Would you like to get stronger without moving a single muscle? Most strength training routines build muscle mass through repetitive movement at the joints. But if you are recovering from an injury, or have sore, stiff joints, this form of exercise can be difficult to perform safely and effectively.
A unique alternative to traditional strength training is isometric exercise. Isometrics max out muscle capacity by maintaining a single contraction for an extended duration of time. Benefits include improved strength, stability, and an increased awareness of proper form when exercising. Isometrics are ideal for those searching for a powerful, transforming, low-impact conditioning circuit.
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the following exercises. It only takes a few seconds before you start to shake, quake, and feel the burn. For best results, repeat this circuit five times.
- Position a basketball or stability ball between your arms. A basketball should be placed between your upper arms, while a larger stability ball can be placed between the entire length of your arms.
- Activate the pectoral muscles by using your arms to tightly squeeze the ball. Hold for 15 seconds, then release. Repeat five times.
- Begin in a standard push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and your body forming a straight line from head to heels.
- Bend at your elbows to lower your body until it’s roughly two to three inches from the floor. Hold for 10 seconds.
Suspension Side Plank
- Lie on your left side, propping your body weight up on your left forearm. Align your shoulder above your elbow and keep your legs straight and stacked on top of each other.
- Engage your core by pushing through your hips to elevate your body off the floor, then slowly lift your right arm and leg. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Stand with your back against a wall, then walk your legs out while you lower your body until your knees form a 90-degree angle.
- Keep your chin up, shoulders firm against the wall and body weight in your heels, holding this position for 45 to 60 seconds.
The best way to build strong muscles is by mixing up your training routine.
Ashley B. Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more, visit ashleyblakefitness.com.