Isometric Exercises Arthritis

What are Isometric Exercises

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Isometric Exercises Arthritis. Images

Isometric exercises are when you contract your muscles in a specific area without moving the surrounding joints. The regular tension on the muscles could increase and improve muscle endurance and help with dynamic exercises. Use your muscles against resistance, like lifting weights and or resistance bands. Isometric exercises involve holding static positions for long periods of time.

This article will discuss what isometric exercises are and supply some examples. Isometric exercises place tension on particular muscles without moving the encompassing joints. These exercises are often useful for improving physical endurance and posture by strengthening and stabilizing the muscles. Isotonic and isometric are two types of muscle contraction. Isotonic exercises involve movements, such as squats, pushups, pull-ups, bench presses, deadlifts, and bicep curls. Isometric contractions occur when tension increases but the muscle remains at a continuous length.

Moving your muscles in a circular fashion causes the eccentric movements to lengthen the muscle while in isotonic movements, contractions tend to shorten the muscle. This exercise is typically similar to folding your arms and then opening them up to increase flexibility. Eccentric movements lengthen the muscle while isotonic movements contract your muscles. During isometric exercises, the joints are still, and therefore the muscles don’t change form or size.

Usually, it is recommended to hold the isometric contraction for several seconds or minutes. Using tension by holding the body during a certain position, while others may involve holding weights. Holding this contraction enables the muscle tissue to fill with blood and therefore causes metabolic stress on the muscle.

Isometric exercises are fairly easy to perform, usually, isometric exercises are easy to perform and do not need any specialized equipment. They are easily incorporated into many weight-lifting exercises. Many exercise regimens will include some isometric movements, alongside more dynamic exercises. Some benefits of isometric exercises may include:

They are useful exercises for activating many muscle fibers directly. They require less practice to perform exercises with propriety compared with some dynamic movements, like squats. Isometric exercises work well with people who may have suffered an injury or medical condition that restricts movement.

Purposes of Isometric Exercises

People suffering from osteoarthritis find these types of exercises to be advantageous in reducing pain. Increased stability and therefore the ability to carry weight over longer periods are just some of the benefits of isometric exercises. When suffering from lower back pain, osteoarthritis in your knee, and or neck pain isometric exercises may help you gain substantial relief.

Generally, these types of isometric exercises are less intense for major muscle groups. However, although they will be safer, isometric exercises could cause or worsen existing injuries. Performing isometric exercises with poor form also can cause injury. For example, performing a plank without proper form can increase tension within the lower back, potentially resulting in an injury. If an individual notices any pain or discomfort while performing isometrics, they ought to stop immediately.

Types of Isometric Exercises

Examples of isometric exercises and the way to try to do them There are many sorts of isometrics and each targets different muscle groups. Some common isometric exercises include:

1. Plank Image

Isometric Exercises. Plank Pose

Performing plank exercises is an efficient way of strengthening the core muscles. To perform a plank: Start during a press-up position. Bend the elbows so that the forearms are flat on the bottom. Hold the body for a while holding the forearms under the shoulders, making sure the essential muscles are tight.

2. Wall Sit

Isometric exercises. Wall sit image

wall sit

The wall sits could also be an easy exercise for improving muscle endurance within the thighs without straining the lower back muscles. Feet ahead of a wall, with the feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower the body into a sitting position in order that your back rests flat against the wall. Bend the knees to a 90-degree angle as if sitting on a chair, keeping tension within the core. It works better when you can hold this position for as long as possible.

3. Glute Bridge

Isometric exercises. Glute bridge image

The glute bridge is an exercise that targets the gluteal muscles behind your quadriceps. Your knees are bent upward in order that your feet are flat on the ground firmly. Extend the arms and face the palms upward. Engage the core muscles and lift the hips far away from the bottom until the torso may be in a line, using the arms for stability. By holding this position while keeping your core muscles active you gain increased benefits.

