Isometric exercises are easy to do in the comfort of your own home. While they’re not exactly an exotic exercise like yoga, they have proven results for muscular strength and endurance.
so learn more about how to incorporate them into your fitness routine below.
What Is Isometric Exercise?
Isometric exercises are a subset of strength training. The primary difference between isometrics and other forms of strength training is that the muscles are held in a static position, rather than contracting.
Planks, for example, are an isometric exercise where you hold yourself up on your elbows and straighten your back, then hold the position for a set interval of time. In contrast, sit-ups require the dynamic movement of your muscles, and are not an isometric exercise.
What Is The History of Isometrics?
Isometric exercises were first introduced alongside the early days of Western physical culture and bodybuilding, which is usually acknowledged as beginning in America in the middle of the 19th century.
What Type Of Exercise Is Isometrics?
Isometrics are considered to be a type of strength training, as they are primarily non-aerobic in nature, and are intended to help strengthen the muscles through repeated, static movements.
Because isometrics are static rather than dynamic, they are often recommended for those who have a limited range of motion, or who are recovering from injuries, allowing them to strengthen their muscles without a high risk of re-injuring a particular muscle group.
Preparing For Isometric Exercise
Most isometric exercises can be conducted in the comfort of your own home without any additional gear. To prepare for isometric exercises, simply dress in some comfortable workout clothes. Some light stretching is also beneficial and can help you avoid injury.
Practicing Isometric Exercises
There are many different types of isometric exercises. A few of the most common ones include:
- Planks – This exercise consists of laying down, then holding yourself up on your elbows with your back straightened, usually for 15-30 seconds. It strengthens the back and abdominal muscles.
- Wall sits – This exercise consists of placing your back against a wall, then lowering yourself into a “seated” position, and holding the pose for 15-30 seconds. It strengthens many muscles in the legs, like the quadriceps and glutes.
- Body holds – This exercise consists of lying flat on the ground, then raising both your arms and legs to create a “V” shape with your body, and holding it for 15 seconds. It strengthens your upper and lower abdominal muscles.
Isometrics Basics – Learn How To Get Started With This Video
If you’re interested in practicing common isometrics on your own and you’d like to learn more, the above video outlines many of the most common isometric exercises, how to perform them, and their benefits.
The Benefits Of Isometrics
Isometrics help strengthen the muscles targeted by each exercise. They also have been shown to help lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health as part of a fitness regimen.
Isometrics are also very low-impact and do not require any special equipment, and are ideal for isolating muscle groups and strengthening them individually.
Isometric Exercise Variations
Most isometrics are performed without any additional equipment. These are known as “bodyweight isometrics.” However, the most common variant of this exercise system uses weights and other equipment, and is called “weighted isometrics.”
Instead of bench pressing a weight, for example, you can push the weight up, and hold it in place for an extended period of time. This is an isometric exercise – because the muscles are static and not contracting – but uses additional equipment.
Utilizing weights to perform isometric exercises can open up a number of new exercises, and is a good option once you’ve become familiar with the basics of isometric exercise.
Get Started With Isometrics Now
Isometrics are easy to learn, offer great health benefits, and require no special equipment – so start incorporating them into your daily fitness routine today.