Benefits of an Isometric Exercise Routine
Isometrics really work and that is what it is all about. It allows you to specifically choose a muscle group and focus on that. It contracts your muscles stronger than any other kind of exercise, even more than strength training and weight lifting, because those require movement.
Another great benefit is the fact that an isometric workout is really cheap. You don’t have to be a member of a gym and you don’t need any equipment or machines. All you need is walls, floors and your body.
Isometrics for weight loss also work because they are quick and easy to do. You can do it anywhere you want and just use your spare time to do it. Not everybody has the time to fit a full workout into their daily routine. Just take a few minutes here and there whenever you have the time and benefit from a full workout throughout the day.
Drawbacks of Isometric Exercise
There are two reasons why isometrics lost popularity. Firstly, it is because bodybuilding became far more popular. Secondly, there are a few drawbacks to it as well. There are two main drawbacks, which are:
1. They raise your blood pressure. This is because you generally hold your breath as you are doing an isometric exercise. As a result, your blood pressure will jump, which can be dangerous. So, if you do want to do these exercises, make sure you watch your breathing.
2. It is very specific. Bodybuilding works through a range of motions and movements, whereas isometrics only look at a specific body part each time. If you want to have the same effects as bodybuilding, you have to do the same exercise in lots of different positions, working on different angles.
To Isometric or not to Isometric?
The reality is that if you can overcome these two drawbacks, you should actually take part in isometrics for weight loss and muscle building. Adding them to your existing routine is a great option.
For instance, if you have a few spare minutes at work, you can do a few simple exercises at work. Don’t have a coffee break, but do a few exercises instead. You can use your desk or the walls of the office. In fact, you can do both and use the wall of the kitchenette whilst your coffee is getting brewed!
You could also combine isometrics with modern equipment. Because bodybuilding evolved from the isometric workout, you can combine the two a little bit. Add some resistance bands or free weights to your routine, but use them stagnantly rather than in motion. Try to mix both of the options up as much as possible. For instance, do a couple of weight lifting reps and then hold the weight for as long as possible on your last rep.
Some examples of popular isometric exercises are chest presses, push ups, calf raises and planks. These do not replace bodybuilding, but they can certainly be beneficial in terms of toning up or losing weight. You will notice your body improving quite rapidly.