Facts And Secrets Of Isometric Ab Exercises You Need To Know
Category: Fitness Tips & How-Tos
Isometric ab exercises are one of the best ways to strengthen your core and get the abs you desire. While you probably already do some isometric ab exercises, performing more will help you to focus on your abs.
Already being familiar with some isometric exercises will help to make performing some of the ones we are going to mention here easier. But before we talk about that, what exactly are isometric ab exercises?
What Are Isometric Ab Exercises?
Unlike most exercises that you are familiar with, isometric exercises are designed to work your abdominal region without actually moving. Instead of moving, isometric exercises rely on you holding positions that stretch your muscles and strengthen them through contraction and expansion of the abdomen. These exercises are surprisingly tiring but have great results.
Sometimes isometric ab exercises are combined with movements such as kicks or raises. These movements are carefully picked to compliment the contractions and expansions that are used by isometric exercises.
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5 Benefits of Isometric Ab Exercises
You are probably wondering why isometric ab exercises are beneficial and why you would choose them over traditional abdominal exercises. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits you will find. Along the way take note of where we mention the differences between other forms of ab exercises and isometric ab exercises.
1. Great for Strengthening Older Muscles
As we age our muscles tend to lose strength. We have to take on specific exercises in order to fight the aging process. Isometric abdominal exercises work well to combat the toll of aging. You activate the muscles in your body without having to do strenuous movement.
2. Engage More Motor Units
Motor units are parts of muscles and working out includes working the individual motor units inside your muscles. Isometric exercises have been found to utilize more motor units in your abdomen than traditional abdominal exercises. Activating more motor units is key for increasing flexibility, strength, and growth.
3. Improved Body Chemistry
Another benefit of isometric ab exercises is that you are holding your muscles tense and reducing the blood flow to and from the muscles to a minimum. When the blood flow pauses to muscles it holds the natural chemicals in muscles that are responsible for growth and strengthening. The longer you are able to hold these in the muscles, the more they will grow.
4. Quick Exercises
Unlike many other exercises you will find that isometric exercises are fairly quick and easy to do. Once you learn the positions you just have to schedule a little time every day to work on them. You can get big results from less time than other exercises, including other abdominal exercises. However, they also can be challenging.
5. No Muscle Shortening
When you perform many other exercises intended to help your body you are shortening your muscles using lifting or pulling motions. There are very few that specifically target the abdominal region so you end up with little variety in exercises. With isometric ab exercises you are able to target the whole range of your abdomen with a variety of powerful exercises.
What Muscles are Worked with Isometric Ab Exercises?
Like with many other categories of exercise, isometric ab exercises work a variety of different muscles. The muscles that you work depend on the exercise that you perform. To work the whole abdominal area, you can combine various isometric ab exercises.
There are three main muscle areas that you will stretch during your exercises. The rectus abdominus is the muscles that are responsible for having a six pack. Your obliques are the muscles that provide you with love handles or the tapering at your waistline. Finally, the transverse abdominus is the muscle area that helps to keep your stomach flat.
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6 Popular and Powerful Isometric Ab Exercises
Here are some of the most popular isometric ab exercises. Take a look at the different options you have and find a way to work them into your training schedule. Remember that as you get used to these exercises your body will strengthen. Add more time to each pose and exercise as you become better able to do them. You want to get the most benefit possible.
1. Isometric Planks
Remember we said that you would probably recognize a few of these exercises? The plank is the pushup position but with your forearms flat on the ground and your toes touch. You hold this position for 30 or more seconds at a time.
2. Side Isometric Planks
Similar to the plank, the isometric side plank involves using a modified pushup position. From the standard plank, roll to a side so you are using the side of one foot and one forearm to support yourself. You should maintain the rigid pushup position and hold it for 20 or more seconds at a time.
3. Isometric Dead Bug
Despite the frightening name, the isometric dead bug won’t actually kill you. You will want to lay flat on your back and hole your arms and legs straight above you. Lower your legs toward the ground while holding them straight. Once your reach the lowest position where you can hold your legs straight out while not lifting your back of the ground, hold that for at least a minute.
4. Isometric Banana Pose
Lay flat on the ground again and hold your feet and arms out at the same angle away from your body. Your feet should be a foot or so off the ground and all limbs should remain perfectly straight during the exercise. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds.
To further power up the isometric banana pose, add a rocking motion in to engage more muscles. You are only looking for a slight rock. Nothing that will violently move you back and forth.
5. Isometric Warrior Pose
The isometric warrior pose looks like something out of a yoga class. You will stand up and lift one leg out behind you and lean forward, holding your arms straight out. Hold yourself parallel to the ground in a straight line for 15 or more seconds on each foot.
6. Isometric Bridges
An isometric bridge starts with you flat on your back. Then you raise your back off the ground keeping it perfectly straight. You should have your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Keeping your core tucked in, use your elbows and core to keep yourself straight. This pose should be held for at least 60 seconds.
Do You Need Any Equipment For Isometric Ab Exercises?
The great thing about isometric ab exercises is that you do not need to invest in any gym equipment in order to perform most of them. All of the exercises we listed above require zero equipment. There are some more complicated positions that require equipment but there are ways to work around it. For example, dips can be performed on a rock wall.
The one piece of equipment that it may be helpful to have is a yoga mat. Using a yoga mat while performing any exercises will help take some of the pressure of a hard floor off your body. Look for a quality mat that will cushion you.
Isometric ab exercises are essential if you are looking to build up the perfect core. The ones we listed here are only to get you started. If you are looking to get the perfect beach body, strengthen your body, or just become healthier, then you need to start working these into your regular fitness routine.
To help target more areas and mix up your exercise days we recommend learning even more isometric ab exercises so that you are not repeating the same sets all the time.
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