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Isometric Exercises

Lifting weights are very popular when it comes to improving the body strength. However, you do not always have to lift weights or even move your muscles excessively for strength training. Surprised? Read on.


Donna Miller a certified personal trainer and running coach shows core exercises to improve back stability on Thursday, December 2, 2010. The supine on the mat, an isometric core strengthener. Isometric core strengthener How to do it: Lie on your back on

Women doing one of the Isometric exercise


Perform isometric exercises along with regular workouts as several studies have shown that isometric contraction is very effective in maintaining strength.


An isometric contraction occurs when the muscles and its corresponding joints do not move excessively and hold the position for extended time periods.


As most of the isometric exercises are static, they are very effective in improving strength and stabilisation. Moreover, these exercises are excellent for people in recovery.

However, keep in mind that you should perform isometric workouts at various positions to target different muscles groups effectively. Always, supplement isometric training programs with regular workouts for overall development.


Let us not wait any longer and look closer at the eight best isometric exercises that you could perform to tone your body and maximise strength.



8 Best Isometric Exercises for Strength Training and their Benefits



#1 Isometric Shoulder Press


Isometric shoulder press is one of the most effective isometric shoulder exercises, which could be performed either using dumbbells or a barbell. It targets the deltoids, traps and the triceps and thus, aids in reducing the risk of a shoulder injury




Instructions:


Step 1: Stand straight and hold dumbbells with a pronated grip in both the hands.


Step 2: Gradually raise the weights and hold them stationary in the raised position. Hold for 30 seconds and return to the initial position.


Step 3: Raise the dumbbells once again but to a different height and hold the position for another 30 seconds.

Perform the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions.


Important tip: Start the isometric shoulder press with a lighter weight and gradually increase the weight for added resistance. Focus on holding for longer durations over lifting heavier weights.



#2 Isometric Neck Flexion


The neck flexion is one of the easiest isometric neck exercises that you could perform in the comfort of your home. It is ideal for even beginners and casual trainers, thanks to its simple yet effective motion.



Instructions:


Step 1: Sit on a flat bench with a straight back. Keep your shoulders relaxed and place your hand on the forehead to prevent your head from moving during the exercise.


Step 2: Apply force on the hand using your neck while trying to touch the chin to the chest. Keep in mind that this is an isometric exercise and you should not allow any actual neck movement.


Step 3: Hold for 30 seconds and return to the initial position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times.


Important tip: You could take the support of a wall to keep your head in place while performing this exercise.



#3 Isometric Forearm Plank


The forearm plank must be on the list of every fitness enthusiast looking to build their core strength. Isometric holds like the forearm plank primarily target the abdomen along with the arms, wrists and the spine.




Instructions:


Step 1: Lie on the floor in a prone position to begin the workout. Position your hands directly below the shoulders such that your body is resting on the arms and the toes. The forearms should make a 90-degree angle with the upper arms.


Step 2: Tighten your core and hold this position for 30 seconds. Do not let your hips or thighs sag towards the floor.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times.


Important tip: You could perform this exercise using a weighted vest for improved resistance.



#4 Glute Bridge


Glute bridge is a wonderful isometric exercise for toning the lower back, glutes and the core. Moreover, it aids in improving the overall flexibility of the body. 



Instructions:


Step 1: Lie on the floor in a supine position with arms on the side. Bend your knees and rest with flat feet.


Step 2: Move your torso towards the ceiling until your head, torso and the legs are in a straight line.


Step 3: Hold the position for 30 seconds and return to the initial position.

Perform the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions.


Important tip: Perform this exercise by placing a medicine ball below the feet for added resistance.



#5 Isometric Pull-Up


This variation of the pull-up activates the same muscles as a regular pull-up but does so by isometric contraction. The pull-up targets the shoulders, arms, biceps and the core for a complete upper body workout.



Instructions:


Step 1: Grab a bar with a firm grip with the palms facing away from the body. Ensure that the distance between the palms is slightly wider than the distance between the shoulders.


Step 2: Lift yourself upwards until your chin is just above the pull-up bar.


Step 3: Hold this position for 30 seconds and return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times.


Important tips: Push it up a notch and perform the isometric pull-up with a weighted vest for added resistance. Keep your elbows close to the body during the entire duration of the exercise.



#6 Isometric Squat


The isometric squat is similar to the regular squat, but the range of movement is restricted such that there is no excessive expansion or contraction of the muscles. This exercise is very effective in toning the legs and, in particular, the quads and the glues.



Instructions:


Step 1: Stand straight and position your feet at shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on the chest or extend them forwards until they are parallel to the floor.


Step 2: Lower yourself by bending your knees until your thighs make a 90-degree angle with the calves. Keep in mind to push your hips outwards while keeping a straight torso.


Step 3: Hold for 30 seconds and return to the initial position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times.


Important tip: You could perform this exercise by aligning your back to a wall for bettered support and improved stability.



#7 Static Lunge


Add this isometric stretching exercise to your workout program to develop the quads, hamstrings and the glutes. Additionally, it is extremely effective in toning the lower back and aids in relieving lower back pain.



Instructions:


Step 1: Stand straight and hold dumbbells in both the hands. The arms should be straight and parallel to the torso throughout the entire duration of the exercise.


Step 2: Put your right leg forward while bending the left leg until the knee almost touches the floor. Keep in mind that the knee should not actually touch the floor.


Step 3: Hold for 30 seconds and repeat the same motion on the other side.

Perform the exercise for the recommended number of times.


Important tip: Do not take a large initial step as it makes it very difficult to maintain balance during the workout.



#8 Calf Raise


Strong calf muscles reduce the risk of knee injuries and aid in improving the vertical lift.

The calf raise is a great isometric workout that precisely targets the calf muscles for stronger legs and enhanced overall balance.



Instructions:


Step 1: Stand straight with feet placed close together. Ensure that the hips, knees and ankles are in a straight line and perpendicular to the floor. Place your heels on a slightly elevated platform while positioning the toes on the floor.


Step 2: Slowly raise your heels by pressing the balls of the foot downwards. Aid the upward movement by moving the abdominal muscles upwards while avoiding any unnecessary movement.


Step 3: Hold for 30 seconds and return to the starting position.

Perform the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions.


Important tip: Perform this exercise by using a weighted vest for added resistance and improved customisability.

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