Trifocus fitness academy - isometric exercises

Why Isometric Exercises Should be Part of Your Routine

There are countless exercises that you can choose to do in order to stay fit: Pilates, spinning, Yoga, bootcamp… The list is endless! One of these categories of exercises that you can select are isometric exercises.  In this article, we’ll tell you what these types of exercises are and how they can benefit you.

What are isometric exercises?

When you perform an isometric exercise, the length of the muscle doesn’t change. This is opposed to running or walking on a treadmill when your leg muscles lengthen and contract so that you can perform the movement.

In an isometric exercise, you hold the position for a protracted period of time. This action acts on the muscle fibres to effect change on the muscle. Dr Edward R Laskowski, who specialises in sports medicine, provides a more scientific explanation:

“Isometric exercises are contractions of a particular muscle or group of muscles. During isometric exercises, the muscle doesn’t noticeably change length and the affected joint doesn’t move.”

Why are isometric exercises so valuable for your fitness routine?

Isometric exercises target one muscle or a muscle group. This means that when such an exercise is performed, it provides highly targeted results for that part of the body so allowing you to address problem areas very efficiently.

Trifocus fitness academy - isometric exercises

As an isometric exercise works only on the muscle, it doesn’t involve joints. This means that injuries are minimised. This type of movement incredibly valuable for people who suffer from arthritis because this condition causes the sufferer’s joints to swell and isometric exercises avoid activating the joint. If you, or anyone you know, suffer from a type of disease which causes inflammation of the joints, why not consult a personal trainer who can develop an isometric training routine for you?

Some studies have shown that performing isometric exercises can assist in lowering blood pressure. Says Eli Ben-Yehuda who is a highly experienced registered nurse:

“In a handful of studies, folks with normal blood pressure who did three 15 to 20 minutes sessions of isometric exercises every week for 10 weeks experienced more than a 10-point plunge in their systolic blood pressure.”

What isometric exercises can I add into my routine?

One of the most effective abdominal isometric exercises out there, which should be added to any personal training routine, is the plank. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start this exercise in a prone push-up position. Make sure that your body’s weight is supported on your toes and forearms.
  • Bend your arms at 90 degrees and place them directly under your shoulders.
  • Keep your body straight for the duration of the exercise.
  • Contract your abdominals and relax your upper back.
  • Hold for 15 seconds. As you feel that you are getting stronger, increase the time that you hold this position for.

For more information, watch this video.

Another great isometric exercise which targets your transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, obliques is the side plank.  To do this correctly:

  • Start in a side plank position with your bottom elbow firmly planted on the floor.
  • Be sure that your elbow is directly underneath your shoulder and that your feet are stacked on top of each other.
  • Hold for 15 seconds. As you feel that you are getting stronger, increase the time that you hold this position for.
  • Repeat on the other

Many, many Yoga poses fall into the category of isometric exercises as they strengthen your muscles by holding a pose for a particular length of time.

Warrior 2 is a good example of such an isometric exercise. This video demonstrates how you perform this pose:

If you have hip, shoulder, back or knee problems, be very careful when you perform this pose. If you have high blood pressure, heart problems or are pregnant, don’t have your hands above your head. If you suffer from neck problems, keep your head in neutral and don’t look at your hands.

Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy

Would you like to learn more about different exercises and how you can use these to increase your fitness levels? Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Personal Training Certificate will teach you this and so much more. As we are both locally and internationally accredited, you can be assured that with a personal training qualification from us, in your hands, you’ll be set for career success in the fitness industry! Read more here.

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