Isometric ab exercises are an easier alternative to traditional crunches when you're overweight.
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When you are overweight, isometric abdominal exercises can make it easier for you to work your way back into an exercise program (See Reference1). While extra weight around your midsection can make traditional abdominal crunches seem nearly impossible, isometric abdominal exercises allow you to hold a muscle contraction so that you can properly position yourself and engage your core muscles more comfortably. Perform a variety of isometric abdominal exercises, make healthy food choices, and include cardiovascular exercise in a consistent routine to lose weight and make exercising easier and more comfortable.
Isometric Exercise Benefits
Isometric exercises are held contractions of specific muscle groups (See Reference 1). When you perform this type of strength training exercise, you do not change the angle of your working joint (See Reference 1). Instead, you flex and hold a muscle contraction in a static position for a specified period of time. While these held contractions will not improve your overall exercise capacity, performing isometric abdominal exercises can help stabilize your core so you maintain strength while working to lose weight (See Reference 1).
Examples of Isometric Ab Exercises
Planks and bridges are effective isometric abdominal exercises (See Reference 2). To do a plank, assume a pushup position, contract your abs, and hold this position for 60 seconds. You may want to start with modified planks by placing your knees on the ground and holding this position three times for 20 seconds. To do a bridge, lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat, and your palms down and beside your hips. Lift your hips off the floor to the level where they are in a straight line with your knees and shoulders (See Reference 2). Contract your abs and exhale while you hold this position for 10 seconds.
Adding Cardio to Isometric Ab Exercises
Isometric abdominal exercises offer resistance training in your routine, but you will also want to include cardiovascular exercise as part of a balanced fitness program (See Reference 4). In addition to being healthy for your heart, low-impact cardiovascular exercise can also help you control your weight (See Reference 4). When you are beginning a workout program, do your isometric abdominal exercises two to three days each week. On the other three to five days, walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes and slowly work your way up to 30 minutes (See Reference 4).
Research shows that negative mind talk delays and even prevents some overweight and obese people from exercising (See Reference 3). To succeed with your exercise program, surround yourself with supportive and encouraging professionals, friends, and family (See Reference 3). Also check with your medical professional as isometric exercises are not typically recommended for people with heart concerns or high blood pressure (See Reference 1).