I get why many people can be intimidated by compound, complex exercise movements, “Burpees?…I might break something if I try that!”
I also understand that sometimes doing these types of compound movements can be hard on people’s joints, especially if not performed in the right manner. Even with the best form, it can sometimes hurt! That’s where isometric exercises can come into play.
Isometric exercises involve holding a position for a predetermined amount of time. This static position doesn’t allow for your joints to move throughout the duration of the exercise. You are basically holding your muscles as they are against a force, which is usually your own body weight.
This can make isometric exercises great for people with joint problems (as always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program).
Let’s break down a quick isometric workout that you can do at home with minimal equipment to help build your strength!
This exercise is great for you lower body! Lean back against your wall as if sitting in a chair with your knees at a 90 degree angle (indicating you are low enough). Hold that position as a timed exercise. You can hold a weight in your lap in order to increase the difficulty.
To strengthen your core put your body weight on your elbows and toes with your midsection off the ground. Keep your body as straight as possible; your butt should not be high like a tent or sagging down low either.
Holding your weights out in front of you at arms length, squeeze the weights together. Squeeze the weights together hard with your pectorals the entire time (will also work your shoulders).
Sit down into a squat (knee over toe, back straight, head up) and hold that position the entire time. While holding the position and dumbbells in hand, punch out repeatedly the entire time! Although the second part (punching) isn’t an isometric move, it will increase the difficulty of the exercise. You can also get down into a squat and hold it while holding onto a table or chair for balance or support.
While on your back and your hands under you glutes for added support (take you hands out to make it more difficult) hold your legs about 6 inches off the ground throughout this exercise!
To help build strength while saving your joints, perform this set of exercises 3 times trying to hold each position for at least 30 seconds. If it is easy for you (and as it becomes easier) make sure to increase the time you are holding each position. With these simple, joint-friendly, yet highly effective exercises you can keep building your strength! Trust me they are harder than they look!
GUEST BLOGGER: Josh Anderson, Owner of Always Active Athletics
For more great at-home workouts from Josh that you can do easily that are effective and convenient visit the Fit Female Club – “Forget the Gym, You’re In the Club!”