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Isometric Exercises to Perform at Home

written by: lizblackwood • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 4/20/2011

At home isometric exercises allow you to build strength without building bulky muscles. This exercise sequence targets many different muscle groups, including abdominals, shoulders, back, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.

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    What Are Isometric Exercises?

    At home isometric exercises allow you to build strength without building bulky muscles. Essentially, isometric exercises are static exercises in which your joints do not move. They require no additional exercise equipment and take only a few minutes to perform. This exercise sequence targets many different muscle groups, including abdominals, shoulders, back, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. Repeat the workout three times a week, gradually increasing the amount of time you hold each position or the number of times you repeat the exercise. You will begin to see results in about two weeks.

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    The Plank

    The Plank is a popular Pilates and yoga exercise that tones and strengthens the abdominals, shoulders, arms and legs. Begin on all fours. Position your wrists directly under your shoulders. Extend your legs behind you, placing your toes on the floor. Engage your abdominal muscles and lengthen your back. Hold for 10 seconds. If your hips and/or shoulders begin to sag, release immediately. Repeat the position 2 or 3 times.

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    Wall Squats

    This exercise targets your quadriceps muscles, located on the front of your thighs. Stand with your back up against a wall. Bend your knees and slide your feet out until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your calves are perpendicular to the floor. Engage your abdominal muscles and push your back into the wall. Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat 2 or 3 times. To protect your knees, be sure that your knees stay over your toes. Do not let them go past your toes. This puts too much strain on the knees.

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    Calf Raises

    This at home isometric exercise targets your calf muscles. Stand next to a chair, desk or countertop. Lift your left foot off the floor and rest it on your right leg. Using the chair, desk or countertop for balance, rise onto the toes of your right foot. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the left leg. Then, repeat both legs 2 or 3 times.

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    Bum Raises

    Tone your hamstrings and bum with this isometric exercise. Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms resting by your sides. Engage your abdominal muscles and push your heels into the floor until your bum rises about 2 inches. Do not let your back arch. Hold this positions for 10 seconds. Then, repeat 2 or 3 times.

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    Warnings

    Researchers have found that isometric exercises can potentially cause significant increases in blood pressure. Healthy individuals can control some of this rise in blood pressure by breathing consistently throughout the exercises. If you have high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease, consult your doctor before performing isometric exercises.

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    References

    Sports Fitness Advisor: Isometric Exercises and Static Strength Training www.sport-fitnes-advisor.com/ isometric-exercises.html

    American Sports Medicine Institute: Isometric Exercises www.asmi.org/sportsmed/exercise/ exercise.html#



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