Isometric vs. Isotonic Exercises. What’s the difference?
Summer is just around the corner. Here goes the people who are preparing to show the world their “beach-bod” or beach body. Are you ready to show yours?
Are you planning to lose weight? Do you want to have a stronger and muscular body to achieve that beach-bod? Then it is time to eat healthily and move your body by exercising.
Before you start planning for your exercise routine, you need to know first its types. In that way, you will be able to identify the proper exercise for your needs.
Isometric and isotonic exercises are the two classifications of exercise. Know more about these by reading this article.
Exercise is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a physical activity that is done in order to become stronger and healthier. This being said, not all exercises have the same effect. Others are done to develop muscles, to improve strength, or to tone the body. While other exercises are plainly for relaxation and rehabilitation of the body (just like yoga).
Isometric exercise is one type of exercise that involves lesser muscle movements. This type of exercise is done in one position. In that way, there is tension and no change in length. The muscles are also stable during this exercise.
Isometric exercises are good for people having a problem with their joints because the focus of the exercise is the muscles. It is believed to help in improving joint flexibility.
Isometric exercise also helps in rehabilitating the body. If you have an injury or undergoing a physical treatment, this is most likely the exercise to be prescribed by your doctor. It helps in regaining the strength of muscles in the specific parts of the body.
This type of exercise is also believed to help in lowering or controlling the blood pressure level. By doing this non-intensive exercise, the blood in body is able to flow properly and the body is also relaxed.
Exercises under this type involves staying at a certain position or holding a position instead of moving. This is perfect for people who don’t like intense exercises that include a lot of movements.
Can you think of exercises under isometric exercise? If you thought of plank or planking, you are correct!
There are numerous variations of isometric exercise. Some of it are listed below.
If you want to have an eight-pack abs or want to reduce belly fat—planking exercises will be perfect for you.
The most common planking exercise that others know is the forearm plank. This is wherein you do the standard push-up position while forearms remain on the ground. You must have a straight posture from head to toe. Do it for 60 seconds (one minute) and repeat for multiple times a day.
Side plank is also one of the variations of plank wherein you lay on your side and lift your body. Use your forearm to support your body and the side of your feet is also resting on the ground. Your body must form a slanting line. Do this for 60 seconds on each side and it will also build your core.
2. Wall Sit
There are a lot of seven-minute exercises that includes isometric exercises. One exercise that is always present in the list is the wall sit.
Wall sit is doing a squat position while laying your back against the wall. It helps in improving your leg muscles and core.
Do this for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat as much as you can.
3. Static Lunge
Static lunge is a good exercise for your leg muscles.
Do the common lunge pose—step one foot forward and bend your knee while the other leg is extended at the back—and hold it for 30 to 60 seconds.
4. Shoulder Raise
Shoulder raise is done with the use of dumbbells. If you do not have it at home, you may fill a one liter bottle with water to improvise.
Stand straight while holding a dumbbell or bottle on both hands, make sure that your arms are aligned properly and your posture is right. Stay on this position for 15 seconds then raise your shoulders. Stay on that position for 15 seconds as well. Do it three times.
5. Shoulder Extension
Shoulder extension is somehow extreme and needs a lot of upper body strength.
Look for grills or handlebars wherein you can hold on to and you will be able to lift your body. Do this for 30 seconds and repeat for three times.
Make sure that you won’t fall from the handlebars.
Isotonic means same tone when translated from its Latin source of word to English. This type of exercise is wherein the muscles maintain the same tension all throughout the exercise that leads to equally-toned muscles. This type of exercise is commonly seen in the gym. People do this but might not know the technical term for it.
This type of exercise is believed to be beneficial in improving bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, and helps in improving our heart health. The intensity of the workout helps the body to gain more oxygen. It then results to a better heart health and blood flow.
Common isotonic exercises are listed below.
1. Standing Barbell Curl
Standing barbell curl is the most common isotonic exercise seen at the gym.
This exercise involves barbells lifted by a person.
If you are planning to add this to your routine at the gym, make sure to start at the lowest weight that your body can lift. In that way, you will avoid muscle inflammation or worst—injury.
2. Leg Extensions
Have you ever experienced sitting on one of the equipment at the gym which allows you to move your upper body back and forth by using your legs? If yes, that is what we call leg extensions.
For those who are not familiar with it, leg extensions is the term for the exercise done at the gym. This exercise involves an equipment wherein the person has to sit, lean back, and place his feet on something like a board. The initial position of the body is like a squat position because your knees will be bent. However, when you start straightening your legs, your upper body will be lifted.
You may also adjust the weight for this one. Again, if you are a beginner, start at the lowest weight that your body can lift.
Now that you know the difference between isometric and isotonic exercise, you may start planning for your workout routine. Remember not to over work yourself and to accompany exercise with proper diet.