Benefits of Isometric Training for Women


Although isometric exercise can be beneficial for everyone, there are some perks of this training method that can be particularly beneficial to women. Isometrics are great for improving strength and stability, which are essential in group exercise classes, like yoga, pilates and barre. On top of that, they can have a positive impact on the overall health and wellbeing of women, but that’s just the beginning! Here are even more ways isometric training can benefit women: 

Improve Strength & Stability

If you’ve ever taken a yoga or barre class, you’ve probably done isometric holds without even realizing it. Isometric holds involve contracting a muscle or muscle group and holding that contraction for an extended period of time. It may not be referred to as isometric holds by your instructor, but holding a pose in yoga, pilates or barre is exactly that. This type of training is extremely common in group classes of this nature and in order to improve your practice of these techniques, it takes an incredible amount of strength and stability, which can be achieved through continued use of isometric training both in and out of the studio. 
This brings us to our next point. If yoga, pilates and barre aren’t your thing, there are many other ways to implement isometrics into your training regimen that are just as beneficial to improving your strength and stability. Holding a plank, for example, is a popular full-body strengthening isometric exercise that is practiced by many, but even something as simple as holding an isometric calf raise or knee extension while in a seated position can have positive impacts to your strength and stability as well.

Relieve Pain

If you’re in pain, you’re probably willing to try whatever you can to relieve that pain and isometrics can be a great solution. Chronic pain, especially lower back pain, is extremely common among women and studies have shown that stabilization exercises, like isometrics, have been helpful in reducing that pain. Not only can they help find immediate relief to pain your experiencing, they can also have effects lasting as long as 9 months in some cases. Targeted isometric exercises work to activate and strengthen specific muscles, without aggravating the surrounding tissues, tendons and joints, which is why they are used a lot in rehabilitation settings. Isometrics are static holds, so they have much less wear and tear on the body than eccentric and concentric movements, ultimately resulting in less pain.

Aid in Weight Loss

With so many fad diets and exercise options out there, it’s hard to find a weight-loss program to buy into. This seems to be particularly challenging for women, as their biological makeup makes it a bit more difficult to shed pounds as quickly as men. Men typically have less body fat and more lean muscle than women, which in turn allows them to naturally burn more calories. Before you get discouraged, try incorporating isometrics into your training program. Isometrics have been proven to strengthen muscles, which helps the body burn more calories and lose more body fat. In fact, a study done by Dr. Jerrold Petrofsky proved that isometric exercise, paired with a healthy diet resulted in the average person losing 3.0 cm around their waist in just two weeks. That’s equivalent to one pant or dress size!

Help Reduce Risk of Disease

In the United States, heart disease is the cause of one in every four deaths in women and while this statistic may be a little shocking to some, we’re not here to scare you. Instead, we’re here to shed some light on ways to help reduce your risk of developing diseases like this. Studies have shown that isometric exercise is a natural remedy that can assist in lowering blood pressure, which is one of the leading causes of heart disease. Even simple handgrip exercises can lower the amount of pressure in your arteries and these types of exercises can be done virtually anywhere! We recommend reaching out to a healthcare professional to see if isometric exercise is right for you. 

Convenience

Between rushing the kids to school, your job and having a social life, it’s no wonder many of us struggle to find the time to get a workout in, which brings us to our last point. Isometrics are a super convenient way to get a workout in anytime, anywhere. They require little to no equipment and even short increments of isometric exercise can be beneficial to your health. Whether you’re at your desk, on an airplane, sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or anything in between, anyone can incorporate this type of exercise into their daily routine. 

If you’re not sure where to start, one easy way to introduce isometric exercise into your daily routine is with the Activ5 device and mobile app. Designed for those short on time and seeking convenient exercises on-the-go, the Activ5 program can help you remain physical, all while keeping up with your hectic daily schedule. Plus, with Mother’s Day right around the corner, there’s no doubt that many of us are thinking of ways to treat the ladies in our life to something special, and the Activ5 is a gift that will keep on giving.

