Isometric contraction is a type of muscle contraction that occurs when a muscle generates tension without changing its length. In an isometric contraction, the muscle contracts against a fixed resistance, such as a wall or another part of the body, without actually moving.
Examples of isometric contractions include:
Plank: In the plank exercise, the individual assumes a push-up position with their arms extended and holds the position for a certain length of time. The individual's muscles are contracting isometrically to maintain the position, generating tension without movement.
Wall sit: In a wall sit, the individual leans against a wall with their legs bent at a 90-degree angle and holds the position for a certain length of time. The leg muscles are contracting isometrically to maintain the position, generating tension without movement.
Hand grip: In a hand grip exercise, the individual squeezes a hand grip tool to generate tension in the hand and forearm muscles, without moving the grip.
Isometric contractions are commonly used in rehabilitation and strength training programs to help individuals build muscle strength without placing excessive stress on the joints. Isometric exercises can be particularly beneficial for individuals recovering from injury or with limited mobility, as they can help improve muscle function without requiring large movements or high-impact activities.
Research has also shown that isometric exercises can have a positive impact on blood pressure, reducing the risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions. Isometric contractions can help increase blood flow and improve overall cardiovascular health, making them a valuable addition to many exercise and rehabilitation programs.