The term ‘neuromuscular training’ might sound complicated, but you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s not. The training focuses on natural movement patterns which can improve sports performance, injury prevention, rehabilitation and enjoyment of everyday life. This article will help you understand the philosophy behind the training, whilst exploring its benefits and how it can help with sports performance and health longevity.

What is neuromuscular training?

Why should I perform neuromuscular exercises?

What are the benefits of neuromuscular training?

Improved body mechanics

Increased sporting performance

Reduce the risk of injury

Helps with rehabilitation

Prevent muscular imbalances

Increase strength

Will neuromuscular training help prevent injury?

Why will neuromuscular training heal and strengthen my injury?

Is there specific training equipment for neuromuscular exercises?

Medicine balls

Balance boards

Cognitive light systems

If you start performing neuromuscular workouts, will you gain strength and muscle?

Could I build up my cardio with neuromuscular training?

How to perform neuromuscular exercises

Will neuromuscular exercises harm me?

What is neuromuscular training?

Neuromuscular training is a type of training that enhances the reaction and communication between nerves and muscles. This type of training helps improve athletic performance and reduces the risk of injury by focusing on natural body movements. 

The philosophy behind the training involves performing dynamic exercises that mirror real-world movement patterns encountered in both sports and day-to-day life. The focus on improving awareness of correct technique and mind-muscle connection makes neuromuscular training a highly effective tool for long-term enhancement of athletic capability.

Why should I perform neuromuscular exercises?

Whether you’re an athlete, trainer or need help with injury rehabilitation, the training is true to real-life movements and can benefit everyone. So what makes it so effective compared to other exercise methods such as traditional strength training?

Conventional training such as weightlifting focuses on gaining strength through robotic movements. Although this type of training has its benefits, many of the movements don’t apply to real-life situations. Real-world body movement often requires turns, jumps and subconscious reactions to perform effectively.

Regular weight-lifting is a linear and constant effort. In contrast, the elastic used in neuromuscular lifting accessories, such as the Reax Lift pictured below, adds increased motor interference and unpredictability. This results in additional dynamic and balance stimulation compared to traditional strength training.

With strength training, the main focus is lifting weight. Beginners may compromise form to achieve this and subsequently injure themselves. In neuromuscular exercises, the emphasis on controlling body movements, and being conscious of your form makes neuro training excellent for longevity as well as rehabilitation.

Neuromuscular training VS Traditional training

CategoryTraditional Training (strength)Neuromuscular Training
Joint healthRough on jointsEasy on the joints
BalanceNo balance improvementHelps improve your balance
MovementUses isolated movementsImproves real life movements
Cognitive reactionsNo improvements in reactionsDevelops cognitive reactions
Injury prevention/recoveryLittle emphasis on preventionProven to prevent injury and help with rehabilitation
TechniqueLittle focus on technique after learning initial movementsOngoing attention on technique and mind muscle connection
Muscular imbalancesCan cause muscular imbalancesHelps prevent and improve any pre-existing imbalances 
Training longevityHeavy strain on body limits training longevityFocuses on health and enables training longevity

What are the benefits of neuromuscular training?

Improved body mechanics

The ability to move efficiently and effectively will allow those partaking in neuromuscular training to get the most out of their movement capability. Not only does this improve performance in a sports setting, but also with tasks encountered during everyday life. The daily movements which often put our body under strain such as bending, jumping and climbing will improve with the use of neuro training.

Increased sporting performance

The exercises used within neuromuscular activity will lead to direct improvements in sporting performance. The dynamic nature of the exercises and focus on technique will help athletes improve and become more aware of their natural movements. Neuromuscular training results in increased strength, stability, endurance and balance which translates into competitive settings and leads to heightened performance.

Reduce the risk of injury

Due to the emphasis on correct technique and knowledge of movement patterns, neuromuscular training reduces the risk of injury. This applies to anyone participating in neuro active training, from athletes competing in intense sports to recreational gymgoers who want to improve health and movement capabilities.

A reduced chance of injury makes the training method especially attractive to athletes. Many train their entire life to reach peak performance levels and injury can prevent them from reaching their potential. Injury setbacks can be as mentally damaging as they are physical. Being able to trust that your training is doing as much for your athletic longevity as it is your performance levels, makes neuromuscular exercise a valuable asset within a competitive sports environment.

