Isometric exercise is a great way to strengthen the body without requiring a lot of muscle movement. Isometric quadriceps (quad) exercises focus on the four muscles that make up the upper thigh. These muscles help control the smooth movement of the knee. Isometric exercise is a type of exercise that focuses on strengthening the muscle while it’s in a static position. The muscle is tensed and held in one position for a set length of time. This method of exercise works the muscle as it sits in one position, although exercises can be modified to work the muscles through a complete range of motion.
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Things you need
- Straight-backed chair
Sit in a chair with a straight back. Your head should be facing forward. Grasp the sides of the chair seat or arm rests with your hands. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor with the feet flat. Lift your right leg up, with a flexed foot, until it is parallel with the floor, and tense your upper thigh muscles. Hold this position for 6 to 8 seconds, then release to the floor. Repeat on the right leg 10 times. Give your left leg the same workout with 10 repetitions.
Breathe during each isometric exercise. Steady, even breaths will help you work your way through these difficult exercises. Don’t hold your breath during reps. Expect your quads to get tired; this is a tough workout!
Stand next to a wall with your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart. Bend your legs to a 90-degree squat position, extending the arms straight out in front of your body. Contract your quad muscles, and hold this position for 6 to 8 seconds, then return to a straight position. Perform 10 repetitions.
Stretch out on the floor in a sitting position. Your legs should be extended straight out in front of you. Use your hands on the floor for support, and keep your back straight. Your toes should be pointing to the ceiling (flexed feet). Beginning with your right leg, lift your leg to a position 2 to 3 inches above the floor. Hold for 6 to 8 seconds, and release. Repeat 10 times for each leg. Make sure you breathe evenly throughout this exercise.
Tips and warnings
- It’s important to note that isometrics should be combined with cardio training, especially when using this form of exercise to tone and strengthen the quads. Since your muscles are working while remaining stationary, you’re working only that muscle in one position. Combining these exercises with a good cardio workout will help you reach a goal of complete fitness.
- Folks should not perform isometric exercises if they have high blood pressure or heart disease. The reason is simple. During isometrics, your blood pressure rises during each muscle contraction. Choose another form of exercise if you suffer from these conditions.