In general, exercise involves moving the body in order to enhance your physical health. This may be done in a variety of ways, and different sorts of workouts necessitate different forms of muscular contraction.

Quick Facts About Isometric And Isotonic Exercise

AspectIsometric ExerciseIsotonic Exercise
DefinitionExercise involving muscle contraction without movement of the jointExercise involving muscle contraction with movement of the joint
Muscle ActionMuscles contract but do not change lengthMuscles contract and change length (shorten or lengthen)
Joint MovementNo movement in the surrounding jointsMovement occurs in the joints during exercise
ExamplesPlank, wall sit, holding a weight in a fixed positionBicep curls, squats, bench press, running
BenefitsImproves muscle endurance, supports dynamic exercises, suitable for injury rehabBuilds muscle, improves strength and flexibility, common form of resistance training
ApplicationsRehabilitation, physical therapy, improving muscular stabilityGeneral fitness, strength training, cardiovascular health, sport-specific training
EquipmentOften requires no equipment (e.g., bodyweight exercises), can use resistance bands or weightsUsually requires equipment like dumbbells, barbells, machines, or can be bodyweight (e.g., push-ups)
Risk of InjuryGenerally low, as there is no joint movementHigher risk, especially with improper form or excessive weights
ResistanceConstant tension on the musclesResistance changes as the muscle moves through the range of motion
Exercise TypeStatic holding positionsDynamic movements with concentric and eccentric phases
Blood PressureMay help lower blood pressureNot specifically mentioned in the context of blood pressure
SuitabilitySuitable for beginners, those with joint issues, or during recovery from injurySuitable for a wide range of fitness levels, can be modified to increase or decrease intensity

Muscles contract in two ways: isometrically and isotonically. In order to achieve long-term growth, you need to combine both forms of training into your workout routine.

But there are many people, me included, who do not have the discipline or time to go through long rigorous exercise regimes or workouts. So, that is why there is the question of which exercise is better between isotonic and isometric exercises.

Which will help you the most between isometric and isotonic exercise? This is the question this article aims to answer. And also, we will expatiate on all there is to know on the various movements you need to do to get the best benefits for the body.

But did you know that the way you move can bring different benefits to the body? Apart from isometric or isotonic exercises, have you ever heard of another exercise known as isokinetic exercise?

In this article, you will help you know the difference between these types of movements, and what you can do that will help you create a functional exercise routine that fits your individual needs, and ultimately give you a leg-up in reaching your fitness goals.

Alright, let’s move.

 

Isometric Vs. Isotonic Exercise

Isometric Exercise

Isotonic Vs Isometric Exercise - Healthsoothe

Isometric exercise involves remaining in a static position while engaging the muscles. The joints don’t move, and the muscle neither lengthens nor shortens, but the muscle’s tendon is activated.

Isometric exercise is less effective than isotonic exercise at increasing strength, speed, or overall athletic performance, but it can help to stabilize injured or weak joints to pave the way for more advanced training over time.

Isometric exercise can be made more efficient by engaging both the upper and lower body simultaneously to work the major muscle groups.

Isometric exercise is a sort of low-impact exercise in which muscles are activated without movement. The muscles tighten up during isometric activities, but the joints remain motionless.

Maintaining your body (limbs) in a plank posture is a form of an isometric exercise. There is no motion in the joints while keeping a plank posture, which stimulates several muscle groups and improves your core.

Isotonic Exercise

Isotonic Exercise - Healthsoothe

Isotonic exercise is a movement that requires muscles to resist weight over a range of motion, causing a change in the length of the muscle. We usually think of muscle shortening in isotonic exercise, as when you lift a dumbbell for a bicep curl or rise into a sit-up.

This is called concentric muscle contraction1https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Isotonic_contraction. Eccentric muscle contractions, however, such as steadily extending your arm or lowering to the ground while resisting the pull of gravity are also an important part of isotonic exercise.

Including a combination of these types of movements will help to increase muscle mass and strength and get the best results from your isotonic exercise.

While isometric exercise is all about engaging muscles with no movement, isotonic exercise involves putting a constant amount of weight or tension on your muscles while moving your joints through a full range of motion.

An example of an isotonic exercise is bicep curls, in which the amount of weight stays the same and your joints bend and straighten all the way. Other prime examples include resistance training exercises, including push-ups, pull-ups, and squats — where you use your body weight to tense up muscles and complete a full range of motion. 

What are their forms?

Forms of isometric exercise

Physical therapists often recommend isometric exercises for injury recovery, but many common exercises also fit into this category. Stationary exercises such as wall sits, planks, bridges, and hollow-body holds, are isometric.

While a yoga class involves isotonic elements as you move through the poses, each held pose is, in itself, an isometric exercise. Including a variety of isometric exercises in your workout routine not only makes it more interesting, but it also helps to work muscles in ways you may not be used to, making your exercise more effective.

