Isometric exercises, or static conditioning, are strength-training exercises in which there is no visible change in muscle or joint movement. Instead of full range of motion movements, the muscles contractions are short movements using internal forces. Although the exercises are useful for strengthening muscles or for rehabilitation, the exercises can become boring because they are not be as heart pumping as aerobics or weight training. This results in frustration or cessation. There are a number of ways exercisers can avoid burnout when it comes to isometric exercises.
For me, the only way I really stick to a workout is to think of it as a project. I read everything I can about a workout before starting, as if I’m studying for a test. Read books about isometric workouts. The first book I ever read was by Joyce Vedral, a personal trainer who utilized isometric exercises as a major component of her workouts. Her books, as well as other books about this type of workout, can be checked out of the library or purchases at bookstores.
Fitness magazines and experts recommend variety. So, instead of depending solely on isometric workouts, add other enjoyable forms of exercise to your repertoire. Isometric exercises are especially good for individuals who enjoy biking and other outdoor activities.
Don’t do the workout on consecutive days. Many people, primarily when they start a new workout, do the same thing days in a row. Thus, the muscles don’t get a chance to rest; therefore, results will not be visible. Doing them two or three times a week is usually enough to get intended results.
Another way to eliminate boredom and frustration is by doing circuit training. Incorporate isometric exercises in one or two of the stations within the circuit, between the cardio and traditional weight training. This will shock the muscles, as well as serve as a bit of a rest between cardio exercises.
Instead of working all the muscles on the same day, break isometric workouts into categories. One day work the upper body, another day work the lower body, and the next day focus on the abdominals. This will give each section of the body needed rest and add variety to an otherwise boring workout.
As with any form of exercise, isometric exercises have beginning, intermediate, and advanced movements. Start slowly at your appropriate fitness level and move up from that point. This will not only ward off boredom but will alleviate frustration.
Many individuals work well with an exercise buddy, which often makes them stick to their workout for a long period of time. People who consider isometrics can talk to friends to see if they can get together and work out. Maybe different people can lead the workout on different days, or each person brings in a new exercise.
If an exercise partner is not available and money is not an issue, many local gyms provide personal training. A personal trainer is especially helpful for individuals learning how to correctly complete isometric training and how it works(see here). They can help you engage the right muscles and avoid injury. In time, increased comfort level will boost your confidence to do isometric exercises on your own.
If individuals prefer to workout alone, another way to spice up their isometrics routine is to purchase DVDs. Companies like Collage Video offer a variety of workouts, with different instructors. Purchasing DVDs with more than one workout or purchasing a number of programs adds variety to the workout. Customers can even see a sample of the workout video before buying it.
A final way to avoid burnout with isometric exercises is to include equipment. Isometrics has changed a lot over the years; individuals no longer have the option of just standing or sitting. Exercise balls, resistance cords and even machines are available to add variety to these workouts. Machines are usually expensive, but balls and resistance cords can be purchased at Target and other stores for less than $30.00. They also work the muscles differently from such old-fashioned exercises.
So, if you’ve thought about incorporating isometric training in your workout routine because of their benefit to the body, try the above-mentioned suggestions. In this way, you will add variety to a form of workout that could become boring if done on a regular basis.