Discover the incredible benefits of isometric exercises, including how they lower blood pressure. No equipment needed - get ready to feel the burn!

If you’re looking to shake up your exercise routine, it might be time to give isometric exercises a try.

According to a recent review of studies, isometric exercise has been found to have a profound effect on lowering blood pressure. But what exactly is isometric exercise, and how can you incorporate it into your workouts?

Isometric exercises are those where you hold a position for a specific amount of time, rather than moving through a range of motion. For example, a plank is an isometric exercise, while a crunch would be considered a dynamic exercise. While some studies on isometrics use specialized lab equipment, it’s believed that you can experience the benefits of isometric exercise with any type of isometric work. Typically, a protocol would involve doing four sets of contractions, each lasting two minutes. Yes, that means doing a two-minute plank or wall sit, which may sound daunting at first. But you can modify these exercises to make them more accessible by starting with an easier version and working your way up to the full duration.

It’s important to note that isometric exercise is about sustained muscle contraction, not holding your breath. Holding your breath while exerting yourself can temporarily increase your blood pressure, which may not be suitable for those with hypertension. If you have concerns, it’s best to consult with your doctor to determine the type of exercise that is most appropriate for you.
To get started with isometric exercises, you don’t need any fancy equipment. However, you might find it helpful to have the following supplies on hand:

Grip-training device or a soft ball
Dumbbells or a sturdy table

Now, let’s take a look at some specific isometric exercises you can try:

1. Wall Sits: Stand with your back against a wall and slide down into a sitting position, with your thighs parallel to the ground. Hold this position for two minutes. If this is challenging, you can make it easier by keeping your hips slightly higher than your knees.

2. Planks: Get into a push-up position, with your weight resting on your forearms and toes. Hold this position for two minutes. If the traditional plank is too difficult, you can modify it by dropping your knees to the ground or elevating your hands on a bench or wall. As you progress, you can lower the surface you’re using for support to increase the difficulty.

3. Grip Squeezes: Use a grip-training device or a soft ball and squeeze it as hard as you can for two minutes. This exercise is excellent for strengthening your hand and forearm muscles.

4. Bicep Holds: Hold a pair of dumbbells or press your hands against the underside of a table, palms facing up. Maintain this position for two minutes. Be sure not to actually flip the table over, despite the imaginary urge!

Remember, with a bit of creativity, almost any exercise can be turned into an isometric exercise. For example, you can hang from a pull-up bar with your arms flexed or pause halfway down during a push-up. If you enjoy yoga, many poses involve isometric holds, such as chair pose or any of the warrior poses. The beauty of isometric exercises is that they offer unique benefits that traditional exercises may not provide.

The Bottom Line:

Isometric exercises, which involve holding a position for a set duration, have been found to have significant effects on lowering blood pressure. You can incorporate isometric exercises into your routine by modifying traditional exercises or using specific isometric movements. Remember to consult with your doctor if you have any concerns or underlying health conditions. So get ready to feel the burn and give isometric exercises a try today!

Key Points:

– Isometric exercises involve holding a position for a specific amount of time.
– Isometric exercises can help lower blood pressure.
– You don’t need specialized equipment to do isometric exercises.
– Start with easier versions of isometric exercises and gradually increase the difficulty.
– Consult with your doctor if you have any concerns or underlying health conditions.
– Isometric exercises offer unique benefits that traditional exercises may not provide.

Source Article: https://lifehacker.com/you-should-add-isometric-exercises-to-your-routine-1850683443

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