Helps with rehabilitation

Research shows that neuromuscular training can be an effective tool for recovery and the rehabilitation of existing injuries. Neuromuscular activity is effective in areas such as increasing joint functionality after ankle sprains and decreasing their recurrence. 

The benefits of the training extend further than just rehabilitation of joint functionality. It has also been found to be beneficial in the rehabilitation of patients with heart conditions and improved strength in women with Multiple Sclerosis, which we’ll discuss later in the article.

Prevent muscular imbalances

Neuromuscular training puts an emphasis on form and mind-muscle connection. This means that the exercises can prevent muscular imbalances. Other types of training such as strength and conditioning often put the main focus on outputs such as the amount of weight lifted or the number of reps completed. Making such measurable outcomes a primary target (especially in ego-driven athletes) can lead to incorrect technique, resulting in muscular imbalances or even injury.

Increase strength

The combination of intense exercise and correct technique can lead to great strength increases. When performing neuromuscular activity, athletes spend time turning, twisting, engaging their core and using supporting muscles that don’t get used in other training methods. The philosophy of neuromuscular exercise focuses on keeping athletes fit and healthy in the long-term. This gives them more time to build and sustain strength levels. Injury occurring in weightlifting for example could force athletes to take months out of their training schedule and result in a loss of strength upon their recovery.

Will neuromuscular training help prevent injury?

Yes, neuromuscular training can help prevent injury and neuromuscular conditioning techniques have been advocated for injury prevention. This makes the training a great option for anyone wanting long-term performance gains with a minimal chance of injury. 

For injury prevention, the need to improve functional joint stability by enhancing neuromuscular control mechanisms is becoming increasingly recognised. There is evidence to support the effectiveness of neuromuscular activity in injury reduction across many sports – a benefit that is also transferable to everyday life.

Why will neuromuscular training heal and strengthen my injury?

Neuromuscular training helps develop control and improve joint stability, which has been found to be a critical part of conditioning and rehabilitation programs. Neuromuscular movement helps with injury rehabilitation due to its effectiveness in increasing functionality as well as decreasing the recurrence of pre-existing injuries. This has been shown to be effective in injuries such as ankle sprains and the treatment of anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

Recurring injuries can damage quality of life and put a ceiling on performance capabilities. Even after rehabilitation, many people live in fear that an old injury will come back to haunt them. The fact that neuromuscular activity can aid injury rehabilitation and prevent recurring injuries can be priceless for anyone who desires physical longevity.

Is there specific training equipment for neuromuscular exercises?

If you’re looking for neuromuscular fitness equipment, you’ll be glad to hear that there are some great equipment options available. The benefit of using these is that they take the guesswork out of workouts and are purpose-built for giving users a great neuromuscular workout. Here are a few examples of popular training equipment for neuromuscular training exercises:

Medicine balls 

A medicine ball is a weighted ball commonly used to apply resistance during neuromuscular movements. Medicine balls differ from other weighted training aids such as dumbbells due to their spherical shape. 

Lifting and gripping a medicine ball can be far more challenging than a weighted bar. However, this makes the medicine ball a versatile tool that’s great for dynamic workouts. This helps the user get used to lifting densely weighted and awkward objects, activating the muscles that are required for similar movements in sports or everyday life.

An example of a medicine ball that’s great for neuromuscular workouts is the Reaxing Fluiball. This is the first training ball to allow users to work with a dynamic weight. By using water, it offers excellent levels of unpredictability during workouts. The patented “Sudden Dynamic Impulse” technology creates tactile stimulations and motor interference during training sessions. This allows athletes to achieve a much higher muscular activation when training. You can learn more about the Reaxing Fluiball by clicking here.

Balance boards

One of the most popular areas of neuromuscular activity is balance training. The ability to maintain balance is crucial in the majority of sports. Being able to maintain your balance at crucial moments can be the difference between winning and losing. Balance boards are excellent neuromuscular training aids, helping users work on their stabilizing muscles and make improvements to their overall balance.

