Isometric training is highly encouraged by many professionals, as it provides a safer environment for your joints as far as preventing injury and really tuning into how certain areas of the body are feeling during the given exercise. I imagine you have all heard of the exercise called “the plank”! The entire world turned it into a trend called “planking” and a Beijing, China police officer held a plank for 8 hours, 1 minute and 1 second earlier this month. The plank is an isometric exercise requiring the use of almost every muscle in the human body.
Isometric exercises keep the muscles at the same (iso-) length (-metric) as it is performed. “Isometrics of submaximal intensity find application in injury rehab. Injuries to bones or ligaments or some other structure of the joint can benefit from strengthening the musculature around the joint.”(1) By performing isometric exercises, your body will gain strength in the most important areas of the muscle that will attribute to greater success in other disciplines, including bodybuilding, dance, cycling, martial arts, gymnastics, running and many, many others!
Holding an isometric contraction or even a slowly performed exercise (such as a 4 count chest press) will recruit more blood and oxygen to the area(s) of the body being utilized. A plank gets the entire body warm, whereas a push-up hold may burn the triceps and a squat hold or wall sit may burn your butt! Most of my clients have experienced the overflowing joy that runneth over when holding a wall sit then going straight into burpees or jump squats. Using this format for your exercise routines will provide the most benefit in the shortest amount of time. Now if you are training for an endurance event, isometrics will help in preventing injury during prolonged use! So it’s great for everybody!
I found myself working out WAY too hard and tearing my body up to where it just hurt all the time. It didn’t hurt from muscle soreness, but from muscle damage that was never getting the reparation time it needed. So I pulled back and focused on yoga to tune back into my body. As you embark on your health and fitness journey, take the time to listen to your body and see if it needs your special attention in any area and perform some isometric exercises and stretches for some TLC. I always have at least one day a week that I pull back for yoga amidst my kick-butt training for my figure competition in October.
Below you will find the awesome article I cited about the importance of isometric exercises, the video marking the Guinness World Record holder in China, as well as my link to learn about exogenous ketones help with the free radicals that take over the body with excessive metabolic damage. All of these resources will help you learn what YOUR body needs and tailor it to YOUR needs. If you need anything, please holler! (Use a megaphone if you need to!)
- World Record: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlmasKNrbjU
- KETO//OS Exogenous Ketones: cj1005.pruvitnow.com