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What Are the Benefits of Isometric Exercise?

author image Angela Raizis
Angela Raizis has been a writer since 2007. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Exercise Trainers Association, as well as a certified instructor in Zumba, Yoga-Pilates Blend, Drums Alive and kickboxing. Raizis earned her Master of Education in physical education from Bowling Green State University. She is the fitness director for the McAllen Country Club in southern Texas.
What Are the Benefits of Isometric Exercise?
A woman is doing a plank exercise. Photo Credit: undrey/iStock/Getty Images

Isometric exercises are performed when the muscle length remains the same for the whole duration. Isometric exercises are beneficial because they do not add a lot of stress to your joints. They are great for use in rehabilitation and for increasing your strength.

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Isometric exercises take minimal time to complete. Most exercises can be done in a minute or less. The plank is a core isometric exercise that works wonders for the abdominal and lower back muscles. Try this exercise on a mat by positioning your forearms on the ground and supporting yourself on them and your toes. Tuck your navel in towards your spine and hold as flat as you can while squeezing your glutes. Try to aim for 30 seconds to start. If you are an advanced exerciser, try holding it for a minute or longer.


Performing isometric exercises regularly will help with improving the overall flexibility of your joints. Isometric exercises can help improve muscles after a surgery is performed, according to These can be especially beneficial when it comes to ball-and-socket joints such as the knee, hip or shoulder. These exercises can also help improve bone density, minimize arthritis and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Increase Strength

Isometric exercise is intense and contributes to burning fat and building muscle. When you are nursing an injury back to health, isometrics are great for rebuilding strength in that area just by holding for 10 seconds at a time. An example of this would be performing a shoulder shrug after a rotator cuff surgery. Take a short break and repeat the hold at least four more times. You can perform isometrics daily or whenever your schedule will allow.


Isometric exercises can be performed almost anywhere and do not require the use of weights. Breathing slowly and deeply is essential in isometrics and can also contribute to a higher calorie expenditure. Pushing or pressing your own weight on an object that does not move are common examples of isometric exercises.

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