If you’re into health and fitness, you’ve likely heard a thing or two about isometric exercises. But what exactly are they and, perhaps most importantly, why should you include them in your training regimen?

Isometric Exercises Defined

Isometric exercises are strength training exercises that don’t require you to move your joints or involve your muscles to change length. How is this possible?

Think about when you perform a plank. You’re not actively moving your body, thus your joints are remaining still, and you’re also not changing the length of your muscles during the course of the exercise. However, doing planks results in muscle strength, making them a great isometric exercise.

Another example is when you stand while holding barbells to your sides at shoulder length. Again, you’re not creating any movement, but you are still working your muscles just the same.

The Benefits of Isometric Exercises

The benefits of performing isometric exercises are numerous. For starters, they can increase your muscle strength substantially, especially if you do them regularly, due to the amount of resistance your muscles face just trying to stay in one position.

Also, if you have any type of joint injury or inflammation (such as arthritis), isometric exercises allow you to build your muscles without aggravating these conditions since they don’t require any range of motion. Thus, you can engage in an effective strength training workout without causing yourself any pain or other issues as a result.

Who Should Avoid Isometric Exercises

Although isometric exercises can be extremely effective at increasing your level of fitness, they aren’t safe for everyone. For instance, if you have high blood pressure or any heart-related issues, you should avoid these types of exercises as the holding of these positions and poses can make these types of conditions worse.

What are your favorite isometric exercises?