YOU ARE YOUR OWN FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: Movement, Motivation and Mindset for Active Seniors

Energy Bite 165 – Strength Without Moving, Part 2

Last week I promised I would put up some simple isometric exercises that you could start doing to build strength. They are shown below. But before you do them, here are a few things to be watchful for:

  • Breathe in as you start to build pressure. Breathe out while you are holding the pressure. Breathe in again as you release the pressure. You should not hold your breath during isometric exercises. Doing these exercises may increase your blood pressure slightly. If you have consistent high blood pressure, you may want to check with a doctor before you do them. Some studies show that doing isometric exercises may result in a reduction in your resting blood pressure, even though you may experience and increase in blood pressure as you are doing them.
  • You will be putting a lot of pressure on your wrists during a couple of the exercises. You may experience some “discomfort” in your wrists until they get used to the effort.
  • If you are new to exercise, these are a great way to start. You should notice an increase in strength by the end of the first week.
  • Unlike using heavy weights, you can do these isometric exercises every day up to twice a day. OK, give yourself a rest one day a week.
  • Focus on what you are doing. Focus on the part of the body that is being worked. Visualize the new strength developing as you are doing each exercise.

Here are five simple isometric exercises that you can do anywhere at any time. I suggest you start by doing them once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

  1. Bicep isometric: Bend your right arm 90 degrees at the elbow (see picture) with your right palm up. Place your left hand img_1250palm down over the right hand or wrist. Push up as hard as is comfortable with your right hand as you resist with the left hand. Hold for 7 to 12 seconds. Breathe naturally. Change arms. Do it once in the morning and once in the evening.
  2. Chest developer: Put your left fist in your right palm at or just below belt level. Place both hands at the right hip and pushimg_1252 your left fist against your right palm as hard as you can while you resist with the right hand. Hold for 7 to 12 seconds. Then switch sides and do the same thing on the other side. Do this once in the morning and once in the evening.
  3. Basic Plank: This is a powerful abdominal muscle developer. Start on your hands and knees and extend into a positionimg_1264 where your body is straight, your feet are up on your toes, and your are supported by your elbows. Don’t let your body sag nor bend at the waist. Hold for fifteen seconds to start and slowly work up to a minute over time. Extend the time as you get better at doing it.
  4. Wall squat: This powerful isometric leg exercise will develop strong thighs (quadriceps). Stand against a wall or door (make img_1270sure the door opens toward you). Start by bending your legs slightly and holding for fifteen seconds. As you get stronger, you can bend your legs more and hold the position longer. Never bend your legs past 90 degrees. Will your legs be shaky and sore after the first few times you do it? If you don’t bend your legs too much the first few times, probably not. If you try to bend your legs to 90 degrees the first few times, probably yes. Do this once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
  5. Steering wheel isometric: This is one of the easiest and most convenient arm and chest isometric exercises you can do. When you are sitting at a traffic light in your car, hold the steering wheel wimg_1278ith your hands on each side of the steering wheel. Push together toward the middle as hard as you can and hold for ten seconds. Do this a couple of times a day. It will help you keep from being frustrated at a long light and will make your chest and arms dramatically stronger. It looks like I need a new car.

These are just a few isometric exercises that will build your strength and muscle power. These will not turn you into a body builder. They will strengthen and harden your muscles. They are not weight loss exercises, but as you lose fat on your body through proper diet and other exercise, your muscles with begin to show and your body shape will improve.

Isometric exercises are powerful strength builders. You should notice your entire body feeling stronger by the end of the first week. It’s all progress from there.

Thank you for reading.


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