Why You Should Try Isometric Exercises
According to Wikipedia, “An isometric exercise is a form of exercise involving the static contraction of a muscle without any visible movement in the angle of the joint.” To put it in layman’s terms, instead of performing reps, in an isometric exercise, you hold your position for a given amount of time.
Chain-and-bar, planks, wall sits, glute holds and some yoga poses are examples of isometric exercises. In isometric exercises, your muscles are flexed, but they’re not expanding or compressing. It’s a stagnant way of placing a demand on the desired muscles.
It’s a common misconception that isometric exercises are just for building abs. Apart from the planks, you could do many types of exercises using the chair-and-bar equipment and the resistance bands.
According to a study performed using computerized tomography, it was found that isometric exercises can help build muscle mass just as well as conventional exercises. Iso exercises are the ultimate time-under-tension method and promote optimal hypertrophy.
If your goal is to get strong like a bull, you should make heavy isometric lifts a part of your training routine. The heavier the loads you can use, safely, the closer you can get to your maximum strength potential.
If you haven’t tried the isometric strength exercises before, they are nothing like the orthodox exercises where the tension on your muscles is limited to the point of contraction. While performing the iso movements, your muscles will be filled with blood and lactic acid.
Since there is no repeated stress on your joints in the isometric lifts, your joints are saved from the pounding they otherwise get in exercises like the squats, deadlifts, bicep curls, etc.
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Trains The Cardiovascular System Like Yoga
A study shows that individuals performing isometric exercises three times per week over eight weeks saw their systolic pressure drop by 12.5 points, and their diastolic plunge by a huge 14.9 points—that’s nearly two points per week, a potentially life-saving drop.
Torches Body Fat
Most people believe that isometric exercises don’t burn fat since you’re not moving while performing the lift. On the contrary, a study published in The Journal of Applied Research showed subjects reducing enough belly size in the first two weeks of isometric training to drop one dress or pant size. By the end of four weeks, some subjects had lost over 22 pounds in weight.
Makes You Fast and Explosive
You need to use heavy weights to train the fast-twitch muscle fibers. As a result, isometrics powerfully tap into the fast-twitch fibers. Even though you’re not moving, isometrics make you fast. Improvement in strength and speed will automatically make you explosive.
You recover faster from isometrics than conventional exercises as there aren’t many moving parts involved. As an example, while athletes might need a couple of days for recovering from a heavy deadlift session, they can recover fully from super-heavy isometrics in a matter of minutes.
Are Quick, Efficient, And Convenient
Isometric exercises are probably the most efficient form of resistance training. You could train all your muscles with minimal equipment, in a short period, and without the risk of incorrect form.
Do you use isometric exercises in your workouts? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.