How to do fitness without moving your muscles: why isometric exercises are useful

By Jurassic JennApr 30, 2024 17:35 PMFitness
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How to do fitness without moving your muscles
How to do fitness without moving your muscles. Source: www.fitmyday.com.au

The challenge of isometric exercises is to activate the muscles while maintaining a certain fixed posture for a certain amount of time. In other words, the muscles work, but remain stationary.

In this regard, SSPDaily writes: "Try to get into the end position of a squat as if you were frozen. Does it seem easy to you? Hold it for 30 seconds. You may not feel anything at first, but eventually your legs and glutes will notice, and if you do it long enough, you may even feel pain."

Examples of isometric exercises include planks, wall squats, or isometric holds. But they not only strengthen muscles, but also improve stability and balance, and help rehabilitate some injuries.

According to recent research, it is ideal to perform these exercises three times a week. Here are some examples that you can incorporate into your weekly workout:

Forearm plank

The isometric abdominal plank is the most popular. Lie face down, keeping your body completely straight. The only points of support on the ground will be your feet and hands or elbows. Keep your body straight throughout the exercise. To do this, contract your abdominal wall - this will help you avoid arching your back. It is the abdominal part that you will have to work on in this exercise.

Tip: If you lean on your palms and extend your arms and toes, the exercise will be more difficult. On the other hand, if you lean on your elbows and knees, the exercise will be easier and it's a good way to start.

Side plank

This is a variation of the traditional plank. The technique is the same, but this time you should stand sideways. The points of support will be the elbow and forearm on the side that is closer to the ground and the foot that is glued to the ground. In this pose, we will use the action of the body to keep the body in a straight position. Both legs should remain fully together, and the arm that is not resting on the ground should be parallel to the body.

Isometric push-ups

We will change muscle groups, in particular, we will focus on the chest. The position is similar to regular push-ups or bends. That is, we look at the ground, the body is straight, and we lean on the tips of our feet and palms.

In this case, instead of lifting and lowering, place your hands a little further than shoulder-width apart and lift yourself a little more than halfway up. In this position, you should remain motionless, keeping your body straight. The exercise directly affects the pectoral muscles.

Lunge or static lunge

Step forward with one foot and lower your body so that both knees form a 90-degree angle. Hold for a certain period of time.

Squats against the wall

Stand with your back to the wall and lower yourself into a sitting position as if you were on an invisible chair. Stay in this position with your thighs parallel to the floor for a certain time to achieve high tension in this part of the body.

Classic squat

Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Perform a triple bend of the hips, knees, and ankles at the same time, making a movement similar to sitting in a chair. Keep your spine straight, your knees in line with your hips and ankles, not allowing them to come together, and look forward. Keep your abdominals tight while doing the exercise.

Squats and all their varieties are a very comprehensive exercise that allows you to globally tone the muscles of the legs and necessarily includes stabilizing muscles (body and cardiovascular system).

What not to do? It is not necessary to go down to the ground. It is recommended to at least bring the hip and knee flexion to 90º. Similarly, you should avoid taking your heels off the floor.

This is a clear sign that you are unconsciously shifting your weight too far forward, which increases joint tension in the knees and calf muscle tension, increasing the risk of injury. In addition, you should avoid bringing your feet together, separating them, and leaning forward.

Tip: This exercise can be performed simply with your own body weight or with the use of special devices (dumbbells, barbell).

Hip bridge

Lying on the floor in a face-up position, bend your knees so that the soles of your feet are at arm's length from your buttocks. Next, you need to raise your hips so that your shoulders are in line with your hips and your knees form a diagonal. Once you get used to this exercise without external load, you can start including external elements that increase its intensity - a kettlebell, a disk, a dumbbell.

This exercise allows you to work the gluteal muscles (especially the gluteus maximus and hamstrings), the back of the legs, and the abdominals and core muscles in the background.

What should not be done? The legs should not be offset and should remain in line with the hips. The soles of your feet should be at arm's length from your buttocks, as the closer you are, the more difficult the movement is, which is useful for its performance.

Do not close your knees as this will make it difficult to lift your hips. Remember to contract the abdominal and buttock muscles when lifting the hips, because by contracting the abdominal muscles, we protect the lower back, and in the case of the buttocks, their contraction helps to lift the pelvis. This leads to alignment and creates an ideal position for better working this area of the body.

Tip: Once you have mastered this technique, it is ideal to strengthen your hip raises even more. To do this, you will need a bench or special equipment to support your back. Starting position - stretching face up with your shoulder blades resting on a bench or special equipment, align your knees (bent) with your hips and shoulders, and the soles of your feet with good support on the floor. Finally, keeping the weight above the hips, we perform an extension to lift the weight.

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