Isometric exercises, which may not look all that exciting, work your muscles and build strength without moving the joints, according to Sports Fitness Advisor. Many kinds of sports require isometric strength, for example, biking and skating. While performing isometric exercises is likely safe for most people, there are some safety guidelines you need to follow to ensure you don't injure yourself or worsen an underlying medical condition.
Warm Up First
If you wish to perform isometric exercises, you need to warm up first. If your muscles are cold or too tight, they are more likely to tear when you strain yourself. A brief cardiovascular workout will warm up your muscles and prepare them for the tension that isometric exercises are likely to apply to them.
Not for Hypertension Sufferers
Isometric exercises usually aren't suggested for people who have heart disease or high blood pressure. These exercises cause blood pressure to spike due to the considerable increase in muscle tension required to perform them. This increase in muscle tension is prolonged as well and can put those with hypertension at risk, says the Mayo Clinic.
If you want to perform isometric exercises safely, you need to make an effort to breathe deeply as you do them. While it may be tempting to hold your breath while working out, this can increase your blood pressure. Take take long, deep breaths with every movement to ensure your body is getting enough oxygen to perform the exercises.
Construct a Safe Routine
The key to performing isometric exercises safely is to follow a routine. Reduce the number of repetitions of exercises you have to do by using a heavier weight. If you are older or have an underlying medical condition, use lighter weights and do more repetitions. Do upper body exercises one day and lower body exercises the next to ensure your muscles get enough time to recover.
Brenda Barron is a writer, editor and researcher based in Southern California. She has worked as a writer since 2004, with work appearing in online and print publications such as BabyZone, "Cat Fancy" and "ePregnancy." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from California State University, Long Beach.