What Are Isometrics?

May 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Isometric Exercises

Article by Jackie Burgmann

What Are Isometrics? – Health – Fitness

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Isometrics are another way to get your resistance training. It would appear that it is not a widely known form of exercise. But for the many people that have limited mobility due to injury or illness, isometric exercises can be the answer. Isometrics are used quite often in rehabilitation or for pain management for people with these types of ailments. Isometrics are also great exercises for the elderly to help them with basic strength and mobility. As a matter of fact, many accomplished younger strength athletes use Isometrics to supplement their other weight lifting routines. It really is an unsung hero for many.

Isometrics entail contracting the muscle but not changing the length it. The simplest way to do an Isometric exercise is to push against an immoveable object, like a wall or post or pull on an immovable object without letting your body move toward the object.

Examples of isometric contractions are as follows:

Stand between a doorframe. To work your deltoids, push both hands out against the door frame and hold. The muscle is contracting at this stage but is not changing in length (ie. not shortening nor lengthening). Or push up against the top of the door frame with your hands to work your shoulders.

Work your quadriceps by sitting in chair facing the wall and pushing against the wall with the ball of your foot and hold that push for several seconds. You can choose to do one long hold or several shorter ones to make a set.

To work your chest muscles, stand with your arms straight out in front of you (do not lock your elbows), press your palms into each other and again, hold for several seconds, or hold for a shorter period of time and do this several times.

Find a ledge or countertop at about hip level that you can hook your fingers under that is anchored down. Hook your fingers under the ledge, pull up and hold the contraction. Face towards the ledge to work your biceps, face away from the ledge to work your triceps.

Use a free weight and hold it in a semi-contracted but motionless state for several seconds. You may choose to repeat the contraction several times for a set, or just once for a more extended period of time. You can do this with almost any regular weights exercise by holding the contraction rather than doing the several moving reps you’d normally do.

Basically any exercise you do that involves tensing or contracting the muscle without moving it can be considered an Isometric exercise.

One of the convenient things about Isometric exercises is that they can be done almost anywhere. You don’t even really need an immoveable object to push against or pull as long you can make your muscles tense and hold the contraction for several seconds.

People with high blood pressure are cautioned about using Isometric exercises because the act of holding the contractions for extended periods of time can actually cause an increase in your blood pressure during the exercise. Be careful not to hold your breath during these exercises. Normal breathing should always be maintained throughout the muscle contraction.

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About the Author

Jackie Burgmann is a Registered Weight Trainer and Registered Personal Trainer who also runs a popular fitness-oriented video blog using the pseudonym Girlwithnoname at Girlwithnoname.com

Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

Jackie Burgmann



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Jackie Burgmann is a Registered Weight Trainer and Registered Personal Trainer who also runs a popular fitness-oriented video blog using the pseudonym Girlwithnoname at Girlwithnoname.com












Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

The following video is an example of a static or isometric Bicep Curl at the point of maximal contraction. The weight of 242lbs provides an approximate gauge as to the resistance the muscle is under. For more a longer explanation of what Isometrics are and how they work, visit Isometric-Training.com
Video Rating: 1 / 5

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