added to the equation.
Many weight training related injuries can be avoided by focusing on a specific muscle group and actively contracting target muscles – frequently referred to as “mind-muscle connection.” Focusing on the target muscle you are trying to contract, will help to override the bodies tendency to alter the movement to allow for compensation with non-target muscle groups. It is frequently this involuntary compensation of muscle groups, that leads to injuries, by putting joints in less stable or favorable positions. This can become even more detrimental when meaningful weight is added to the exercise.
Whether you exercise to lose weight, build muscle, prepare for a race or the like, selective muscle contraction can lead to better results and decrease risk of an injury. So, you can prevent injuries by simply avoiding mindless movements while exercising. To borrow from Snoop: “Keep your mind on your muscles, and your muscles on your mind!