Calorie and Energy Expenditure Information
Isometric Training Workout
What is Isometric Exercise?
Isometric training is the sustained contraction of a muscle over a certain period of time. Isometric exercises are a type of resistance exercise in which a force is applied to a resistant object, (as in, say, arm wrestling) causing muscle contractions during which the length of the muscle doesn't alter. Although there is a build up of tension in the muscles there is no actual movement. Isometric exercises may be included in fitness programs for muscle strengthening.
How Long Must Muscle Tension Be Maintained in Isometric Exercises?
For optimal muscle-strengthening, you should apply and maintain the muscle tension in any one exercise for 6-10 seconds. The exercise may then be repeated 5-10 times, each time ensuring maximum muscular exertion. Note that an isometric exercise only increases muscle strength at one joint angle. Differing exercises are needed to strengthen other joint positions.
How to Do a Basic Isometric Exercise?
Find an immoveable object, like a wall. Push against it with your arms, for 10 seconds. You can feel the rise in muscle tension. After 10 seconds, relax. Take a 30-second break and repeat five times.
Muscle Strength Gains from Isometric Resistance Training
Isometrics is nothing new, although some extraordinary results in muscle size and strength have been achieved in a very short period of time with this type of training. For example, in one fitness study (Muller and Hettinger, 1954), one 6 second isometric contraction at two-thirds maximum performed once each day for five days was sufficient for 5 percent strength gain per week. However, other isometric strength-training studies indicate that although muscle-strength gains are possible from isometric contraction, such gains are minimal and are only at the specific angle at which the exercise is performed.
Warning About Isometric Health Dangers!
The extreme physical exertion of isometric exercise causes considerable internal pressure both within the muscles themselves and in the abdominal and thoracic cavities. Isometric exercise can increase blood pressure and heart rate to levels that are dangerous for anyone with undiagnosed cardiac problems. Please consult your doctor before attempting any isometric exercise.
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