Your imagination can be a powerful thing, especially when it comes to boosting strength and packing on lean mass. Use these mental tricks maximize your gains from three classic moves.
Squat: Imagine you’re standing on a paper towel, and try to pull it apart with your feet (drive them into the floor while pressing outward) as you squat. In so doing, you’ll increase muscle fiber activation in your glutes, boosting power, strength, and stability. That, in turn, will reduce your risk of injury and help you lift heavier loads.
Pushup: Imagine someone is going to punch you in the gut, and brace your core accordingly. Why? Keeping your abs in a fixed, contracted position increases their time under tension, resulting in a greater muscle-building stimulus. It also boosts stability, easing the pressure on your spine and helping you generate more strength and power.
Pullup: Imagine that you’re pulling the bar to your chest, rather than your chest to the bar. This seemingly minor shift in perspective will dramatically increase muscle fiber activation in your lats and core, helping you become stronger, faster.