DO ISOMETRIC EXERCISES BURN FAT?
While one of the best ways to burn fat is to exercise, when it comes to actually burning fat efficiently, not all exercises are equal. The question of whether or not isometrics burn fat can be slightly confusing, especially to someone new to using exercise for weight loss.
First of all, what ARE isometric exercises?
If you are old enough to remember Charles Atlas, I probably don't need to say much more.
However, isometric exercises encompass a wider area than his Dynamic Tension ever did, and can be found in a wide range of exercis programs, including Animal Kingdom Exercises and good old-fashioned yoga.
A muscle is exercised isometrically when it is tensed without moving.
This is usually accomplished simply by pitting one muscle group against the other, such as by trying to use the biceps of one arm to "curl" the arm while resisting with the other arm, thereby exercising the triceps muscles of that arm.
Isometric exercises can also pit one muscle group against an immoveable weight, or at least a very heavy one.
Isometrics have long been recommended as quick and easy ways to build muscle and increase strength. Charles Atlas built his career around them, and even early fitness guru Bernarr MacFadden offered examples in his book, Vitality Supreme.
Science has proven that isometric exercises are good for building a certain amount of strength and bulk (discussed elsewhere), but, especially today, they are not that good for burning fat and losing weight.
First of all, in the days of such monumental figures as Bernarr MacFadden and Charles Atlas, people were more active and quick, easy, unhealthy foods were less available. Therefore, someonw who was out of shape could more quickly whip themselves into a better state of fitness by following a course of isometric exercises.
Since almost any exercise added to daily life can help burn fat, and increase energy (which helps burn fat as well), simply incorporating a series of isometric exercises into your daily routine could fairly quickly make you look and feel better...depending on where you were to start with.
However, since they involve so little activity and do so little to increase metabolism, such as with a good cardio program or a circuit training program, in today's world of little activity and lots of calories, it is not a good idea to assume that isometrics burn fat.
That's not to say that they cannot have a place in a fitness or weight loss program. After all, yoga relies on isometric exercise to a large degree, and, if done properly and in conjunction with healthy eating habits can help you burn fat, get fit, and even live longer.
Would I do isometrics to burn fat? Nope, but I would use them to fill in when on the road, or to get an exercise habit started.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Donovan Baldwin is a 70-year-old bodybuilder, freelance writer,
certified optician, and Internet marketer currently living in the
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, area. A University Of West Florida alumnus (1973) with
a BA in accounting, he is a past member of Mensa and has held several
managerial and supervisory positions throughout his career. After
retiring from the U. S. Army in 1995, with 21 years of service, he
became interested in Internet marketing and developed various online
businesses. He has been writing poetry, articles, and essays for over
40 years, and now frequently publishes original articles on his own
websites and for use by other webmasters.
He has an online store of various homeopathic and herbal health
products which can be found at nodiet4me.com/health_products.
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If you want to learn how to burn fat, a great book to read is
Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto