Isometric exercise is a type of exercise that are characterized by the contraction of muscles with no movement of the joints around them. The continuous tension on muscles could help increase endurance and aid in the execution of dynamic exercises.
Most exercises to strengthen muscles require movement of joints, making use of muscles to pull or push against resistance. But, isometric exercises require staying in static positions for long durations of time.
This article will explain the nature of isometric exercises and will provide examples.
Advantages Of Isometric Exercise
Many workout regimens will incorporate certain isometric exercises, in addition to more dynamic exercises. Some of the benefits of isometric exercise can include:
- They are beneficial exercises for triggering many muscle fibers simultaneously.
- They require less time to master exercises that have good form, compared to other fluid movements, like squats.
- They can be used by people who have an injury or medical condition that limits movement. For instance an study from 2012 found that isometric exercise can be beneficial for people suffering from osteoarthritis.
- Many studies suggest that the use of isometric exercise could be a good method for lowering blood pressure.
- According to the findings of a study from 2015, these exercises increase muscle strength and stability as well as the capacity to hold weight for longer periods of time.
- Some research suggests that isometric exercises may help with pain relief for lower back pain, knee osteoarthritis, and neck pain.
The Risks Of Isometric Exercises
In general, isometric workouts are not as intense for the muscles than many active moves. While they can be more secure, they can cause or aggravate injuries that are already present.
When performing isometric exercises, improper form may cause injuries. For instance, doing an exercise without correct form can cause the tension on the lower back, possibly leading to injury. If someone feels any discomfort or pain during an exercise that is isometric it is best to stop immediately.
Five Best Isometric Exercises
There are numerous types of isometric exercises and each one targets distinct muscles.
The most popular isometric exercises are:
According to a research study conducted in 2016, plank exercises are an effective method of strengthening those muscles in the middle. To do the plank:
- Start by putting your hands in a press up position.
- The elbows should be bent so that your forearms are level on the floor.
- Keep your entire body straight by placing the forearms under the shoulders. Keep the muscles in the core in a tight.
- Start by the posture for 10 second and gradually increase it over time.
The wall sit is a basic exercise to increase the endurance of muscles in the thighs, without overstressing your lower back muscles. For a wall-sit:
- Begin by standing about 2 feet from the wall, with your feet spaced shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly lower the body to the sitting position until your back is on the wall.
- The knees should be bent to an angle of 90 degrees like you’re sitting in chairs, while keeping an elongated core.
- Maintain this position for as long as you can.
The glute bridge workout concentrates on the gluteal muscles in the back of the quadriceps. To do the glute bridge:
- Lay on your back, with knees bent so that your feet are to the floor. The arms should be extended and facing the palms up.
- Involve the muscles of your core, then lift the hips off the ground until your torso is straight with the arms to provide stability.
- Keep this position in place while keeping your core muscles engaged.
The dead hang works the upper body, specifically the shoulders. To do this exercise:
- Pull up a bar using the hands placed shoulder-width to each other.
- The feet should be crossed and lifted. Lift them off the ground, so that your body is hanging in the air.
- Keep this position as long as you can.
This is a variant of the traditional squat exercise that increases the endurance of leg muscles. For this exercise, follow these steps:
- Keep your feet at about shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly bend the knees and slowly move the hips backwards to lower to a squat.
- At the end of the move, push the arms in a forward direction to aid stability.
- Maintain this position.
Isometric exercises create tension on muscles but without causing motion in joints around them. The practice of these exercises can aid in building muscle endurance. Examples of isometric exercises include glute bridges and planks.
They’re suitable for those who have a restricted motion range because of a medical or physical injury. Integrating isometric exercises into your existing routine of exercise can boost the performance of your muscles.