Tips For Performing
Isometric Muscle Exercises
Isometric Muscle Exercises are any kind of exercise in which a limb is
either pitted against itself, another limb, or an immovable object. The
key is that when the muscle contracts there must be no actual movement
at all. When performed correctly this kind of exercise can yield
amazing results in only seconds. I've discussed in other articles the
miracle of the isometric contraction and why it works so well. If this
interests you I suggest you read the article I wrote entitled
"Isometric Strength Training - The Secrets Of The Old Time Strong Men
REVEALED!" This article will not focus on that. Rather is will focus on
the proper way to perform isometric muscle exercises and thereby get
the most out of them.
Always Focus On Your Breath
The first thing you need to focus on is your breath when performing
these exercises. Breathing when performing an isometric contraction can
be broken down into 3 stages. During stage 1 you will want to breath in
through your nose for 3 to 4 seconds. As you do so you will will want
to increase the tension for whatever isometric exercise you are
performing from nothing to close to maximum.
The Second Stage
Once you reach that point of maximum muscle contraction you will want
to exhale through your clenched teeth with your tongue on the roof of
your mouth. This will permit you to make a "SSSSS" sounds as you
exhale, almost like the sound of air leaving a tire. While you do this
you will want to hold the isometric contraction at it's maximum point
for 7 to 12 seconds.
The Third and Final Stage
Now you will want to inhale through your nose again for 3 to 4 seconds
as you slowly release the tension from the isometric contraction. By
the time you count to 4 all of the tension in your muscles should be
Why is it so important to follow this breathing procedure when
performing these exercises? One reason is that it ensures a constant
supply of oxygen to the muscles being worked. This is critical if you
want to derive the maximum benefit from these exercises. The second
reason is that by not holding your breath you are ensuring that your
blood pressure does not increase to dangerous levels. For most people
this is not a problem. However if you do have a history of high blood
pressure it could be critical. Of course if you are starting an
exercise program, whether it be isometrics or anything else, you should
always consult with a doctor first.
The fact that we are breathing in through the nose is also very
important. Most people don't think about it but our nose is designed by
evolution to be the primary method by which we breath. It has many
features which are designed to purify and prepare the air before it
reaches our delicate lungs. You should attempt to breath in through
your nose at all times, not just during exercise.
Focusing Your Mind
The second tip for performing isometric muscle exercises is to always
focus your mind on what you're doing. It is your mind that commands
your muscles. If you imagine your muscle becoming bigger and stronger
as you work them your muscles will respond much faster. This is the big
mistake many people make when they go to a gym. Go into any gym and
what do you see? People listening to their MP3 players or watching TV.
This is not the way to achieve maximum results.
The Wisdom Of Maxick
Maxick, who was a famous old time strongman and physical culturist,
made some interesting observations on this point. Watching some stone
masons apply their trade one day he came to a realization. Although
their arm muscles were constantly being worked their muscles were not
that big and defined. Why was this? The reason is simple. Although they
were constantly working their muscles their attention was focused on
performing the job at hand, not on their muscles themselves. This is a
vivid example of why it is so important to focus your mind on the task
of muscle building when performing isometric muscle exercises if you
want to achieve maximum results.
At any rate so long as you follow these tips you will be able to
achieve maximum benefits from isometric muscle exercises. What's more
tips can be applied to other forms of exercise as well. Good Luck!