Forms of isotonic exercise

Aerobic exercises like walking, running, hiking, swimming, skiing, and dancing are all considered isotonic exercises. So are resistance training exercises that involve movements, such as squats, pushups, pull-ups, bench presses, deadlifts, and bicep curls.

Even everyday activities like house cleaning, lawn mowing, and gardening also provide isotonic exercise. Isotonic exercise does not have to be boring! It can be an adventure and a way to play every day while getting essential exercise.

What are the benefits?

Benefits of isometric exercise

Isometric exercise is gentle on joints while still building and maintaining strength, making it ideal for those who need low-impact exercise as a result of injury or arthritis.

Also, if you have limited space in your home, isometric exercise is a good choice for getting a workout without having to head outdoors or to the gym. Isometric exercises build muscle, strength, and bone density while improving cholesterol levels and digestive function.

Like all forms of exercise, isometric exercise helps to lower blood pressure. Individuals with high blood pressure, however, should approach isometric exercise with caution and consult their physicians before beginning any new exercise routine.

Isometric exercises are ideal for maintaining strength, stability, and endurance. For instance, if you hold a low squat, that can help you hold that position for an extended period of time, but won’t necessarily help you do more squats.

Isometric exercise is often recommended for people who are recovering from an injury, or who suffer from joint pain like arthritis. Evidence is growing that isometric exercise may help lower blood pressure as well.

“For years, we avoided [isometric exercise] in people with high blood pressure or heart disease,” says Neil A. Smart, a professor of clinical exercise physiology at the University of New England. “But my work and others have recently shown clearly that isometrics is the best way to lower blood pressure with exercise.”

In 2014, Smart and his colleagues published a review of 9 studies looking at isometric exercise and blood pressure. They found that both people with normal and high blood pressure who did isometric training lowered their systolic blood pressure by 7mm, which the researchers say could be enough to prevent an issue like a heart attack.

Benefits of isotonic exercise

Isotonic exercise helps to strengthen your cardiovascular system2https://www.sportsrec.com/11-components-cardiovascular-endurance-fitness-8116445.html, as it results in increased oxygen consumption, heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac output, and muscular endurance while reducing the risk of heart disease3Heart Failure, Exercise Intolerance, and Physical Training. Diagnosis and Management of Adult Congenital Heart Disease 2nd Edition, 2011 ISBN 978-0-7020-3426-8 https://doi.org/10.1016/C2009-0-54256-0.

Isotonic exercise also improves bone density thanks to the consistent stress, which causes new bones to form. Stronger bones means you will be less likely to suffer a broken bone. Isotonic exercise also burns calories and improves important health numbers, such as cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Isotonic exercise can help strengthen and build muscles so that you can move through all types of motion with greater ease. This type of training is what most people do in the gym and has benefits for preserving strength as we age.

Isotonic exercise is especially useful for people at risk of or diagnosed with diabetes, Smart says, as it can help improve blood sugar regulation. A large 2017 study found that women who did strength-training exercises had a 30 percent lower rate of diabetes, compared with women who didn’t train.

Isotonic exercise can also help build up bone density, which can be beneficial for people at risk of, or with, osteoporosis, a condition where bone mass is depleted. Studies show that athletes who lift weights have higher bone mass and density, compared with other types of athletes.

Of course, it also helps to build bigger, stronger muscles, helping you to resist injury from strains, sprains, fractures, and falls. The more you participate in isotonic exercises, the easier it will get.

 

What of the Disadvantages?

Disadvantages of isometric exercise

Isometrics exercises require no equipment and involve pulling or pushing against an immovable object to produce static force. An example of this is if you were to clasp your hands together with your elbows bent and press your palms against each other. Although this type of exercise has some advantages, notably the ability to be done anywhere, there are also a number of disadvantages:

  • Limited Strength Gains: If it’s overall muscular strength you’re after, isometrics won’t help you in that department. Isometric exercises fail at effectively building overall strength, according to Mayo Clinic physical education specialist Dr. Edward Laskowski. Your muscles don’t lengthen during isometrics the way they do when you perform isotonic exercises such as weight training. Instead, your muscles remain in one position, without going through a full range of motion. This can improve strength in one specific position and angle, but won’t do much for building overall strength.
  • Increased Blood Pressure: Isometrics significantly increase the pressure against your arteries both when your heart beats and in between beats. Although these changes reverse soon after exercise, the effects during exercise are potentially unsafe if you have high blood pressure, according to Erin O’Driscoll, author of “The Complete Book of Isometrics.” Aerobic exercise is recommended instead for those with hypertension because isometrics can place stress on your heart and cause an irregular heartbeat, says O’Driscoll.
  • Muscle Endurance: Because isometrics require you to tense your muscles, without actually moving, you aren’t improving muscular endurance. Weight training, for example, directs blood to your muscles, which increases muscular endurance. When you perform isometric exercises, the blood flow going to your muscles halts, preventing your muscles from benefiting from oxygen-rich blood. In fact, this may actually reduce muscular endurance, according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
  • Considerations: Isometric exercise is not considered sufficient on its own and should be combined with some form of isotonic exercise, which involves controlled movements that lengthen and contract your muscles. Combining isometric exercise with isotonic exercise can help make up for its shortcomings. Isometric exercise is better used in rehabilitation settings where the goal is to provide general conditioning without placing unnecessary stress on the muscles.

