Isometric exercises are one of the forms of resistance exercises, where length of the muscle does not vary when contracting. Rather, the muscles are flexed statically and there is no movement of the joints.
Building resistance, by using gravity, is the way how isometric exercises are done. This is why isometric exercises are called static contraction exercises. Isometric exercises help build muscle strength.
They improve the density of the muscle group being exercised. Unlike movement exercises, static contraction exercise only exercise the muscle in focus. Since it is not a dynamic exercise, isometric exercises have to be combined with dynamic exercises that involve joint movements.
When doing isometric exercises, don’t hold your breath. But even isometric exercises need you to breathe in and out. When you breathe in, and out, your muscles get energy through oxygen, and the carbon dioxide is flushed outside as well.
Repetitions in isometric exercises are based on seconds you hold a position. For example an isometric exercise where you have to hold a weight horizontally, and along the length of your shoulder, will have repetitions in the form of seconds. The number of seconds you hold will determine a set.
If you hold that position for twenty seconds today, you might hold it for a minute, after three weeks. So, the more number of seconds you hold means your strength has increased by that much. Isometric exercises are an excellent way to build joint strength, and the area near it.
Since a lot of pressure is induced on the joint, the areas around it respond as well. For example, if a bicep curl is held midway, the area around that angular position is strengthened. This also depends on how much gravity is acting on the angular joint.
Static contraction exercises can be done at any angle as you may please. You also don’t have to do heavy weights. It is not advised to do isometric exercises with heavy weights. A step-by-step approach is the way to go about it. Starting from lightweights, weights can be increased gradually.
If isometric exercises are combined with dynamic exercises, then you can have dual benefits of core muscle strength, and muscle mass.