Bodybuilding experts and those who are regular at gyms must be knowing what isometric exercises are. For those who don't, isometric exercises are those where there is a contraction of a muscle without any change in the joint angle and the muscle length. These exercises are either done in static positions opposed by resistance, or the joints and muscles are worked against a stationary force. The former is known as overcoming isometric and the latter is called yielding isometric.
Examples of Isometric Exercises
These exercises are useful for strength conditioning. They are also used in cases where muscle rehabilitation and strengthening sans unnecessary pressure is required. There are basically two types of isometric exercises: where you push or pull against an immovable object, and where a weight is held steady without moving it.
The first exercise is called the plank bridge and is a full body exercise. This does not require any equipment.
- Lie with your face down on the ground, and place your elbows and forearms beneath your chest.
- Lift yourself up to form a bridge with the support of your forearms and toes.
- Your back has to be flat and your hips should not sag towards the ground.
- Be in this position for 10-30 seconds, or till you can maintain a flat bridge.
This exercise which is a part of isometric exercises for legs.
- Stand next to a bed that is around 18 inches high.
- Face away from the bed with the back of your legs against the side of the bed.
- Now bend the right leg and then rest it on the bed, which is behind you.
- At this juncture your upper leg has to point straight down, and your knee has to be bent to roughly 90 degrees.
- Simultaneously, your lower leg has to rest on the bed, parallel to the floor.
- Finally, push your right leg in the bed as powerfully as possible and hold for 10-30 seconds.
To do this, you need just one piece of equipment: dumbbells. Grab the dumbbells-one in each hand-and then hold your arms straight out on your sides. If possible, hold this position for around 6 to 8 seconds. Follow that by slowly dropping the arms to your sides. That's it! This is what you need to do for getting toned shoulders and arms.
If you are looking at working on your chest muscles, this exercise is perfect.
- Start with your arms bent and hands together in front.
- Now breathe in counting to 4. After you reach that 4-second mark, gradually exhale as you keep pressing your hands together applying maximum pressure for around 10 seconds.
- Clench your teeth and let out a sound resembling 'sssss' while the air goes out through your mouth.
- After you get to 10 seconds slowly release the pressure from your hands, and make sure you are breathing deeply.
With sedentary lifestyles and working on computers for most part of the day, our necks become stiff. This exercise will loosen out your neck and make the neck muscles strong.
- Stand straight with your feet hip distance apart and toes pointing forwards.
- Keep your knees slightly bent and your abs tucked in firmly.
- Now tilt your head straight back as much as possible.
- Place your hands on your forehead and interlock your fingers.
- Gradually bring your head forward as if you are trying to touch your chest with your chin, resisting with your hands and arms.
- Create tension in the neck muscles as you inhale for 3-4 seconds.
- Let your neck be completely tensed and push your head forward to your chest as hard as you can, simultaneously resisting with your arms and exhaling for 7-12 seconds.
Doing this exercise will make your neck muscles stronger and they will be less strained as a result of the daily work pressure.
Along with these, some very common activities involving isometric muscle contraction are climbing, mountain biking, motocross, Judo, wrestling, alpine skiing, shooting, gymnastics, some body weight exercises, and horseback riding.