Isometric exercises is a way of training the muscles to develop strength and increase muscle mass. In isometric contractions, tension is created in the muscles but because the resistance is equal to or greater than the force of the muscle, there is no movement produced. Thus, these kinds of exercises are normally done in static positions where there is no obvious change in movement or in the distance of the angle of the joint. Because strength is only developed when a joint is at a specific angle, isometric contractions often make use of muscle fibers that are often neglected in dynamic strength training programs such as weight lifting. It is believed that when circulation within the muscle is impeded, lack of oxygen results in the formation of muscle filaments within the muscle body itself. This results in increased mass and consequently, strength. Doing isometric exercises for 10 minutes a day is enough to strengthen your muscles significantly.

If you want to do isometrics, you have to follow proper guidelines to achieve maximum benefits. For starters, you need to ensure that you hold the position for at least thirty seconds when you are using your own bodyweight or pushing against a wall. If you are using a free weight you need to ensure that you can hold the weight for ten seconds. Here are some isometric exercises you can do to develop overall body strength:

One of the first exercises that develops leg strength is the chair pose. Begin in a standing position. Breathe in and raise your arms over your head, keeping your arms shoulder width apart. As you bend your knees, breathe out and assume a squatting position as though you are going to sit into a chair. Make sure that your back is flat and your chest is pointed towards the sky in an upright position as you keep your knees behind your toes. Lift your rib cage and breathe into the chest for five times. You can modify the position if you find it difficult to keep your back straight by lowering your arms in a parallel position to the floor.

Another isometric exercise that develops upper body and core strength is the plank. To begin, position your palms on the floor, with your hands directly under your shoulders. Jump your legs back so that your back is straight and your stomach is contracted. Stay in this position for five breaths, inhaling and exhaling deeply. If you find this difficult to do, you can modify by dropping your knees to the floor and stepping, instead of jumping back, one foot at a time.

To develop core strength, do the V-sit. Begin by balancing yourself in a sitting position. Extend your arms in front of your body parallel to the floor as you lift your legs to where your body is in a V-seated position. Lift your lower back inwards and outwards for five breaths. You can grab your ankles or your big toe if you want more stretch in your hamstrings. Beginners and those with back problems can modify the exercise by bending the knees and holding on to the hamstrings instead.

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Author's Bio: 

Proud father of three boys, bodyweight training enthusiast, and sports nutrition expert.