Updated: Nov 1, 2018
by Mark Wetzel D.C.
"After going through everything with my health issues and losing my muscle mass, even I can do this!"
- Miranda Griffin
The modern day exercise to help boost your physical
and metal awareness.
We all know exercise studies have shown to increase energy levels by increasing blood flow to the brain, raising your metabolism, and releasing endorphins to decrease stress.
In this day and age, there is multiple options and influences in exercise. crossfit, group fitness, heavy weight lifting, running, and more. But with so many options which one is the best for you and your body? Plus living in a 9-5 world, maintaining a family, a social life, and having personal time finding 1-2 hours 5 times a week to exercise can seem nearly impossible.
If you could find a way to increase your bodies physical strength, while influencing total body function, and mental clarity for under 30 minutes a day would you do it? This is the concept of isometric body movements. For 5, 10, 15 minutes a day you not only create physical strength but increase brain to body communication. No gym membership needed, and no crazy time commitment. For those of you who don’t know, Isometric holds involve muscle contraction without movement, or very little movement based on what exercise you are doing. For instance sitting in a lunge position and just holding at the most lengthened position (the bottom position of a lunge).
The benefits of isometrics holds.
~ Very minimal chance on injury.
Since isometrics holds involve no weights (maybe 1-3 pounds if you are feeling strong) your chance of ever getting injured are slim to none. Unless you have a pre-existing condition that is about the only way you could hurt yourself.
~ Teaching your body to balance out muscle groups.
Let's go back to the lunge, if you are in the bottom position of a lunge, you are contracting a lot of muscle just to maintain position. However, if you feel off centered or wobbly, this means that one muscle is contracting too hard and the other muscles are too weak to counter act its contraction. By maintaining the position and holding still, you are training the weaker muscles to work harder, and the stronger muscles are learning how to lengthen out, and become less tight.
~ Increase strength, endurance, and velocity (speed) all in one.
One of the most important aspects of an isometric hold is to squeeze your muscle as hard as you can. Squeezing your muscle is one of the easiest way to increase strength. Every time you squeeze a muscle it sends information to the brain. The brain is smart, and sends information back down to the muscle to have it squeeze harder. Over time this not only creates a stronger muscle but increases your brains ability to control the muscle. Holding a position over time forces your body in to aerobic respiration, which will increase your cardiovascular capacity. Yes this means you can get your cardio in without having to go for a run. Squeezing your muscle also forces your muscle groups (agonists and antagonist) to turn on and off very rapidly to maintain a position. Over time this trains your muscle to relax and contract and a faster rate, which creates speed within the muscle.
~ Time commitment
To reap the benefits of all of these you only need to maintain or hold a position for 3 to 5 minutes. When you are finished there is no sore feeling or muscle tightness because you haven’t shortened the muscle. These are very effective ways to increase bodily function while under the pressures on daily stressors.
Dr. Mark Wetzel - New Era Chiropratic