Fitness Friday 10/23: Isometric Holds

Today's Fitness Friday mini workout was inspired by a class I took earlier this week.  We focused on isometric holds to work our glutes, quads, and abs, and man - they sure worked!  I wanted to share some of the moves we did and give you a little background about why isometric training is so beneficial (and why I love teaching it in my classes, too!).

Isometric training is a type of strength training where you're holding a particular muscle group (or groups) in a flexed state without allowing it to contract or extend.  Your typical bicep curl, for example, goes through the entire range of motion of the bicep.  In contrast, an isometric hold that works the bicep could be holding the dumbbell still with your elbow by your side bent at 90˚.  The benefits of isometric training are numerous, but my favorite point is that it increases muscular strength.  Obvious, I know, but it really does help, and when included in a regular dynamic workout, those holds are intense and you can really feel your muscles working.  

So!  Ready to get to holding while strengthening your muscles at the same time?  Keep reading for the details of the mini workout today.  The best part?  You can do this anywhere.  Seriously.  Anywhere.  Home, office, gym, park, in the kitchen, waiting for laundry, watching TV, etc.  Now, grab a buddy and go have some fun!

Fitness Friday 10/23: Isometric Holds

Fitness Friday 10/23

3 x 3 (3 rounds, 3 times today)
For each exercise, you'll hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Try to focus on engaging all parts of your body, particularly the targeted muscle group.

Boat Pose (primary muscle group worked: abs) - like a V-up, except your hands reach straight out in front of you.  Your body should form a V by keeping your legs straight and spine aligned - don't round out your back!  (You should essentially be balancing on your butt/tailbone.)  Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Close-Arm Push Up (primary muscle group worked: chest) - get into a push up position with your elbows close by your ribs.  Bend your arms so you're about halfway down in a push up.  Hold that position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, keeping your spine aligned and neutral the entire time.  Trainer Tip: you can do this move from your knees if you need to decrease the intensity.

Lunge (primary muscle groups worked: quads & glutes) - simply hold a lunge position for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each leg.  Focus on keeping your chest up and knees bent around 90˚.

Remember to continue through 2 more times for the full workout, and again 2 more times throughout your day today! 

Readers: chat with me!  What's everyone up to this weekend?  How are you staying active and healthy?  Do you add isometric holds to your fitness routine or group classes?  I love 'em - I hope you do too!