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More Examples Of Isometric Exercises

Below are some more examples of isometric exercises, 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:

The Forgotten Muscle Group

examples of isometric exercises
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.

Strong Neck 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.

Not Sexy, But Important

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?

Important 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

  1. Stand straight up with your legs slightly bent and your feet 12 inches apart.
  2. Clasp your hands behind your head, interlocking your fingers while tucking your chin into your chest.
  3. Start the isometric contraction by trying to raise your head while your resist with your hands.
  4. 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

  1. Begin with your head tilted back.
  2. Place the back of your right hand on your forehead while placing the fist of the left hand into the palm of your right.
  3. Begin the isometric contraction by breathing in for 3-4 seconds while you increase the tension to a maximum.
  4. Hold the contraction for 7 - 12 seconds while you breathe out making a "sssss" sound
  5. 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.

Side Neck Contraction (left to right)

  1. Begin with the left side of your head close to your left shoulder.
  2. 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.
  3. Start to build the isometric contraction by trying to raise your head to the right while your resist with your right hand.
  4. 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.

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