The connection between mind and body is critical to athletic performance. Sensory maps in the brain control our patterns of movement, but forming the connection between mind and body is more complex than simply whipping out an atlas of the mind. The structures of these neural maps are constantly changing throughout our lives to optimize our day-to-day functionality. An organism will adapt to the demands placed upon it. This ability of neural structure to change is called neuroplasticity. Simply put, every movement of the body provides sensory feedback for the brain to process and adapt to. If you want to maximize your movement potential (i.e. increase strength and boost mobility) you need to understand how to tap into this feedback loop to optimize your training time. Training With the Brain Although the term neuroplasticity may be new to you, the concept is likely familiar. If you’ve ever worked to grease the groove of a movement for more weight or reps, you’ve tapped into your neuroplasticity (thanks, Pavel). In the absence of pain and fatigue, increased repetitions serve to carve out these neural pathways, making the pattern more efficient. This increase in neuromuscular efficiency paves the way to more strength and less pain. Not a bad combination.