Isometric Exercises -
A Proven Fitness Workout
Isometric Exercises have been around for centuries and they are an incredible type of body weight training.
To perform isometric exercise movement you must not change the angle of the joint or the length of the muscle during the muscular contraction.
For example, if you were watching someone performing an isometric routine, it would appear to you as if they were doing nothing at all. Just standing there. However, the truth is that what they are doing is actually one of the few scientifically proven exercise protocols that if performed correctly will dramatically increase your strength and power. And the beautiful part is that it doesn’t require a great deal of your time.
That’s what has made isometric exercises so popular with power lifters and bodybuilders.
Brief History of Isometrics
As mentioned earlier, isometric exercises have been used for centuries.
The first recorded use of isometric exercises and training was in yoga & martial arts. The Buddhist monks utilized isometric exercises to increase their strength for martial arts training.
Building strength through a static movement incorporating a muscular hold was also used by the yogis in India, centuries ago.
In recent times, isometrics has had its proponents.
For example, Alexander Zass who was called the … “Amazing Samson”, used isometrics while a prisoner of war during World War I, to achieve his incredible physique.
Later on, he was a huge advocate of isometric training.
Isometric Exercises 99 Pound Weakling Does Good
Charles Atlas, who in reality is NOT the “King of Isometrics” however, he did use isometric holds and incorporated them into his “Dynamic Tension” muscle building course.
Enter the Bodybuilding Dragon
Of course, as you probably know the late, great martial artist… Bruce Lee used isometrics for the majority of his training program. Especially, after he injured himself while exercising with free weights.
Bruce Lee’s training program always used isometrics because isometric exercise is part of his original martial arts style, Wing Chun Gung Fu.
Prior to incorporating free weights into his workouts, he used various isometric and body weight exercises.
After the weight training accident, Bruce began to look for workouts that would not stress the joints or muscles. He began to create and use a variety of different training apparatus and gizmo’s.
The Dawn of Isometric Exercise Equipment
One of them was called the Tensolator. Today there are several reincarnations of this device. Some that come to mind are the Bully Xtreme 3, Everlast Power Bow, and ISO7X. All these pieces of isometric training equipment share one thing in common and that is that they use isometric exercises as the core of their result producing exercise program.
Better than Lifting Weights
The major benefit that isometrics has above traditional exercises, such as weight lifting is a result of the “synapse effect”. It describes the truth that one’s body just uses the minimal quantity of muscle fibers it has to at one time.
Whenever you do an exercise like the bench press, your muscles only recruit the maximum muscle fibers to be used, for a small fraction of a second. To build strength you must recruit as many muscle fibers as you can in the exercise movement.
In an isometric routine the muscle recruits the maximum muscle fibers and uses them up to 10 seconds or greater (This depends on what type of isometric training program you are following.)
It’s because of this reason and this reason alone that isometric exercise is considered the best way to make dramatic increases in strength.
The truth is that this was proved by Doctors Hettinger and Mueller at the world-famous Max Planck Institute, in Germany, back in the 1950s. However, we will talk more about that later.
How to Quickly Increase Your Lean Muscle Mass
Utilizing an exercise protocol that makes use of repetitions and sets along with isometric static holds will produce greater results than any freehand isometric exercise or body weight training.
The problem with just free hand isometrics is that the body becomes accustomed to the amount of resistance that you are applying. Your muscles are designed to adapt to stress and if you are using the same weight or just doing more repetitions the body will respond by not increasing your strength or muscle size but merely by increasing your muscular endurance.
That’s why most militaries utilize bodyweight exercises. And of course, there have you perform a great deal of repetitions. For example, they will have you doing 500 to 600 push-ups per day and that’s the same thing with sit-ups, jumping jacks etc.
The goal for a military unit is not just merely muscular strength; they are looking for muscular endurance. Why? Because if you have to lug around a 20 pound weapon and 50 pound rucksack all day — you need muscular endurance!
Fortunately, most of us today don’t need that type of muscular endurance but what we all want is a flat stomach, a well-toned and attractive body.
Isometric Exercises – Combats Weak Bones
For men or women who experience osteoporosis this type of exercising is superb. They will help you to increase the density and hardness in your bones. We all know that we should be very careful about bone loss. Especially if you’re a woman!
Isometrics unlike most other forms of exercise actually “teaches your muscles” to recruit more muscle fibers for each movement. Thereby, allowing you to build muscle more effectively.
Isometric Training Reduces the Risk of Injury
Of all the exercise routines you can perform, isometric exercising is certainly the safest. It does not utilize any kind of difficult motions. It doesn’t require any weight bearing devices so; it’s a good fit for everyone.
Isometric Strength Training – Strongman Secrets of Building Strength
As mentioned earlier Alexander Zass, who is considered the father of isometrics, came to popularity. These were the days of the circus strongman and Zass was the… Amazing Samson.
He could bend steel; rip phonebooks apart with his bare hands and shatter chains wrapped around his chest.
Many of the strongman utilized isometric exercise as part of their workout program. To this day Olympic weight lifters incorporate isometrics into their power lifting routines. One thing that stands out is that isometric training can be incorporated in just about any workout program.
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