4. The Dead Hang

This method will make use of the upper body, especially your shoulder area. With the hands shoulder-width apart. Cross the feet and lift them backtrack to the bottom in order that the body is hanging in the air. You would be trying to hold this position for as long as you are able to. Lower into a squat position. At the rock bottom of the movement, move the arms forward to assist balance. Hold this position.

Isometric squat

Image credit: Active Body, Creative Mind.

This exercise is a variation of the traditional squat that builds endurance in the leg muscles. To perform this exercise:

  1. Stand with feet at least shoulder-width apart.
  2. Slowly bend the knees, push the hips backward, and lower into a squat position.
  3. At the bottom of the movement, move the arms forward to aid balance.
  4. Hold this position.

Isometric Exercises For Your Knees

1 Single-Leg Stand

Single-leg stands work on improving balance while strengthening your quads, hamstrings, calves, and more, all of which may reduce knee pain. 3 sets, 30 seconds per leg Lift one leg slightly off the ground and balance. Keep your single, standing leg slightly bent (don’t lock your knee). Hold for 30 seconds. Lower your lifted leg back to the ground to a traditional standing position. Repeat the exercise, this point lifting the other leg slightly off of the ground. Be sure to try to do this exercise next to a chair or table if support is required. Seek to try to do the exercise without the utilization of those supports, only using them when necessary if you lose your balance.

Lateral Band Walk

This exercise is completed with resistance bands and targets your glutes, hips, and inner and outer thighs. 3 sets, 20 steps on each side per set. With your feet hip-width apart, stand on a resistance band together with your knees slightly bent. Grip each end of the band evenly (You may have to regulate your band for appropriate resistance. If you’re using resistance tubes, grab each handle, crossing the band ahead of you if more resistance is needed). Slightly bend your knees, tighten your core, and take a good exit to the left side together with your left foot. Step inward together with your right foot in order that you’re returning to your starting position (hip-width spacing).

The above foot movements constitute one step. Now, repeat this motion for 20 steps on this side. After you’ve done 20 steps leading together with your left foot, repeat the above sequence leading together with your right foot for 20 steps, stepping wide, then moving your left foot inward to return to a hip-width position to finish each step.

Lying Leg Lifts

This exercise is both low impact and requires no equipment. It works your obliques, hip flexors, and adductors. 3 sets, 10 times each leg. Start by lying flat on your back (most comfortably on an exercise mat), together with your legs bent and your feet flat on the ground. Imagine pushing your back to the ground, as this position will leave a totally engaged core. Without locking your knee, fully extend your right leg, keeping your ankle at a 90-degree angle. Now slowly lift your extended right leg just until it reaches the peak of your bent left knee, and hold for 2 counts.

Slowly lower that leg just until it’s 1­2 inches off of the ground. While working this leg, your goal is to never let it touch the ground once engaged. Repeat 10 times by raising your right leg just until it reaches the peak of your bent left knee, holding for two counts, then lowering until 1­2 inches off of the ground (without letting it fully touch the ground). After completing 10 repetitions, switch and repeat the exercise together with your other leg. Alternate each leg, 10 repetitions each, for 3 whole sets.

Banded Glute Bridge

This exercise can target your entire glute, quad, and hip area with no knee impact. And, strengthening these areas can ultimately cause improvements in knee pain. 3 sets, 20 reps. Lie on the ground flat on your back together with your knees bent, and place your heels flat on the ground, hip-width apart, a minimum of 12 inches from your butt. Loop a light­weight to medium-weight resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees.

Your arms should be flat on the ground, together with your palms facing downward. Press your heels to the ground while slowly raising your hips until you’ve created a line from your knees to your shoulders. Press outward on the band to keep your knees from caving in. Pause and squeeze your glutes at the highest, then slowly lower your hips returning to the ground. Repeat 20 times per set, pausing/resting in between sets.

Side Lying Hip Circles

*Note: if you experience knee pain by lying on the ground during this position, you’ll do that exercise in your bed or place a pillow underneath your knee to relieve any pain by creating a softer surface.

