Isometric Exercise Program
Isometric exercises were a popular form of training back in the 1950ís. Programs such as the Charles Atlas System were advocated to promote strength and fitness. While these exercises can improve strength, research has indicated that the adaptations are specific for the joint angle at which the contraction is performed. Thus, the gains in strength may only be manifested when the body is at this joint angle. Still, isometric exercises provide a convenient and efficient way to promote or maintain some degree of muscular fitness. The specific exercises included in the text provide a balanced routine that would work the major muscle groups of the body.
Isometric contractions refer to contractions in which the length of muscle remains the same (neither lengthening or shortening). Pushing against a wall or statically flexing a muscle are examples of isometric contractions.
Isometric exercises can increase strength but only at the specific range of motion that the muscle was position in during the contraction. This limits the use of isometrics for sport specific applications; however, they are still used clinically and can be used by the general population as an adjunct to a resistance training program.