What are Isometrics?
With an increase in fitness comes an increase in fitness interest, doesn’t it? So your journey of self-improvement and health-improvement has led you to searching for “What are Isometrics?” Good for you, curious soul. Feed your mind and it will fuel your body.
So let’s start stuffin’ that brain of yours with info on isometrics, shall we? Super.
What are Isometrics?
Isometrics are a system of exercises for muscles that focus on muscles acting against each other, rather than stretching the muscle through the use of weights.
During isometrics, the muscle tenses or contracts for several seconds. Most exercises are designed to work muscle vs. muscle. For instance, if you place your palms together and press them against each other, you’re working your chest, biceps and triceps.
Isometrics doesn’t require you to move, but rather you’ll stay in a static position and contract your muscles.
No weights are necessary, and many of them you can do while you’re sitting down or taking a break at work.
If you perform them regularly, they can offer a litany of benefits. You’ll increase strength, joint flexibility, bone density, reduce pain and improve some arthritis symptoms. Best part is, is if you’re injured or recovering you can employ isometrics to avoid further injury while increasing your strength.
So, now that you know what they are, here are a few examples of what isometric exercises you can do:
Upper Body Isometrics:
Like we mentioned above, press your palms together as hard as you can and hold it for 20 or so seconds. This will engage your biceps, triceps, chest and lats.
Mix things up and arm wrestle yourself. This will engage different parts of your arms.
Stand in front of a wall, put your arms out straight and press against it. This will work your arms, chest and upper back.
In a standard or low plank position, lift your body from the ground with flat back neck and shoulders in line while keeping your eyes on the floor. Hold for 30-60 seconds. This will engage your core and back.
While sitting, tighten your core. Kind of like you’re trying to hold in a cough. Raise your feet off the floor an inch or two while pressing the tops of your knees back down. As the name indicates, this works the core and lower back.
Back and Neck Isometrics:
Entwine your fingers behind your head and keep your elbows outward. Then push your head with your hands while you press backward against them. Do this for 10-20 seconds. This will engage your neck muscles and back.
With these few examples, you can easily create your own. There is no ‘official list”. The key elements are that you utilize exercises that create resistance between muscle groups and don’t require moving your body in a range of motion. Think: press, pull, push.
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