CONTROLLING YOUR MUSCLES TO CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS

The original article can be found on the link below.

 

The main purpose of learning better muscle control is to achieve mastery. Muscle control involves much more than improving the ability to contract them. It includes increasing the ability to relax (expand) muscles, which is just as important as contracting them. It allows better selective control over the muscles and, consequently, the development and improvement of selective muscle use, which are important for performing the movement in a more appropriate way (agonists/antagonists).

That way, we increase the efficiency of energy usage on two different levels. On the first one, the energy is diverted towards agonists so that they can contract muscles. In contrast, energy diverted to the second level frees the muscles that were supposed to expand for movement to occur. That way, we increase the efficiency of converting energy into labor and, thus, lower entropy.

Muscle control enables physical control, an important success factor in all competitive sports and other areas. Success in sports is based on the body’s ability to do what we want or need. Muscle and body control is the secret to success and the basis of skills that require high coordination and coordination.

Let’s compare a top golfer and a beginner. The pro performs a swift and rhythmic swing and sends the ball flying a great length with incredible accuracy and without any visible physical effort. He controls his body and achieves the best result with the least effort required.

The rookie is anxious and tense as he uses mainly his hands to perform the swing instead of his whole body and achieves an appropriate result. He will only progress with regular learning of movement and practicing his swings. Any golf teacher can tell you that more and more golfers cannot control their muscles and bodies. They do not know how to achieve the desired movement, transfer weights from one leg to the other, or imitate the teacher’s movements. Similar examples can be found in all sports; due to the reduced role of learning, the loss of control only increases.

The usefulness of learning control over your muscles is not limited only to sports. It has the greatest effect on the neuromuscular system and emotions. We learn how to calm down when it’s most needed. Any movement that increases and improves the cooperation of the mind and body is good and useful work. Controlling the muscles is the basis for better self-control and self-consciousness, which is especially important if you wish and dare to take responsibility for action in the most crucial moment. The mind trusts the body it has under control and feels it, knows what the whole body is capable of, and allows itself more.

Better control over the muscles also enables better control over our emotions, behavior, habits, and personality. Willpower is strengthened by how body strength is strengthened through intelligent use, learning, ingenuity, and development.

Usually, increasing strength goes like this: let’s take an 18-year-old that regularly visits the fitness center to buff his muscles and become stronger. He has a strong will and desire to achieve this, no matter the cost. He believes that only hard work, overcoming himself, understanding pain as validation of a job well done will allow him to achieve his goal. Progress is fast and impactful. But after a year of training, it seems that progress has stopped. The boy starts to work out too hard, which leads to inefficiency, a growing difference between workload and knowledge; his performance also doesn’t increase anymore. The pain increases muscle tone and makes the body tense. He notices this, but he does not find the real reasons (lack of organic knowledge); he focuses on dietary supplements, changing exercises, trainer, or routine due to the information vacuum. The actual reason for insufficient muscle control for selected loads does not improve. But he still stubbornly persists, despite injuries and mental crises, and returns after a few years break, repeating the same mistakes, with similar results.

To illustrate the above, I will use the example of a blacksmith who uses a hammer with the same hand day after day for many years. With this hand, he eventually makes thousands of the same movements. Most sports experts’ logic is that the more times the movement is repeated, the greater the development of the muscles involved in the movement. But in reality, the result can be quite the opposite. You don’t notice a significant difference in the arm and shoulder development swinging the hammer from the arm and shoulder that don’t. How to explain it? The blacksmith’s mind is focused on the work he is doing and pays no attention to the muscles that perform that work. As he was mastering the craft (being an apprentice), he had to be very careful about how he strikes with his hammer (paying attention to the movement and not only the result); he quickly increased his muscle strength. As he became more skilled, that development ceased because his attention was directed towards the result, and unconsciously performed it.

When we know this, it is clearer to us how and why learning the AEQ method makes it much easier to progress in results with a reduced investment of time and effort, greater diligence and attention, and a lower frequency of injuries and defeats – errors. We better understand that training and the subconscious performance of movements and work strengthen the possibility of muscle contraction. In contrast, learning and conscious attention to the movement’s performance increases the ability to lengthen and relax muscles. This is a very important fact because expanding muscles is just as important as contracting them. Until we know how to keep the muscles that are supposed to lengthen in the movement performed soft and relaxed, proper muscle use and masterfully effective light movement are unattainable. You can see this ability to control the muscles well in animals that can be very tense and completely relaxed the next moment.

Usually, increasing strength goes like this: let’s take an 18-year-old that regularly visits the fitness center to buff his muscles and become stronger. He has a strong will and desire to achieve this, no matter the cost. He believes that only hard work, overcoming himself, understanding pain as validation of a job well done will allow him to achieve his goal. Progress is fast and impactful. But after a year of training, it seems that progress has stopped. The boy starts to work out too hard, which leads to inefficiency, a growing difference between workload and knowledge; his performance also doesn’t increase anymore. The pain increases muscle tone and makes the body tense. He notices this, but he does not find the real reasons (lack of organic knowledge); he focuses on dietary supplements, changing exercises, trainer, or routine due to the information vacuum. The actual reason for insufficient muscle control for selected loads does not improve. But he still stubbornly persists, despite injuries and mental crises, and returns after a few years break, repeating the same mistakes, with similar results.

The foundation for sports progress is: first, I have to control my muscles well enough and then perform the work with those muscles. Training without understanding the importance of muscle control usually bores the mind and makes it impossible to learn to control movements. The mind wanders during the automated execution of exercises, thus severely limiting the improvement in efficiency.

It is important to use the enhanced attention, given to us through the use of action/reaction, and focus it on muscle movements. This maintains the pleasure, good feeling, and motivation to exercise, which gives us better, long-term results, unlike effort and painful training with headphones on the ears.

Constantly making the same mistakes, unnoticed through training, leads the athlete to begin to doubt his abilities, loses his confidence, gets injured faster, and eventually quits.

Aleš Ernst, teacher of the AEQ method, level 5