Of Isometric Exercises
Below are some more examples of isometric
, this time focusing
on the neck. The neck muscles are among the most important muscle
groups in the body to be worked, yet most fitness programs completely
ignore them. I'm not really sure why. Consider the following:
Your neck supports the entire weight of your head. It houses the top of
the entire spinal column. If it gets broken due to a car accident or
sports injury, it is possible you'll be paralyzed for life. This is
what happened to actor Christopher Reeve. He broke his neck after
falling from his horse. It is entirely possible that if he had followed
the examples of isometric exercises for the neck listed below, he might
have been OK.
Muscles Will Keep You Young
A strong neck will also help to keep you young. Think about this. As we
age, our heads tend to fall forward. This eventually leads to curved
necks and backs, not to mention sloped shoulders. By possessing a
strong supple neck this can be prevented and a youthful, erect posture
can be maintained.
I suspect why most fitness programs do not exercise the neck is because
it is not sexy in the way sculpted arms or toned abs are. However, in
my opinion, it is foolish to ignore the training of the neck muscles,
especially when such training could prevent a paralyzing injury. Not to
mention, a strong, toned neck does look far superior to a saggy one,
don't you think?
Points When Performing These Examples of Isometric Exercises
When performing these exercises, it is always important to breath
properly. At first you want to breathe in for 3 to 4 seconds,
completely filling your lungs as you build up the force of the
isometric contraction. You then want to hold the isometric contraction
at this maximum point for 7 to 12 seconds as you breathe out of your
mouth making a "ssssssss" sound. Finish the isometric contraction by
slowly breathing in for 3 to 4 seconds as you relax your muscles.
Reverse Neck Contraction
- Stand straight up with your legs slightly bent
and your feet 12 inches
- Clasp your hands behind your head, interlocking
your fingers while
tucking your chin into your chest.
- Start the isometric contraction by trying to
raise your head while your
resist with your hands.
- Follow the breathing procedure outlined above.
Increase tension and
breathe in for 3 to 4 seconds, maintain the maximum contraction for 7 -
12 seconds while breathing out, inhale and relax for 3 to 4 seconds.
This isometric neck contraction can be repeated by beginning with the
neck starting straight up and leaning back as well.
Forward Neck Contraction
- Begin with your head tilted back.
- Place the back of your right hand on your
forehead while placing the
fist of the left hand into the palm of your right.
- Begin the isometric contraction by breathing in
for 3-4 seconds while
you increase the tension to a maximum.
- Hold the contraction for 7 - 12 seconds while
you breathe out making a
- Slowly release the tension as you breathe in
for 3 to 4 seconds.
This exercise can be repeated by starting with your head straight and
leaning your head forward with your chin to your chest.
Contraction (left to right)
- Begin with the left side of your head close to
your left shoulder.
- Place your right hand on the right side of your
head such that you can
push your head down to your left shoulder with it.
- Start to build the isometric contraction by
trying to raise your head
to the right while your resist with your right hand.
- Remember to follow the correct
breathing/tension pattern. Breathe in
for 3-4 seconds, exhale for 7-12 seconds while maintaining maximum
tension, inhale and relax for 3 - 4 seconds.
This exercise should be repeated right to left as well.