SEARCH BLOG POSTS
Introduction to Isometric Exercises
Curious about isometric workouts? Here’s everything you need to know, from the advantages of isometric exercise to ways to try it yourself. Your friends at Jack City know what’s up!
Isometric exercises have long been utilized by athletes and are highly regarded for their ability to maintain—and even improve—strength and increase physical stability. As a bonus, you can perform them practically anywhere!
If you’ve never explored the world of isometric workouts, read on. At Jack City Fitness, we’re well-versed in the many isometric exercise benefits and can help you perform them yourself. Check out our primer on isometric training, complete with beginner exercises. To try them out IRL, head over to our Boise fitness center—we’re open 24 hours a day and have an amazing crew of coaches to ensure your form is on point.
What Is Isometric Exercise?
Isometric exercises rely on muscle contraction while holding one static position. A great example is the plank, where athletes hold their body in a straight line while in a push-up-type pose. Just as there are several important benefits of planking, there are many advantages of isometric exercise.
While isometric exercise is a fantastic tool for many athletes, it’s not for everybody. If you have a pre-existing health condition, particularly a cardiovascular-related one like high blood pressure, it’s best to chat with your doctor before engaging in isometric training. We also recommend that anyone currently pregnant check in with a medical professional before starting these workouts.
Isometric Exercise Benefits
There are many advantages of isometric exercise. The following are some of the most important to know:
1) Healthier Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that isometric exercises can impact your blood pressure. These studies indicate that isometric training can reduce blood pressure and help maintain that lower number. However, as we mentioned previously, athletes with high blood pressure should seek medical advice before trying isometric exercise. This is also true for anybody with a heart condition of any kind.
2) Increased Physical Stability
Looking to improve your levels of stability? It’s time to try some isometric exercises. These workouts are a great way to hone your core strength and stability and strengthen your joints.
3) Muscle Maintenance Post-Injury
If you’ve recently experienced an injury, isometric exercises might provide a way to help your recovery process. In fact, isometric workouts are often used in physical therapy (PT) and post-injury clinics for recovery training and strength maintenance.
Following an injury, it can be difficult or impossible to exercise as normal. This can cause disuse atrophy or strength loss as a result of not using your muscles enough. Isometric training can combat this unfortunate side effect of physical trauma. When athletes cannot move their muscles as normal, contracting them through isometric exercise can help maintain muscle strength until they are recovered enough to resume their regular workout routines.
4) Arthritis Care
Isometric exercises are often used to treat some symptoms of arthritis, again thanks to their static nature. While many workouts can be painful or unsafe for athletes with arthritis, isometric exercises can still be utilized. Since they require muscle contractions rather than movement, isometric workouts enable those with arthritis to maintain and even build some muscular strength.
In some cases, practicing isometric exercises can eventually lead to increased success with motion-based strength training.
Isometric Exercise Examples
There are all types of isometric workouts for athletes to try. Their effectiveness will depend on your personal goals and physical background.
Some of the most popular isometric exercise examples include:
While the surreal days of “planking” as a meme may have ended a decade ago, this workout is still an incredibly popular exercise choice for athletes of all kinds. They are a classic isometric workout, and can be performed practically anywhere…as proved by the aforementioned 2012 viral trend!
There are other varieties of plank that fall into the category of isometric exercise, like side planks.
2) Wall Sits
Wall sits are no joke! This workout involves holding a seated position against a wall. It actively engages all of your thigh muscles, particularly the quads. This particular exercise can feel quite intense—your legs will definitely be tired after wall sits!
We recommend working with a trainer when you start smashing out wall sits, so they can help ensure that your placement is correct and that you are breathing properly.
A bridge, or a glute bridge, is a great way to maintain core, glute, and hamstring strength. It involves laying on your back and using arms and legs to push your pelvis and torso upwards. As the name suggests, this form of isometric exercise evokes the shape of a bridge when performed correctly. It also doesn’t require any equipment, though many athletes prefer using a yoga mat to perform a bridge.
Once you nail a bridge, there’s no looking back! However, we recommend that first-timers try a bridge for the first time with the help of a fitness coach. They’ll make sure that your form is safe and correct.
4) Held Squats
We love squats! They are such a versatile workout; squats can be performed literally anywhere and can be adapted to suit all sorts of workout styles, isometrics included. By holding a squat pose for an extended period (we’d recommend anywhere between 10-30 seconds at a time), you’ll be engaging in a straightforward form of isometric exercise. It’s a great way to maintain strength in your quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
Frequently Asked Questions About Isometric Training
What Are Good Isometric Exercises for Beginners?
Most isometric exercises are ideal for beginners as long as they’re alongside an experienced fitness coach or trainer. Your coach will be able to take your unique physique and fitness background into consideration when helping you choose routines that are appropriate for your goals and needs. They’ll also ensure that your form and technique are correct, making your first time with isometrics both safer and more efficient.
Can My Whole Workout Routine Be Isometric?
No. While isometric workouts make for a fantastic overall training tool, they can’t be a full way of life. While isometric training is great for increasing stability and maintaining strength, it can’t help with other major athletic performance necessities, like speed or even building much power.
It’s much better to include isometric exercises as one facet of your overall workout routine. We recommend working with your personal fitness coach to develop a balanced plan that includes both isometric and non-static workouts that you love.
Have Any Famous Athletes Recommended Isometric Training?
Isometric exercises are often incorporated into elite training—and many famous athletes swear by this technique. This is nothing new! In fact, the legendary martial artist Bruce Lee was famously an isometric enthusiast. He apparently practiced an isometric workout routine several times a week.
Try Your Isometric Workout Routine at Jack City Fitness!
At Jack City Fitness, we have everything that athletes need to meet all their goals, whether that’s arthritis pain relief, becoming a master weightlifter, or achieving peak physique with the help of a personal training plan. Our doors are open 24/7 to Partners, and we’re stocked with all the latest fitness equipment and elite training to ensure that every athlete on our team succeeds. Come and see for yourself today!
Call (208) 999-1111 today to schedule your FREE fitness consultation with the Jack City team. If you like what you see, you can join us straightaway and start smashing your goals.
We can’t wait to meet you!