Strengthen Muscles Without Moving
By Tom Herrin
Most of the time, when people think about building muscles or working out, they think about movement that will support such activities. Whether they are runners, weightlifters, or group exercise enthusiasts, they feel that moving is a vital part of working out. For the most part, it is true, but it is not the only way to work the muscles. Years ago, isometric exercises were quite popular. They seemed to have lost much of that over time. As people have become more aware of the role that many different kinds of exercises can play in health, isometrics have made a little bit of a comeback. As opposed to isotonic exercise, which involves movement such as lifting weights, isometric exercises work by stressing muscles while having no movement.
It May Strengthen Muscles
When people do isometrics, they are working against something that is immovable. They are making the muscles contract as if they are working, but they cannot. The muscles still gain strength from the exercise due to the contraction effort. This can build muscles because of the increased tension. Apparently the longer muscles are tensed, the lower the blood flow is. This helps the muscles to grow. The longer the contractions are held, the greater the muscle mass.
It May Improve Flexibility
Isometrics can be really effective in increasing flexibility. Exercises such as squats are considered to be isometric when people hold at various levels. Gravity is working to test the muscles as they work. Going lower can tax them even more by stretching them. Working the muscles in this way has shown to be successful in helping them to gain greater flexibility.
It Can Be Convenient
While many times workouts must be scheduled, using isometrics can take advantage of little time and space. With virtually no movement, isometrics can be done in a space not much larger than a person. I used isometrics years ago with reasonably good success. It was a great way to get a decent workout in only a few minutes. You can isolate the area that you want to work on. You can use a small space to do so. The results actually come relatively fast. If you are wanting to improve your health in cramped time and space, try a few isometrics. You are likely to be pleased with the results.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Newnan, Ga.