What are isotonic exercises?

Personal/Fitness Training Blog

What are isotonic exercises?

Isotonic exercise are exercises that you’ll do when you are looking to condition a muscle group by lifting weighted objects. Unlike isometric exercises, which is a means of strength training with a focus on a specific muscle group, isotonic exercises improve your overall fitness and help you lose weight.

Isotonic exercises have two types of contractions:

  1. Concentric: when your muscle shortens as you overcome the force of a weight
  2. Eccentric: when your muscle lengthens while being opposed by the force of a weight

For instance, when you are performing a bicep curl as you lift the weight up towards your shoulder your biceps perform a concentric contraction. When your bring the weight down, the contraction becomes eccentric. Your muscles are resisting the load of the weight throughout the whole range of motion.

The benefits of isotonic exercises

Isotonic exercises are not meant to make you bulk up like a bodybuilder. Instead, they help you to get into shape and to maintain a level of fitness. It is, however, possible to gain mass from constant isotonic exercises over a longer period of time.

Other benefits include:

  • Enhanced muscle strength as well as size
  • Improving strength throughout the full range of motion (ROM)
  • Enhanced muscle endurance
  • Increasing mass by making use of heavy weights as well as increasing resistance over time
  • Enhanced range of motion in functional movements
  • Training your body in movements need for daily activities
  • Improved bone density
  • Increasing cardiovascular health
  • Lowering body fat
  • Increasing fat-free mass
  • Assisting with maintaining your metabolism as you age

Examples of isotonic exercises

  1. Squats

Stand up tall with a dumbbell in each of your hands. Stick your bum out behind you while bending your knees. Lower yourself down as far as you can while, at the same time, keeping your chest at the same angle as your shins. Push up through your heels as well as squeeze your glutes to come back up.

  1. Straight-leg deadlifts

Stand straight while you hold a dumbbell in each of your hands in front of your thighs. Lean forward, stick your butt out behind you and contract your core in order to keep your back flat. Lower yourself down as far as possible. Don’t bend your knees. Squeeze your glutes to come back up.

  1. Push-ups

Starting on your hands and knees (or toes) in a plank position, slowly lower down as far as you can go. Bend your elbows out to the sides. Push back up at the same pace. You can put a weight plate on your back to increase the intensity.

Isotonic exercises are great for maintaining your overall fitness. These usually performed using weights and is the action of your muscles resisting the load of the weight which makes these exercise so effective. The benefits of isotonic exercises include reduced body fat and enhanced muscle endurance.

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