If you have been struggling to lose weight, then we understand your pain. It is a tough task, though congratulations on your massive efforts. It requires a great amount of motivation, patience and, strength to get on that treadmill for 30 minutes of cardio and lift weights every day. If regular exercises and gym machines are not your things, you can still lose weight. There is a form of exercise that can help you build strength, burn fat and tone your body without any visible movement of the muscle or changing the angle of the joint. This form of exercise is known as Isometric exercises. There are several proven benefits of isometric exercise. Read on for more details on isometric training.
What are Isometric Exercises?
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While we often talk about the benefits of cardiovascular exercises and weight training, people are not very well aware of what is isometric exercise and its effectiveness. For those unfamiliar, this form of exercises is great for overall physical and mental fitness and helps to build muscle strength. The term has been derived from Greek words wherein “Isos” means equal and “metric” means “measuring.” This means that the length of the muscle does not change during the exercise. It is done in a static position, allowing the contraction of the particular muscle or group of muscles for building strength and toning the body. This form of workout is gradually gaining popularity among fitness conscious people. Good news is there is not much movement and no equipment required. You can literally perform it anywhere. Even when you are traveling, you do not need to compromise on your fitness regime. It is practiced by bodybuilders and athletes for greater balance and strength. Dr. Donald Salls discovered it in 1960. He happens to be the oldest living Alabama football player.
Benefits of Isometric Workout
- Full body Isometric workout stimulates the muscle and activates it. This enables your muscle to live up to their maximum potential.
- This form of workout delays the aging of muscles and helps retain healthy muscle movement for a longer time span.
- Isometric movement helps achieve greater flexibility of joints.
- Also, Isometric workout program facilitates faster muscle recovery after surgery or an accident.
- One of the best parts of isometric muscle exercises is that it increases muscle strength. It helps you burn fat at a faster rate and replace it with healthy and stronger muscles.
- It is a common fact that any form of physical exercise also facilitates good mental health. With Isometric workout, you can attain the same. It is great for people with low motivation levels, hectic lifestyle, anxiety, and depression.
- It’s time and cost effective. Unlike its counterparts, this form of exercise does not require much time to complete. Also, there is no need for special equipment for this fitness regime and you can perform it at home, at your own ease.
- Full body isometric workout increases the endurance of the body and helps maintain correct posture.
- Also, it can be performed by elderly people. It has proven to improve their muscle health and mobility.
Few Effective Isometric Exercises
- Planks: One of the best Isometric exercises is planks. Mostly every fitness lover, sportsperson and dancers include this in their workout regime. Lying down with your face towards the floor, lift yourself up from the floor with the help of your elbows and forearms. For best results, you must keep your back straight and hold the position for at least 50 seconds.
- Side Planks: Another great Isometric exercise is planks on the side. Start from the forward plank and then shift all the weight to the right side and keep yourself lifted on the right forearm. Gradually take your left leg on your right leg. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds before coming to the starting position. Repeat again on the other side.
- Isometric Push-up: Yet again, a very common form exercise—pushups. It is quite effective to tone your abs, core, triceps, and chest. Starting with basic push up position, lift your body up and hold it for a second or two before coming down. Perform at least three sets of 8 repetitions.
- Wall Sits: This form of Isometric movement works on thigh muscles and lower body. Start by standing with straight back against a sturdy wall. Move down to the chair position, making sure to form a 90-degree angle with your legs. Hold this position for at least 15 seconds. Repeat it five times for better results.
- Wall Push Ups: This isometric exercise is just like a basic push up in a standing position. With your palms firmly on the wall and feet on the ground, move towards the wall like you are pushing it. Continue to apply the force on your palms and hold the position for 30 seconds.
- Glutes Bridge: Simple as it seems, it has great benefits especially for those with back concerns and backaches. Start with lying on your back on the floor and bend your knees. Rest your arms on the sides and slowly elevate your hips, moving the weight on your palms and feet. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and you shall feel the stretch in hamstrings and glutes.
These are a few basic exercises that you can incorporate in your isometric workout program and reap its abundant benefits. These exercises may seem easy to do but they have great benefits. Make sure to keep breathing deeply as you perform isometric movements and stay hydrated. You don’t have to perform these exercises as a standalone regime. It can be incorporated into any form of workout program.