Since bringing the ISOPHIT into my facility a couple of weeks ago this is probably the number one question that I’ve received from people interested. There is some curiosity for sure. However, most people into exercise can’t wrap their heads around the idea that not moving can create the results that this machine creates.
To put it simply, an isometric contraction of a muscle is simply creating a contraction without movement of the joint and little shortening of the muscle fibers. A good example would be to push against a wall or doing a plank. You’re not moving, but your muscles are still generating tension and you’re still exerting a load onto them.
With tension, we are still creating load through the muscle. The body responds to the increased demand by elevating heart rate and creates a scenario very similar to when you’re doing dynamic exercise. Once you’re done a series of isometrics you will be breathing hard, sweating and tired just like when you’re doing standard movement, especially since the rest periods are often shorter between movements. Imagine doing a high intensity circuit training – without moving!
Some sports require a large amount of static strength, especially in certain positions. Imagine a skier who is in a bent knee position for long periods of time. Imagine a volleyball player who has to be able to initiate a hard swing while being fully extended in the air. Imagine a jiu-jitsu trainee who needs to have leverage and strength in very compromised positions. Imagine a powerlifter who has to generate a massive amount of force to start a deadlift. All of these things can be worked on very well with isometrics.
Here’s a list of some of the benefits of using isometrics in an exercise program – beyond getting stronger. These have all been research studied and proven – if you want to read the studies themselves simply let me know and I can forward them to you:
- Lowers blood pressure BETTER than dynamic exercise
- Pain reduction for lower back (including disc herniations), shoulders and knees
- Can help reduce cervical spine injuries and possibly protect against concussion
- Preventing reduction of bone density and can actually INCREASE it
- Better sports performance, especially in sports like golf, baseball and others
- Specific sports movements like sprinting and jumping equivalent to plyometric training
- Rehabilitation for ACL injuries
- Elderly patients less likely to experience slips and falls
- Weight loss – studies have shown up to 20 pounds in 4 weeks
- Fat reduction, even in specific areas (something up until now thought impossible)
However, the number one reason that I decided to go ahead and invest in this piece of equipment is that it allows me to control levels of joint movement and is 100% SAFE. The good news is, now if you need to train into a specific position but can’t do it dynamically (or are afraid to because of pain) we can get you into that position on the ISOPHIT and get you stronger.
I’m also using it with my clients as an additional benefit to doing full strength sessions. With the ISOPHIT we can get weak or compromised joints into positions that dynamically they can’t get to and then work on strength within that position – again, without having to worry about other muscles cheating, momentum or any risk of moving through a sore point.
I hope that answers some of your questions. If you want to experience what I can do with the ISOPHIT feel free to check out my page and contact me to book your free trial session. Come and see what NOT moving can do for your movement!