As I have alluded to in other articles, I have recently suffered a lisfranc injury in my right foot. This is going to keep me out of my day job for the next few weeks, and keep me from hitting the weight room for the better part of the year. But rather than lay back and rest like a normal person, I’m still finding ways to exercise-such as the titular isometric exercises.
In addition to being useful for temporary cripples, they are also a decent supplemental exercise for typical resistance training.
Isometric exercise is defined as any exercise in which the muscle and joint contract and “flex,” but do not extend—a static position, in other words. These can be done by resisting against any immovable force, such as a wall, a standard weight, or even one’s own body.
While in an ideal situation, I feel that having a full and natural path of motion will provide a superior workout, which is incidentally why free weights will always be superior to machines. Isometrics can still be a nice supplemental workout, as advocated by many of the earliest proponents of modern physical culture such as Monte Saldo and Eugen Sandow—as well as one of the few options for exercise available to those in restrictive situations. I myself have started to utilize isometrics while I am temporarily incapable of walking.
The routine that I started with, and still largely use (doing it twice a week as I would have done with standard resistance training) is taken from the “Black Monk” set of isometrics, which are claimed to have been invented by a group of Buddhist monks imprisoned in highly constricted conditions before ultimately escaping via applying nerve pressure to the guards outside (this printed set of isometrics is also where the pictures are taken from)…
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