One of the most important lessons I've learned from my adviser is the need for a very strong mind muscle connection when training. He has stressed this to me on every single body part. When I first trained with him I had a hard time feeling my hamstrings. Since he wanted me to improve my squat and that involved feeling my hamstrings, I was given homework. I was told to walk a mile and pay attention to my hamstrings during that walk. I was told to do my best to feel the hamstrings as I walked. To my surprise, this worked quite well.
I took advantage of my latest training session to put together a short video about feeling the mind muscle connection.
Mind Muscle Connection – Video
As you can see from the video, the squeeze of the shoulder blades is very important for back training. My adviser tells me that most people don't do that very well. They pump out the repetitions, but don't pay attention to getting a good squeeze in the back. As you can see in the video, taking the time to arch the back properly, pulling with the elbows and squeezing and holding at the bottom of the movement is essential for getting everything from the exercise. Form is very important for the first two sets, but on the third set a little cheating is allowed because the weight gets very heavy.
The next time you get into the gym see if you can make that mind muscle connection with whatever body part you are training that day. Pay attention to how the muscle feels throughout the full range of motion during the exercise. You will find that you are much more sore the next day when you train with these things in mind.