Isometric Exercises

Isometrics are a form of exercise where the muscle develops tension without changing length.  An example of this would be pushing against a wall.

When you push against a wall, force is being generated and your upper body muscles contract but they don’t change their length (unless you are able to move the wall!).  There are several advantages to isometrics, the main two being strength building and power.

Isometrics do not require any expensive home fitness exercise equipment so it won’t cost anything and it can be performed anywhere and at anytime.

This type of resistance training is ideal for toning up the body as you lose weight, making sure you avoid being left with ‘flabby bits’ as the weight comes off.

Tips For Performing Isometric Exercises

1. When it comes to isometric training, your mind is your most important tool.

2.  You should keep the duration of isometric contractions to somewhere between 1 and 5 minutes with intervals of peak (hardest) contractions held for 5 seconds or less.

3. For noticeable results, perform each of the exercises at least 3-10 times.  By performing multiple sets in your workout you will exhaust your muscle fibers completely.

Examples

Shoulder Muscle Contraction

Stand and take your left hand and clench your right fist firmly.  The palm of your right hand should be facing inwards.  Your left hand will be holding your right wrist in front of your body.

Now push your right hand upwards while resisting it with your left hand.  Hold the contraction for 1 to 5 minutes with peaks in the contraction of a few seconds.  You will basically always have some tension over the 1 to 5 minutes, even if it is just a little.  Every so often, push harder during the peak contractions.  Repeat the exercise workout on the opposite side to ensure you work all the muscle fibers.

The Bicep Curl

While standing, bend your right arm at the elbows as if you are giving a bicep pose.  Take your left hand and place it over your right wrist.  Contract your right bicep as hard as possible trying to lift your right arm but resisting with your left.  Hold the contraction for 1 to 5 minutes with intervals of peak/hardest contraction of 5 seconds.  Repeat the movement with the other arm.

The Plank/Prone Bridge

Start out by laying face down on the ground.  Place your elbows and forearms underneath your chest and proper yourself up on your toes and forearms forming a bridge.  Don’t let your hips sag or your butt raise up and maintain a flat back.  Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds or until you can no longer maintain a flat bridge.  Perform 2 to 3 sets.

The Side Plank

Lay on your side and press up with your right arm.  You will form a bridge with your right forearm and legs.  Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.  Perform 2 to 3 sets.

Isometric Squats

Stand with your back against a wall and your feet about shoulder width apart.  Bend at the knees and lower yourself until your upper legs are parallel to the floor.

Your knees should be bent at 90 degrees at this point.  You can either hold your arms in front of you or on your hips.  Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat the exercise 2 to 3 times.

Isometric Calf Raises

Stand next to a wall on one foot.  If necessary, touch the wall lightly for balance, but do not allow yourself to rest against the wall.  The other foot should be lifted off the ground.  With the foot that is on the ground, rise up onto your toes.

Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds and then switch feet and repeat the exercise.  Perform the exercise 2 to 3 times.

Isometric Chest Presses

You can sit or stand for this exercise.  If you sit, make sure and keep your back straight.  To perform isometric chest presses, clasp your hands together and push them together as hard as you can for 10 to 30 seconds.  You want to focus on completely flexing your chest (pec) muscles.  Repeat the exercise 2 to 3 times.

Isometric Push-Ups

Get into a push-up position and lower yourself down to the half way point.  Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds.  Concentrate on making your chest as tight as possible.  Slowly release the position and lower yourself the rest of the way down to the floor.  Perform the exercise 2 to 3 times.

Summary

With no equipment needed there really is no excuse not to workout out. Doing some form of workout whilst losing weight will guarantee you end up with the body you set out to achieve when you started dieting by ensuring your body tones up.

Give it a go and feel the difference! Even if you aren’t on a diet but just want to feel and look better, you cannot go wrong with isometrics.

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