Isometric or static contraction exercises help in strength training. They give the body a different sort of strength than dynamic strength training. There is a wealth of evidence to show that isometric exercises are vital to complete body fitness. They are usually performed in yoga and by martial arts participants.
Isometric exercises do not create huge bulging muscles. They do, however, strengthen the body. If you are practicing karate, here are some isometric exercises that you can incorporate into your training schedule.
Do your standard push up. Hold the position at 90 degrees of elbow flexion. Hold for a few seconds. Work to this level very gradually. Remember that isometric exercises are not advisable for those with high blood pressure.
Lie flat on the floor. Raise your body slowly so that you are resting on your toes and forearms. Keep the abdominal muscles taut and the back flat. Hold this position for 10 – 30 seconds. Repeat two to three times.
Stand with your back firmly against a wall. Move your feet shoulder width apart. Gradually slide down the wall so that your thighs become parallel to the floor. Move your feet away from the wall so that your knees do not extend past your toes. You should aim to hold this position for 10 – 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise two to three times.
Stand on one foot. Rise up to stand on your toes. Hold this position for between 10 – 30 seconds. Repeat for the other calf as well. Do this exercise two to three times.
Do this exercise standing straight. Give a biceps pose by bending your right arm at the elbows. Now place your left hand over your right wrist. Contract your muscles as hard as you can. Hold for a few seconds and then release. Repeat with the other arm a swell.
Isometric exercises have their uses and a place in the regular exercise schedule of anybody wanting to get fit. Keep in mind that you should not strain too much when holding a pose. Build up to the 30 second limit gradually.