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Isometric comes from the Greek term "Isos" (equal) and "metria" and means having equal measurement.
Isometric exercise are thousands of years of old, and are still used in modern exercise programs.
The angle of a joint or length of a muscle does not change during and isometric exercise. The opposite is isotonic movements, when joints move on their different planes, and the muscles involved do either a concentric (shortening) or eccentric (lengthening) contraction.
Isometric resistance is typically provided by body weight, a structure or object (e.g. a wall,) resistance bands and weights.
There are two types of isometric exercises. Overcoming and yielding.
An example of a yielding isometric exercise is when you hold a contraction steady instead of performing a full range of motion.
An overcoming isometric exercise is when you, for example, put more weight on the barbell then you can possibly lift and exert pressure towards or against the weight as hard as you can - as if you were trying to lift it.
The benefit of overcoming isometric moves is when your strength wanes you can still exert maximum pressure without risk of injury from dropping the weight.
Isometric exercises can be done seated without anyone knowing you are doing them, and are also easy enough to be used in rehabilitation and by geriatrics.
Try putting your hands in prayer position in front of your chest. Elbows out the sides and press your palms together until you feel resistance. If you want to turn it into a a chest and arm workout press as hard as you can for 5 sets of 5 seconds, or three 30 second long sets. Did you feel your pecs burn? Youtuber Bretcap gives a whole upper body workout in the following video. He keeps his shirt on for most of it.
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