3 sets, 15 circles on all sides, rest 1 minute in between sets. Lie on the ground on your right side together with your legs stacked on top of every other. Bend the leg making contact with the ground (should be your right leg at this point), and straighten your top leg (left). Slowly lift your top leg (left) approximately 6­-12 inches into the air.

Initiating movement from your hip, slowly move your top leg during a ball-sized circle, 15 times (circles). Rest for 1 minute, then switch sides, repeating together with your right leg on top for 15 circles. Alternate in this fashion for 3 complete sets.

6 Split Stance Deadlifts

A no ­knee ­impact exercise targeting your glutes and hamstrings, split stance deadlifts strengthen these muscles above your knee and may help with lateral knee pain also.  3 sets, 15 reps each leg. Holding a dumbbell of appropriate weight in each hand, your palms facing your thighs, step your right leg forward, knees slightly bent, your left back heel slightly lifted.

Bend forward from your hips, keeping your core engaged and your spine neutral. Continue bending until your torso is almost parallel to the ground. Briefly pause during this position, then keeping your spine neutral, return to the starting position.
Repeat for 15 repetitions, then change position, putting your left leg forward for the subsequent 15 reps.

Seated Leg Extensions

This exercise strengthens your quads, with no impact on your knees.

**Note: Using ankle weights can add intensity to the present exercise.

3 sets, 15 reps each leg. Begin seated using a chair in an upright position, keep your back flat, and start with both feet flat on the ground. Extend your right leg slowly without locking your knee. The goal is to urge your raised leg parallel with the ground, your ankle flexed towards your knee, and your toes pointing towards the ceiling.

Pause briefly once you this position, then lower your right leg back to the ground. Repeat for 10 repetitions, then switch legs, this point slowly raising your right leg in the same manner for 10 repetitions. Repeat this pattern for 3 sets.

Seated Calf Rocks

Obviously targeting your calf muscles here, seated calf locks into place with no strain or impact on your knees. To intensify this exercise, you’ll wear ankle weights. 3 sets, 15­ reps each set. Begin during a seated position, your back straight, and your feet flat on the ground. Raise yourself (your feet) up onto your toes, and hold this position for a second. Allow your feet to “rock” back onto your heels, and hold this position for a second. From your heels, return to your toes, repeating this pattern for 15­ reps. One rep consists of a full rotation from abreast of your toes, to back on your heels.


This exercise targets your glutes, thighs, and hips, while also performing on balance and is low impact also. 3 sets, 15 reps each leg. Stand in conjunction with your legs hip-width apart, your knees slightly bent (avoid locking your knees), and your arms bent, your hands fisted near your chin (think boxing or defensive stance). Bending from the hip, lean slightly towards the proper, shifting your weight to your right leg, and lift your left leg to kick bent the side.

To kick properly, lift your left knee, and without moving your thigh, straighten your left leg as you kick bent the left side. Imagine you are kicking a target. The outside of your leg, from hip to shoe, should be facing upward. Again keeping your hip immobile, bend that left knee again, lowering your left leg back to the ground and returning to a hip-width standing position. Repeat for 15 repetitions, then follow an equivalent pattern to kick together with your right leg for 15 repetitions.


Isometric exercises place tension on muscles without causing movement within the surrounding joints. By doing these exercises you can help build your muscle endurance. Some samples of isometric exercises include planks and glute bridges. They are suitable for people with a limited range of motion, thanks to an injury or medical condition. It would be of great benefit if you decide to use these exercises to get rid of any pain you may be suffering.

Please Always Consult With Your Doctor Before Attempting Any of These Exercises.


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Thank you for reading


Comments are welcome

2 thoughts on “Isometric Exercises Arthritis”

  1. Thanks for sharing this important information about isometric exercises with us. I have done a few of these myself but didn’t realize they had a specific name or purpose to them. I just new planks were a really great way to engage your core. I will try some of these others exercises and see if I can fit them all into a routine, as many of them target areas I wish to strengthen. 

    • Hi Rachel,

      I suffer from arthritis and these exercises help me out. A little bit at a time at first just so you strain any more muscles.

      All the best,



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