When someone does an isometric exercise in a busy gym, it looks very out of place – an island of silence in a sea of people moving through HIIT sessions or throwing heavy weights. For the uninitiated, holding a position like the plank can also be easy, and in the first few seconds of an isometric exercise, you may wonder if it will do you any good.
Then the shaking starts, the burning sensation in your muscles starts to grow and you rightly admonish yourself that you always doubt the effectiveness of isometric exercises.
Regular isometric training increases your strength and core stability, and it also has mental benefits It takes a lot of willpower to hold a challenging position for long periods while your muscles yell at you to let them go.
We asked Marvin Burton, Head of Fitness at Anytime Fitness, for his favorite isometric exercises. You can use it as a workout finisher or as a circuit and hold each position for 20 to 30 seconds for three rounds.
Target Muscles: Glutes, hamstrings, quads
"Lean back against a wall with your feet hip-width apart," says Burton. "Lower your hips until they're level with your knees, and there's a right angle at both the hips and knees." Keep your feet flat on the floor, keep your back straight and flat, and your head
Plank with pointed toes
Target muscles: Hull, Shoulders
"Lie face down on the floor," says Burton. "Pull your elbows under Make sure your shoulders are vertical and your forearms are pointing forward and lying flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the floor and reach them to the toe ends. Create a straight line with your body from your shoulders to your hips to your feet.
"Do not drop your hips. Make sure you are right at the ends of your toes and that they are not folded underneath. This requires much more engagement than a traditional board.
Target muscles: Core, abs
"Sit upright on the floor and stretch your legs in front of you and your arms at your sides," says Burton. "Sit back slightly and lift your legs off the floor. Press through your abdominal muscles to decrease the distance between the abdomen and thighs. Try not to round your spine. Maintain the perfect, straight alignment of your body, like a gymnast.
Buttock Muscles Lifting
Targeted Muscles: Buttock Muscles, Lower Back
"Lie on your back and place your feet flat on an elevated level," says Burton. "Lift your hips and hold. Concentrate on squeezing your buttocks muscles and holding your hips up.
Target Muscles: Shoulders, Back
"Hang on a stretch rod," says Burton. "This improves grip and arm strength and the hanging position also has a positive effect on the spine and shoulder muscles. If you want to master pull-ups, this is also a good starting point.
Anytime Fitness has more than 160 gyms across the UK. Visit the website for a free day pass