Avoid Common Baseball Injuries


When we think of contact sports, baseball and softball don’t typically come to mind. However, throughout the course of practice and games, players are subject to a wide variety of injuries, such as pulled muscles, strained joints, twisted ankles, and even broken bones. Here are some of the most common baseball injuries and how you can help avoid them.

The Most Common Baseball Injuries

The most common injuries in baseball and softball are joint related – elbows, shoulders, and knees. And the position you play is also a contributor. For instance, a pitcher may be more likely to injure an elbow or shoulder, but a catcher is more likely to injure a knee. The most common baseball injuries include:

Rotator Cuff Tears: The rotator cuff is a network of 4 muscles / tendons that keep your arm in your shoulder socket. This joint also happens to have the most range-of-motion of any joint in your body. Over time these tendons wear down and eventually result in a tear. This is why pitchers are often limited in the number of games they pitch and how many pitches they throw.

UCL Injuries: The ulnar collateral ligament is a stabilizer in your elbow and gets injured with repetitive throwing motions.

Knee Injuries (ACL and MCL): Running bases is a recipe for knee disaster. A sudden stop while sprinting, landing on a flexed knee, sliding into base, or twisting a knee after planting a foot – all of these can cause serious knee injuries.

Muscle sprains and strains are also common baseball injuries and can usually be treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation. And both pitching and batting can put pressure on the lower back. This can develop into a condition call spondylolysis, which is a fracture to one of the vertebrae.

The Worst Baseball Injuries

Some of the worst baseball injuries are accidental and can keep a player off the field for an entire season or in some extreme cases the player may never play baseball again. These injuries tend to be broken bones and/or multiple concussions.

Fielding collisions: Two (or more) players going for the same ball can be disastrous. With their eyes on the ball, they may not see the impending collision and run full speed into one another.
Hitting the wall: There’s a lot of glory when you make a great catch but try and avoid running into the outfield wall or infield fence. Not much glory in going to the emergency room. Fortunately, most youth baseball fields have padding on the fences to avoid injury.

Getting hit with a pitch: Sure, it was an “accident!” We’d like to think so in youth baseball, but regardless of the intent, getting hit with a pitch is painful and potentially deadly.

Tommy John: This is a UCL injury that requires the dreaded “Tommy John” surgery. Often, pitchers will never recover from this kind of surgery, effectively ending their careers.

Some of the worst baseball injuries can be avoided by wearing protective gear and making sure you’re aware of the other players around you. And if you crowd home plate when you’re batting, you’re just inviting a pitcher to throw it closer to you than you may want. Play smart and play fair, and you shouldn’t have to worry about these kinds of injuries.

Exercises to Avoid Shoulder Injury

Aside from accidental injuries, there’s a lot you can do to avoid injuries related to the regular play of the game. The right kind of exercises can focus on the muscle groups you use most in baseball. Since your shoulder is one of the easiest joints to injure, we’ll show you some exercises that can help keep it strong, stable, and flexible. We prefer isometric shoulder exercises, because they’re zero impact and you can do them anywhere, anytime. These exercises are best done with the Activ5 strength training device.

Front Shoulder Raise

Isometric Shoulder Exercises

  • With your right arm bent 90 degrees, extend your elbow straight from your body. Your forearm should be directly in front of your chest
  • Place your left palm on top of your right elbow. Both arms will be bent 90 degrees
  • Press your right arm up into your left palm
  • Keep your arms parallel to the ground

Repeat with your left arm.

Shoulder External Rotation

Isometric Shoulder Exercises

  • Bend your left elbow by your side to 90 degrees
  • Reach your right arm over and place your right palm on the outside of your left forearm
  • Press your palm against your forearm, squeezing both shoulders and upper back

Repeat with your right arm.

Shoulder Press

Isometric Shoulder Exercises

  • Bend your left elbow by your side, fist up, about shoulder level
  • Place your right palm on top of your left fist, keeping your right arm at 90 degrees
  • Squeeze your left should muscles as you press your fist into your palm

Repeat on the right side.

