I try to incorporate some unique elements into my training for study purposes sometimes. Here is one such example in side lateral raises exercise that I have been doing for many years now:

Instead of simply holding the dumbbells throughout the movement, I intentionally let go of them and then caught them again. This technique adds a neural training aspect to my workout (yup, its that simple!) and increases the level of fatigue compared to the standard version. It may seem like I’m only losing my grip and regaining it, so why does this actually tire me out more?

Reminder: excercise only burns 20-25% of total daily expenditure on an average. But we can increase the share by adding stress, changing the exercise, adding things to burn more fuel etc.

The reason lies in the additional workload imposed. Not just by muscles, but also by the nervous system in this case. By releasing and catching the dumbbells, we train different aspects:

Proprioception Training: The process of momentarily letting go of the dumbbells and quickly reestablishing my grip challenges my body’s awareness of its position and movement in space. This enhances my proprioceptive abilities, which involve the perception of joint and limb positions, aiding in overall coordination and balance.

Reaction Time Training: Releasing and catching the dumbbells requires rapid reflexive actions, as I need to react quickly to prevent them from falling. This aspect of the exercise helps improve my reaction time, enhancing my ability to respond swiftly to external stimuli.

Neuroplasticity: Through coordination and learning, this technique stimulates neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to reorganize and form new neural connections. By repeatedly practicing the complex movements involved in releasing and catching the dumbbells, I promote the development of efficient neural pathways, improving my overall motor skills.

Training proprioception, reaction time, and neuroplasticity, ultimately contributes to improved coordination, agility, and neural adaptability.

Summation: however complicated it may sound, everything that goes in our body is simple. Depends on how we look at it and how we decipher it.