Hold Your Body Still and Squeeze Tightly!
Isometric exercises are performed by contracting your muscles as tightly as you can. These exercises work your muscles without you having to move much at all. The muscle length remains the same for the duration of the hold. They are a great low impact, exercise format for building strength. Just remember to breathe deeply throughout the move. A lot of people automatically hold their breath during isometric exercises and feel faint afterwards!
Benefits of Isometric Exercises
- Strengthen muscles: This is a muscle building form of fitness; my favourite exercise type. Strong muscles are so important for toning and weight loss, increasing energy levels and strengthening bones.
- Little joint stress: These exercises are a lot less strain on your body than lifting weights at the gym. You can perform many of them sitting or lying down.
- Do them anywhere: Save time by performing isometric exercises at home while watching TV, or even in the office at your desk since they aren’t noticeable.
- Good for any fitness level: Beginners or experts will experience benefits and a challenge from this exercise format. I’ve had clients from all fitness levels feel a significant muscle burn during isometric holds.
- Take little time to complete. These exercises are effective muscle burners in a minute or less.
Examples of Isometric Exercises
You are probably already completing some isometric holds in your exercise routines. Planks, Airplane Holds and Glute Bridge Squeezes are examples of isometric exercises. Another really good isometric hold exercise is the Chest Press that I’ve demonstrated here.
To Sum it up…
If you’re looking for a low impact exercise style that will build your muscles and can be performed anywhere, isometric exercises are for you. Just stop moving and squeeze the muscle group you want to exercise tightly, and remember to breathe. Isometric holds are a great low impact, exercise format for increasing strength. Which ones to do prefer?