Isometric exercises!
June 22, 2018 8:07 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find some isometric exercises that help me tone up?

About a month ago my physiotherapist gave me a few exercises to do to help with my backpain. They seem crazy simple-- push against my knee, push my legs against the wall, etc. And they take practically no time-- count to five, 10 reps, twice a day. And yet I'm noticing a remarkable increase in musculature and strengths in the targeted areas!

I think these are called isometrics. I'd love to do more them and incorporate them into my overall workout routine. I'm not looking to bulk up; I just want to be strong and toned. I don't have a trainer or access to a gym, but have a yoga mat, running clothes and shoes, and plenty of heavy things around the house.

Any books, youtube vids, websites will be appreciated!
posted by atetrachordofthree to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I would do plank (straight arms) and sit against a wall (legs bent at 90° at the knee) holding each for a (building up to a) minute whenever you find the time. This will tone your "core" as well as your legs. Focus on form if it's difficult to do a minute, better to do 10s at perfect form than a minute of nonsense that will injure you.
posted by london explorer girl at 8:48 AM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think isometric exercises just means they're ones where you don't move, you exercise in a static position (so, doing the plank mentioned by london explorer girl rather than eg. lifting a weight up and down or doing a press up).

I'm not sure from your question if you're specifically after non-moving strength exercises, or if you just want simple exercises that will help you strengthen and tone, and are doable at home. If the latter, googling 'body weight exercises' will produce plenty of options, including apps you can use to design your own simple routines.

My own favourite in the sphere of (not isometric) short simple exercise routines that make a real difference, is this short yoga video. (It says 15 mins but is actually 10 when you skip a bit in the middle where she demonstrates different ways to step forward). It's simple, and when I do it regularly I notice the difference in both strength and flexibility.

(Sorry, if it is genuinely only isometric exercise you're interested in, I've failed to answer your question, but I hope these help!)
posted by penguin pie at 9:45 AM on June 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

posted by phoenixy at 12:27 PM on June 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

I had chronic back pain until I started doing barre workouts. A lot of the exercises my physical therapist gave me were part of the barre workout -- core work, strengthening lower back muscles and overall strength trainig. I haven't had backpain in years.
posted by ATX Peanut at 2:59 PM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

It sounds like a regular yoga practice would help you achieve your goals - I do a daily practice at home using an app for between 10 and 30 minutes. I found 7 consecutive days of the 'quickflow' yoga, even at just 15 minutes per day made a visible difference to my arms. Down Dog is the app, if you want to give it a try. Fully free for two weeks, then the fanciest functionality is subscription only (but the core functionality is all you really need).
posted by eloeth-starr at 7:22 PM on June 22, 2018

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