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Author: Вадим Аврукин (Vadim Avrukin)
Published: 2022-10-24

Do you know you can exercise mentally and actually increase your body strength? This is called ideomotor effect. It is is shocking how much impact your mind has on your body.




Some time ago, the Journal of Physiology described an experiment that I can’t get out of my head.

There were three test groups.

For a month, members of the first group performed a simple exercise 5 hours a day: flexing and relaxing a finger on the left hand.

Members of the second group performed the same exercise mentally, without using any physical muscles, and the training regime was the same.

And finally, members of the control group did nothing – neither physical nor mental.

Scientists compared the finger strength of the first group with that of the control and it was 30% higher. This didn’t shock anyone. What was surprising was that members of the second group, the “thinking” group, increased muscle strength by 22%.

Therefore, the mind had a significant impact on the body. The body, it seemed, didn’t undergo a real experience, but it still changed.


In another similar experiment, one group lifted a barbell physically, and another group mentally. The subjects’ bicep strength increased in both cases. The possibilities! I remember from childhood an article about an Olympic wrestling champion who prepared for competition solely using the ideomotor effect. He won the championship with little or no physical training. While it’s clear that mental exercises are less effective than physical, but are better than nothing.


On the web, there are a lot of exercises for the eyes which treat myopia or other problems. In light of the experiments described here, the question arises: couldn’t these exercises be done mentally?

Dr. Benjamin, as I now remember, said that all of these exercises are part of the “World’s Myths and Legends”. No matter how you exercise for cataracts, you still have to go to the ophthalmologist, and no matter how you roll your eyes, myopia will not go away. It’s a pity. It’d be nice to solve all the world’s problems without getting out of bed. Alas, mental treatment for the eyes remains mental.