One of the most effective and technologically advanced balance boards is the Reax Board. The concept behind the board is to take a stable and predictable training environment and make it unstable and unpredictable. Users can focus on dynamic balance training with an unpredictable twist, priming them for the unexpected in real-world settings such as surfing. You can learn more about the Reax Board by visiting this page.

Cognitive light systems

Light systems can be used to improve cognitive ability and reaction times. They allow users to test their reflexes by presenting a series of changing lights and testing how quickly they can react. A quick response time is crucial in a variety of sports. For example, basketball players need to react quickly based on the sudden movements of their opponent’s body position.

Without such advanced technology, individuals would only practice these sorts of skills in games or when training with others. Cognitive fitness training using light systems allows them to improve their reaction times even when training alone. This technology has made advanced visual stimulation training far more accessible for everyone.

An excellent option for cognitive training is the use of Reaxing Light Boards. This is one of the world’s most advanced systems, which has patented technology that allows users to improve motor skills, cognition, peripheral vision and reactions. 

The systems can help with a variety of functions including motor-gesture management, coordination, post-accident functional recovery and support in neurodegenerative diseases. Click here to find out more about the full range of benefits associated with Reaxing lighting boards.

If you start performing neuromuscular workouts, will you gain strength and muscle?

Yes, by performing neuromuscular workouts you will be able to gain both strength and muscle. Similarly to regular strength training, neuromuscular activity will allow intense exercise with added resistance. However, neuro training will also introduce the element of unpredictability for enhanced muscle activation. 

One muscle that researchers have targeted is the hamstring. This study explored the effects of hamstring-emphasized neuromuscular exercise on strength and sprinting performance. The research examined the effects of a 7-week neuromuscular training program. It found that adding two weekly sessions of neuromuscular training led to large improvements in hamstring strength and sprinting performance.

Neuromuscular workouts aren’t just great for increasing strength in athletes; they have also been found to offer strength benefits for some medical conditions. For instance, one study measured the effectiveness of neuromuscular exercises for strength in females with multiple sclerosis (MS). The researchers found that there was a significant increase in quadriceps and hamstring strength, as well as an increase in balance and an improvement in proprioceptive error.

Could I build up my cardio with neuromuscular training?

Yes, neuromuscular training can be used to improve your cardiovascular fitness. Helping individuals increase fatigue resistance is a byproduct of neuromuscular activity and a quality that is required for peak performance in cardio-intensive sports. Furthermore, neuromuscular exercise has been found to have a positive impact on cardiac response during the rehabilitation of acute coronary syndrome. Acute coronary syndrome is used to describe conditions related to reduced blood flow to the heart, such as heart attacks. 

How to perform neuromuscular exercises

Neuromuscular fitness programs can include a wide variety of physical exercises. A good rule for completing them effectively would be to focus on proper technique and muscle activation. This will help ensure that any exercises are being carried out efficiently and with good form. 

The exercises are often made up of plyometric movements and techniques which target core strength, balance, speed and resistance training. The exercises are designed to improve physical features such as stability and balance, whilst also increasing the understanding of proper technique and reducing the risk of injury.

A great way to ensure you’re training correctly when performing neuromuscular exercises is by using the right equipment. You have to perform specific movement patterns and it will be extremely useful if you use purpose-built neuromuscular fitness equipment

Will neuromuscular exercises harm me?

When carrying out any type of exercise, there is always some risk of injury. However, neuromuscular exercises have been linked to injury reduction and are often an effective tool in helping people recover from injury. A study investigated the effectiveness of neuromuscular training and strength training for rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. It found that neuromuscular activity significantly improved Cincinnati Knee Scores and VAS scores for global knee function, compared to strength training.

Final Thoughts

Neuromuscular training enables individuals to train with an emphasis on technique, movement patterns, injury prevention and longevity. This type of training can benefit a range of people including high-level athletes, recreational gym users, individuals in rehabilitation and even those recovering from certain health conditions. Making use of neuromuscular exercise equipment is a great way to enhance your dynamic movement and enable a higher level of activation during workouts. The advantages of neuromuscular training make it clear to see why it’s become such a popular form of exercise for people across the world.

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