Isometric Exercise is a wonderful way to exercise the muscles while in a stationary position. Because it does not involve extreme joint rotations or stenuous activity, it is ideal for those with joint problems, heart murmurs, or various other medical conditions. Mainly, isometrics consist of contracting and relaxing muscles without changing the length of the muscle or the joint angle.
It was made very popular by early bodybuilders such as Max Sick and Charles Atlas. These men claimed that isometric exercise was their key to building such spectacularly powerful muscles. Unfortunately, when it was found that these gentlemen abused steroids, isometric exercise fell out of public eye.
Isometric exercise has become popular of late due to a recent discovery by John Little and Pete Sisco. In the past, it was impossible to measure the effect of isometric exercises. John Little and Pete Sisco managed to find a way to calculate the output of isometric exercises. Because of this, popularity surged yet again and people became more interested in these stationary exercises.
Many people will utilize isometric exercises in combination with other exercises in order to further work the muscle group. For example, if one was lifting weights and held the weight at the chest while squeezing muscle groups, the workout is effectively doubled.
Isometric Exercises can be conducted without those around even knowing what you’re doing. For example, breathing in, holding it, and squeezing one’s abdominal muscles is a form of isometric exercise. For the most part, these are purely strength training exercises.
As with any exercise program, to see the full benefits, it is best to mix in some cardiovascular work (such as jogging or bicycling). Also, a healthy diet and good nutritional choices go a long way in assisting the pounds fly. Everyone loves junk food like ice cream and chocolate. For most of us, it is impossible to live without these things. Moderation and frequency of engaging in such “taste bud indulgences” are the key to nutritional success.
The most important component of isometric exercise is breath control. One must assume a straight position where the spine is aligned, such as standing or sitting straight up with shoulders back. The most effective method of Isometric exercise utilizes a steady rhythmic breathing to assure enough oxygen intake for proper muscle usage.
When performing any form of exercise, you should never be “holding” your breath, you should be inhaling or exhaling.
Isometric exercise can be added to any exercise routine to increase effectiveness. Many will simply perform simple stretches and add the isometric element to speed up muscle addition. Isometrics are fantastic in combination with resistance band training. Utilizing isometric exercise with resistance band training during work or while watching television for a mere fifteen minutes per day increases muscle tone and strength phenomenally.
One simple isometric exercise that one can do at work that helps increase energy and tone muscles, especially fantastic for those mid-afternoon downtimes:
To start, place your hands, palms facing up underneath your desk surface – keeping your elbows tucked in at your waist – push upward against the desk and hold.
Be sure to keep your shoulders down and relaxed… and breathe.
Hold for ten to fifteen seconds then relax. Repeat up to two times.
You’ll be amazed how a little focused breathing and exercise can help the rest of your day.