Little ABC for your spa-break questions ...
In their treatment discriptions, wellness hotels often use technical terms, which are hard to understand for potential guests. We have therefore collected and defined the most relevant terms in our small wellness ABC. A tip: Our wellness dictionary also supports word requests. You don't need to know the exact wording.
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What is Isometric?
Isometric exercises refers to exercises to strengthen an individual muscle or group of muscles. The word is made up of the terms "iso" and "metric", which literally mean "of the same measure" and can be translated as "of the same length" and "of unchanged length" in relation to the exercises.
Isometrics are repeated and consist of tightening and relaxing certain muscles.
Since the various exercises are only performed in one position, they only improve the muscle strength in the position in question, there is no stretching or extension. This results in an increase in tension while the length of the muscle remains the same, which is also called "static working". Furthermore, isometrics does not contribute to the improvement of athletic performance or speed. No resistance is overcome during isometric exercises, the tension in the muscles is merely derived from the muscles' own holding power.
Isometric exercises in physiotherapy
Isometrics are particularly useful for people recovering from surgery or injury and experiencing pain when moving or for people with limited mobility (e.g. with plaster casts). Bedridden people can also use this training method to strengthen their muscles.
In addition, isometric exercises can also help people with arthritis by relieving pain and strengthening affected muscle regions. Scientific studies have shown that isometrics lowers blood pressure. If you have particularly high blood pressure, you should consult your doctor before performing isometric exercises.
Especially for people who are restricted in their freedom of movement, isometrics can involve a lot of effort. For example, there are exercises in which pressure has to be built up in certain muscle areas only by willpower. This also requires great mental strength, as you have to challenge yourself and encourage you to persevere.
How isometric exercises work
Each muscle group can be trained isometrically, the execution does not require any additional equipment. The most important thing is that you remain in the individual exercises for at least 15 seconds while continuing to breathe calmly. The individual exercises are then repeated 5 - 10 times.
Isometric exercises can affect the back, shoulder, chest, leg, neck and arm muscles. Well-known exercises for the back are, for example, the elbow and side support as well as the back bridge, which can be used to build up strength in the trunk again very well after a weakened back musculature.
But also for the leg musculature, wall sitting is very well known in isometrics: Here you stand with your back to the wall, hip-wide, and slowly bend your knees until you are at a 90 degree angle. This position is then held for at least 15 seconds.
Examples of muscle groups that can be trained with isometrics
- Pelvic tilt
- Bridge with pelvic rotation
- Back extender
- squatting position/wall sitting
- Static indenting
- Plank/forearm support
- Lateral forearm support
- Inverted forearm support
- Two-point press-ups
- Belly bender
Arms and shoulders:
- One Arm Handstand
- Biceps Bomber
- chin up
Related topics: Alexander Technique Aqua Training Blackroll Bodyforming Feldenkrais Idogo-Walking Jacobson - Progressive muscle relaxation Pilates Rolfing Slow Stroke Massage Somatic method | Soma Body Work