Isometric exercise is a unique kind of exercises that builds muscle while your muscles remain static. Isometrics involve tensing and flexing the muscle in a controlled fashion while maintaining an even breathing pattern. This type of exercise is great for those folks with limited time or space because many isometric exercises can be performed in 15 minutes in the comfort of your home.
Lie flat on your back on the floor. Bend your knees, placing your feet flat. Breathe slowly in and out. Tighten the stomach muscles, and slowly press the small of your back into the floor. Hold this position for eight seconds. Release, relax and repeat this exercises 10 times.
Vary the Step 1 exercise by curling your upper body off the floor when you contract your stomach muscles. Don’t lift from the neck, but rather with the shoulders. Hold for a count of 6. Release and uncurl back to a flat back position on the floor. Repeat 10 times.
Lie flat on the floor, face down. Raise yourself up on your forearms and toes, almost in a bridge like position. Tighten the stomach muscles while keeping your back flat and your head positioned between your shoulders. Hold this position for 20 seconds, breathing in and out. Repeat this challenging exercise 4 times.
Lie flat on your back with arms at the sides. Lift both legs up until the shins are parallel to the floor. Tighten the stomach muscles, and hold this position for eight seconds while breathing evenly throughout. Release by lowering the feet to the floor. Repeat 10 times.
Breathe throughout each exercise. It’s difficult but very necessary to get the best results from any isometric exercise. Don’t gasp. Aim for slow, measured breathing.
Tips & Warnings
- Isometric exercise is most effective when paired with a cardiovascular routine.
- Those with heart disease or high blood pressure should not perform isometric exercises. Blood pressure increases substantially during contraction of the muscles making performing these exercises very dangerous for those with the above conditions.
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