Muscle Activation through Imagery


Visualization is a powerful tool for athletes who are rehabilitating from injury and are unable to engage in physical practice. It allows them to mentally rehearse and visualize essential skills of their sport.


For athletes and dancers, kinesthetic imagery is particularly important. This involves imagining the sensation of movement in the muscles and joints. For example, a baseball player may use kinesthetic imagery to envision the motion of rocking back and forth while waiting for a pitch and taking practice swings.


By engaging in kinesthetic imagery, athletes can activate their muscles and improve their neuromuscular connections without placing additional stress on their injured body parts. This can aid in the healing process and facilitate a quicker return to physical practice.


Case Study

Case Study: Using Kinesthetic Imagery to Help a Sports Person Recover from Injury

Background: John is a 28-year-old soccer player who had been experiencing severe pain in his knee joint for several weeks. After a thorough examination, it was diagnosed that he had a grade 2 MCL sprain, which meant that he had to take rest from playing for 6 weeks to allow his knee to heal.

Approach: My primary goal was to help John recover from his injury as quickly and efficiently as possible. Since John was an experienced athlete, I decided to incorporate a kinesthetic imagery technique to speed up his recovery process. Kinesthetic imagery is a mental rehearsal technique that involves imagining movements or actions without physically performing them.


  1. Understanding John's injury and its impact: Firstly, I discussed the details of John's injury with him and explained how the injury would impact his movement patterns and his ability to play at his best level.
  2. I used The Focused Awareness Technique
  3. I asked him to create a mentalĀ  picture of his healthy knee joint, imagining it as strong and stable. We then created a visual representation of the healing process in his mind, including the repair and strengthening of his injured knee joint.
  4. Imagining the movements: We then moved onto imagining the movements involved in soccer, including dribbling, passing, shooting, and defending. John was asked to visualize these movements, making sure that he was using his healthy knee joint to perform the actions. This helped to reinforce the idea of how his knee should function once it was fully healed.
  5. Incorporating feedback: Throughout the process, I asked John for feedback and encouraged him to use his own imagination and experiences to create vivid mental pictures.
  6. Repetition and consistency: He practiced this kinesthetic imagery technique for 10-15 minutes every day, making sure that John was consistent with his practice.

Results: After just three weeks of engaging in kinesthetic imagery, John's knee was healed enough for him to start training again. During his recovery period, John reported that the kinesthetic imagery technique helped him stay motivated and focused on his recovery goals. He was able to visualize himself playing soccer again, and this helped him maintain a positive attitude towards his recovery process.

Conclusion: The use of kinesthetic imagery can be an effective tool for athletes recovering from injuries. By creating a mental picture of a healthy body and imagining movements involved in their sport, athletes can strengthen neural pathways, improve muscle memory, and accelerate the healing process.