Benefits of Isometric Contraction

lauren-mann-plank.jpgThe tendons in your body are truly the powerhouses behind your daily routines. These elastic pieces of tissue connect your muscles to your bones, helping to support the weight and force you exert onto your muscles. Since your tendons do so much work to support your muscles, it’s important to maintain and increase your tendon strength.

According to the department of Sport Sciences at the University of Tokyo, isometric exercises help to strengthen and stiffen tendons.  Isometric exercises are exercises which involve contraction of the muscle where the length of the muscle does not change — for example, the plankScientists have found that long holds of muscle contractions produce a whopping 14% stiffer tendon than exercises that involve short duration contractions, such as jumps and sprints.

We recommend using durations of seconds to help guide your sets of stretching and isometric exercising. This will help you to make sure you are holding your contraction for long periods during exercises, which has been shown to cause a larger increase in tendon strength than sprint-like forms of contraction. Please feel more than welcome to ask one of the 14th Street Y trainers any questions regarding strengthening your tendons – or anything else!

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