What Are Isometric Exercises?

You're familiar with fast, high-intensity cardio…(At least I hope you are. 😉 ) Pump it, move it, work it! But what about other workouts for other purposes? Today I'm going to tell you all about isometric exercises…something you should DEFINITELY add to your routine!

isometric exercises

So first of all, what the heck does "isometric" mean? Basically, it refers to any exercise where you tense a muscle without lengthening or shortening it.

You see, with most exercises, either cardio or strength training, you contract and expand the muscles. A really easy example to visualize is bicep curls. When you raise up the dumbbell, you shorten your bicep, and then as you lower it, it lengthens, and this strengthens what's called your fast-twitch muscles.

But, when you just keep a muscle very tense without lengthening or shortening, you get a different type of exercise altogether.

With these isometric exercises, you strengthen what's called the slow-twitch muscles instead. These are more associated with endurance than with power or speed (the way fast-twitch muscle exercises are).

But, probably more importantly to you, you can use isometric exercises to TARGET and enlarge certain muscle groups…like ABS…Woohoo!

Today I'm going to give you a bunch of examples of isometric exercises…Plus, a very SPECIAL new isometric exercise that YOU are going to be one of the first to know about!

Now, here are a bunch of examples that will allow you to target specific muscle groups:

– Wall sit: Be about a foot away from the wall and lean your back on it. Then, sit down to a 90-degree angle. Hurts your thighs, doesn't it? Keep this pose for at least 15 seconds, rest, and repeat. You can easily get some beautiful quads from doing this, and plus gain ENDURANCE for running!

– Planks, planks, planks! First off, you DON'T need any equipment for this, but I recommend a towel or yoga mat to lay your elbows on…Since you're going to be laying down here a while!! 😉As you probably know, with a plank you're on the ground on your stomach, then raise yourself up on your forearms and your toes…AND HOLD! Clench your booty so it's easier to keep your hips in a straight line and the butt doesn't start sinking to the ground. This exercise is AWESOME for your core…Especially if you consider that: (1) You're not hurting your back the way you do with crunches; and (2) You're working a different set of ab muscles by holding them tense with isometric exercises, than you do with exercises that expand/contract the abdominals. If you really want a full flat stomach, defined abs look, you should be doing BOTH types!!

– Another easy isometric exercise is glute bridges! All you have to do is lay on your back with knees bent, then raise your hips, and the most important thing is that you keep your glutes clenched. This is not only a great way to work some vital slow-twitch muscles that will improve your form during running and other types of cardio, but it is one of the best and easiest ways to get a booty!
So how long do you hold this bridge with glutes clenched? At least 30 seconds. And don't let those hips sink either, as your glutes get tired. It's just like with planks…It doesn't count as the full time unless your hips are in alignment, and you're not letting them off easy!! 😉

Speaking of things being rewarding but not easy…

December 2nd is the full release of Beachbody Barre Blend!!

Chances are you're reading this after December 2nd, and so you should definitely send me a message and join me on this awesome isometric exercise. Combine ballet barre exercise…of course known for giving ballet dancers their lean, toned figures…with pilates and yoga!

These exercises will strengthen your core and really challenge you not only physically but mentally, as you use muscles you've never used before, and as you keep yourself CLENCHED in ways you've never thought to before!! 😉