Hold each isometric exercise for as long as you can. Rest for a minute. Then repeat two or three times.

French Tricep Press

isometric tricep exercises

  • Bend and lift your left elbow to eye level
  • Make a fist with your left hand
  • Place your right palm over your left fist
  • Press your left fist and right palm together, as you squeeze your shoulder muscles

Repeat with your right arm.

Avoid Baseball Injuries with Activ5

Whether you prefer baseball or softball, you risk getting injured whenever you play. The best way to avoid common baseball injuries is to stretch and warm up before playing, being aware of the other players on the field, and wearing protective equipment. And since fatigue is a key factor in baseball injuries, make sure you have a regular workout routine that strengthens muscles, increases flexibility, and improves endurance.

To help you in your training and workout routine, we recommend the Activ5 portable training device and coaching app. Activ5 has over 100 gym-based exercises that can improve your batting, pitching, throwing and base-running. Activ5 makes workouts fun, tracks your progress on a sophisticated smartphone app, and even functions as a game controller. Even the Pittsburgh Steelers are using it!

Why Isometric Exercise is More Efficient Than Working Out at the Gym


Do you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) both recommend that all adults participate in muscle strength training exercises at least twice a week? Besides improving overall fitness and balance, strength training will help protect you from back and other skeletal injuries. Many think that strength training means that they need to go to the gym, but that’s not true. In fact, isometric exercises can be performed easily pretty-much anywhere and isometric workout results have been proven to build muscle strength in less time than fancy gym machines.

Isometric Training Results Take Less Time Than Going to the Gym

It’s difficult for most of us to set aside a large chunk of time for exercise. In addition to the time you actually spend working out, you have to consider the drive to your gym, putting on athletic gear, and waiting for equipment to become available. Without at least an hour of free time, you can forget about the gym.

Isometric exercises don’t take nearly as long because your isometric gym is basically anywhere. Research shows exercising with isometrics can be much more efficient than working out with commercial weight-lifting equipment. An article published in the Journal of Applied Research shows that isometric exercises results in 4.1 to 15.9 times more muscle work in an equivalent time than a similar exercise on a weight machine. So if you’re short on time, isometric workout results may help you reach your fitness goals faster.

The Science Behind Isometric Workout Results

The Journal of Applied Research study shows that isometric exercise benefits muscles in several ways. Since dynamic exercises such as lifting weights require muscles to contract and relax, they pump blood back to the heart. Isometric exercise’s sustained muscle effort, however, temporarily stops blood from flowing freely.

Preventing blood flow deprives oxygen from your mitochondria and stimulates the production of free oxygen radicals. This in turn reduces the amount of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Since a lower concentration of ATP has been associated with building muscle strength, you can expect to get faster results from isometric exercises than dynamic exercises.

This may sound a bit complicated, but it’s just a scientific way of explaining why isometric exercises improve muscle strength faster than dynamic exercise. When you’re looking for quick results, it makes sense to choose an isometric fitness program because of how the exercises effect your muscles.

It’s Easy to Stay Interested in Isometric Exercises

Lifting weights can be boring. Even when you listen to fun music, it’s hard to stay interested in traditional exercise plans that keep you in the gym. Isometric training results can come more quickly and keep you more motivated.

The Activ5 from Activbody will help to keep you interested in working out. The Activ5 gamifies workouts, so you stay more engaged while you exercise. The amount of pressure you apply to the Activ5 device controls how your character moves in games. That mean great results while having fun.  You’ll stay so focused on Activ5 games that you’ll breeze through workout sessions without feeling bored. Activ5’s mobile app also creates personalized isometric workouts.

Going to the gym is the most popular way for people to gain strength, but it isn’t the most efficient. When you want fast isometric workout results without spending a lot of money or wasting valuable time, isometric exercise is clearly the better option.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#.WCJsQneZNBw

http://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/why-a-gym-membership-is-usually-a-bad-investment.html/?a=viewall

http://www.statisticbrain.com/gym-membership-statistics/

https://www.activ5.com/