Developing Leaner Muscles with Isometric Exercises

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Isometric exercise, also known as static strength training is a type exercise program involving muscular actions with no change over the length of the muscles. The word “isometric” is derived from the Greek root words, “is” meaning equal and “metric” which means measured. Essentially, any muscular action you do in this training won’t require you to move your joints. You could be pushing, co-contracting or pulling, but there will be zero visible movement in the joint during contraction.

Contraction refers to muscle stretching. The general length of the muscles itself remain static while activating the muscle spindles.

Can Isometric Exercise Build Strength?

Yes, it can. It’s one of the most effective training to develop stronger muscles. Isometric training is typically used to build general strength, improve body conditioning and speed up muscle recovery. This exercise program is designed for muscle power without placing stress on the joints. Isometric training  is best for those who want to target a specific group of muscles to tone. If say, you are a wrestler or a mixed martial arts expert, key parts of the body have to be toned to build strength. This training will help you do that.

Who Will Benefit From Isometric Exercise?

Those who engage in extreme sports usually do isometric exercises to keep their muscles strong and flexible. But even those who don’t engage in extreme sports will benefit from this fitness program as well. Isometric exercise is perfect for people with various skill levels. It’s low impact, it stabilizes muscles and joints. There’s less likelihood of an injury and it’s time efficient. Best of all, you can target larger muscle groups with just single reps! This simplifies your fitness routine and prevents fatigue.

Some types of isometric exercises are designed for newbies. These exercises will involve routines that are easier to maintain on a static body position. Those who are new to isometric exercise should only work on a single muscle group first. Gradually, you can move on to more advanced training. For those looking for more advanced isometric exercises, working out different muscle groups at once builds intensity. There are isometric exercises that will target various muscle groups at the same time. This helps tone, strengthen and build muscles, achieving definition and power.

Should You Start Isometric Training?

This will depend on your fitness goals or the exercise program you are in. Different people have different built and fitness history. For instance, there are those who are just recovering from a shoulder injury or surgery. For folks recovering from injuries, low impact exercises – including isometric training – is the best choice.

Low impact exercises do not put enormous stress on the joints. It also cuts the risk of worsening the injury. For active individuals who engage in sports like surfing or wakeboarding, stepping up the level of intensity in isometric helps engage the core. When the core is toned, the body is more stable. This allows better balance on the board. Those working out to achieve chiseled abs, you’re better using other high-intensity exercises to achieve the desired results.

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