Do you want to have strong muscles and a healthy back, but at the same time you have a sedentary job and do not have enough time to go to the gym? Then isometric gymnastics is what you need.
Irina Adolfovna LAZAREVA, Head of the Department of Rehabilitation at the Center for Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation in Moscow, talks about the advantages and disadvantages of isometric exercises .
– Isometric exercises are based on strong short-term muscle tension without stretching them. You can perform these exercises anytime, anywhere: at home, on the go, at your desk, watching TV, even in crowded transport.
Isometric exercises help to maximally strengthen the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor, the muscles of the urethra, pelvis, deep back muscles, which is very important for any woman, especially if she is preparing to become a mother. Strengthening these muscles is especially important if you have prolapse of your female genitals or have hemorrhoids.
Many women complain that after childbirth it is difficult for them to get the same pleasure from intimate life, as the muscles of the perineum have stretched and become too weak. Isometric exercises will help strengthen them and bring harmony back to your family life.
Exercises are performed with maximum intensity for 2-7 seconds, starting with 1-4 tensions and gradually bringing their number to 6-7.
For a full contraction of all the muscles of the perineum, it is necessary to simultaneously retract the anus, squeeze the vagina and try to close the external opening of the urethra.
While standing, sitting or lying down, it is necessary to contract the muscles of the pelvic floor as much as possible while inhaling and relax while exhaling.
During the first week, do 3-5 exercise cycles daily, alternating 10 tensions and 30 seconds of rest twice. From the second week during the lesson, perform already 13 stresses in combination with rest (30 seconds) – 3-4 cycles per lesson.
In total, you need to do 6-8 times a day. The mode of the third week includes a five-fold alternation of 15 stresses and rests per lesson, 10 lessons during the day.
As you do these exercises, breathe evenly, never holding your breath. Do not forget to alternate them with dynamic loads allowed to you. Relax your muscles completely and do some breathing exercises after each exertion.
Fell, woke up – plaster
Isometric muscle tension helps to prevent muscle atrophy in injuries and to better fusion of bone fragments, and also helps to restore muscle feeling and other functions of the neuromuscular system. With such indications, isometric exercises are performed both in a rhythmic mode – 30-50 voltages per minute, and in a long-term mode, when the voltage is held for 3 seconds or more.
It is good to start doing rhythmic tension from the second or third day after the injury, tensing the muscles under the plaster cast. It is optimal to perform 10-12 exercises in one lesson. From the third or fourth day, you can start long-term stresses lasting 2-3 seconds, gradually increasing the time to 5-7 seconds. Remember: in no case should you hold your breath.
Strengthening the “tree of life”
Almost everyone is familiar with pain and discomfort in the spine. Isometric exercises can help you get rid of them.
If you are worried about neck pain or you have been diagnosed with osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, try the following movements:
standing against a wall,
press on it with the back of your head for 3-5 seconds, then relax your muscles;
sitting at the table, rest your chin on your arms bent at the elbows, press on them, while trying to tilt your head or turn it to the side.
These simple exercises, combined with self-massage of the neck and shoulder girdle, will not only relieve muscle tension and fatigue, but also significantly strengthen them.
If you suffer from pain in the thoracic region, try to perform the following movements:
while sitting on a chair, press with your shoulder blades and lower back on the back;
holding the seat, try to lift yourself up with the chair;
while sitting, put your elbows on the table and press on it;
standing, touching the wall with your back, alternately press on it with your buttocks, lower back, shoulder blades.
Relax your muscles completely and take a short break after each exercise. Do not do more than 4-5 strains in one session.
For those who suffer from discomfort in the lower back, the following exercises will help:
lying on a flat surface with legs bent at the knees, press on it with your lower back;
a more difficult version of this exercise: while pressing the lower back on the surface, “squeeze” the muscles of the buttocks and perineum.
During an exacerbation, the duration of stress should not exceed 2-3 seconds. Then you can increase it to 5-7 seconds.
Those who are forced to sit at the workplace for a long time are familiar with aching back pain, a feeling of numbness in the neck and other unpleasant symptoms. We regard them as a side effect of sedentary work, yet they pose a serious health hazard. In the sitting position, the spine experiences maximum stress,
the nutrition of the intervertebral discs deteriorates. The stiff neck muscles compress the most important blood vessels that supply the brain. Hence the headaches, and dizziness, and increased fatigue, and decreased concentration.
If you want to reduce the harm that sedentary work does to your body, pay attention to your workplace. It must be properly organized and fit your height. In the event that you cannot make your workplace more convenient, try not to sit still for all eight working hours. Every hour, take yourself a mini-walk around the office and do gymnastics in which isometric exercises are harmoniously combined with dynamic ones.
1. Let’s start with breathing exercises.
While standing, inhale, raise your arms up through the sides, slightly stretching upward. As you exhale, lower your arms, slightly bending your back. Repeat 3-4 times.
Standing, raise your shoulders with an inhalation, lower them with an exhalation, 3-4 times.
2. Let’s work on the neck muscles.
While sitting, press your right palm on your right cheek, while your head presses on your hand. Hold the tension for 5-6 seconds, then relax and do the exercise on the other side. Repeat 3-4 times.
Sitting, place your elbows on the table and press your head down on your hands for 6 seconds. Then relax and repeat 3-4 more times.
Sitting or standing, put your hands on the back of your head and press your head on them for 6 seconds, then relax and do 3-4 more reps.
In conclusion, describe with your head a smooth semicircle from shoulder to shoulder and back – 3-4 times.
3. Now we train the muscles of the upper shoulder girdle.
This exercise is called backward jerks. While standing, simultaneously raise one hand up and back, and the other down and back, then change hands. Repeat 6-8 times.
While standing, place your left hand on your right just above the elbow and press on your right elbow,
pressing it against your left shoulder for six seconds, then relax your muscles and switch arms. Repeat 3-4 times in each direction.
While standing, place your right hand behind your head so that your elbow is pointing up. With your left hand, pull it back for 6 seconds, then relax your muscles and switch arms. Repeat 3-4 times in each direction.
Standing, spread your bent arms to the sides so that the shoulders are horizontal and the forearms are vertical, the angle at the elbow is 90 degrees. Moving your arms back, bring your shoulder blades together for 6 seconds, then relax the muscles. Repeat 3-4 times, gradually increasing the number of repetitions to 6-8.
4. And now – a unique exercise that will perfectly load all the muscles.
Stand with your back to the wall with your feet together. Squat slowly with your back straight, trying to lift your heels off. Do 5-6 repetitions. If you cannot stand near the wall, you can lean on the back of a chair or doorknob.
5. And finish with a breathing exercise: hands on your shoulders, while inhaling, bring your shoulder blades together, while exhaling, make a slight tilt. Repeat 3-4 times.
Perform all movements smoothly, at a medium or slow pace. Breathe evenly without holding your breath. Breathe in with your nose, as if you are smelling a rose, and exhale with your mouth, as if you are blowing out a candle.
Do this workout every hour, and do not forget to visit the gym and the pool two or three times a week – the muscles need a load. Try to walk more, if possible – do a massage.
By helping your muscles stay toned, you can avoid serious health problems and will always be in great shape.