Other cons of isometric training are:

  • Nervous system fatigue.
  • Cardiovascular system can be affected as well.
  • Affects coordination
  • Decreases soft tissue elasticity.

Disadvantages of isotonic exercise

Unlike isometric exercises which has a lot of disadvantages, isotonic exercises don’t have many disadvantages. One chief disadvantage of isotonic movements is that your muscles become quite sore during and after exercise because of the stress experienced during shortening.

You might need to take off increased time between isotonic training sessions, delaying your progress. Another drawback is that your muscle strengthens the most at the weakest point of action instead of evenly through the entire movement, meaning the time during which your muscles are being optimally strengthened is limited.

 

What about Isokinetic Exercise?

Isotonic Vs Isokinetic Exercise - Healthsoothe

Isokinetic training is a type of exercise training that uses a special machine. The exercise machine creates different levels of resistance. That way, your movements are at a constant speed, no matter how much force you apply. Whatever your strength level is, the machine can always match the amount of force you apply.
Isokinetic exercise refers to movement at a constant speed regardless of the force applied. Muscles contract and shorten at a constant speed in isokinetic exercises.

 

Knowing the Difference Between These Exercises – So, Which One is Best Among These Exercises?

One way to remember the difference between isotonic, isometric, and isokinetic exercises is to look at the meaning of the original Greek roots of each word.

  • Isometric means “same length,” so that your muscles do not get longer or shorter by bending a joint.
  • Isotonic means “same tension” so that the weight on your muscles stays the same.
  • Isokinetic means “same speed” so that your muscles are contracting at the same speed throughout the workout.

Wanna watch a video to know more on this, if yes, then watch the video below:

YouTube video

So, Which Exercise is Best?

Muscles contract in two ways: isometrically and isotonically. In order to achieve long-term growth, you need to combine both forms of training into your workout routine, but which exercise is best between these?

Isometric exercise is often recommended for people who are recovering from an injury, or who suffer from joint pain like arthritis. Evidence is growing that isometric exercise may help lower blood pressure as well.

But people often opt for isotonic exercises because Isotonic exercise helps to strengthen your cardiovascular system, as it results in increased oxygen consumption, heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac output, and muscular endurance while reducing the risk of heart disease.

Isotonic exercise also improves bone density thanks to the consistent stress, which causes new bone to form. Stronger bones means you will be less likely to suffer a broken bone. Isotonic exercise also burns calories and improves important health numbers, such as cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Isotonic exercise can help strengthen and build muscles so that you can move through all types of motion with greater ease. This type of training is what most people do in the gym and has benefits for preserving strength as we age.

Isotonic exercise is especially useful for people at risk of or diagnosed with diabetes, Smart says, as it can help improve blood sugar regulation. A large 2017 study found that women who did strength-training exercises had a 30 percent lower rate of diabetes, compared with women who didn’t train.

Isotonic exercise can also help build up bone density, which can be beneficial for people at risk of, or with, osteoporosis, a condition where bone mass is depleted. Studies show that athletes who lift weights have higher bone mass and density, compared with other types of athletes.

Of course, it also helps to build bigger, stronger muscles, helping you to resist injury from strains, sprains, fractures, and falls. The more you participate in isotonic exercise, the easier it will get.

So, folks, now we have it. Isometric vs. isotonic exercise: which is better? From the write-up above, you can obviously see why people opt for isotonic exercises, because it has many benefits.

So, isotonic exercise is better than other forms of exercise, and why? Now, you know the reason.

But, the conclusion is that our muscles contract in two ways: isometrically and isotonically. In order to achieve long-term growth, you need to combine both forms of training into your workout routine, but many people, me included, often oft for isotonic exercises because it has more benefits, but the truth is that it is very beneficial and highly recommended by professional health professionals and gym instructors to incorporate isometric exercises in your workout regime.

Including a variety of isometric exercises in your workout routine not only makes it more interesting, but it also helps to work muscles in ways you may not be used to, making your exercising more effective.

Any form of exercise will provide important health benefits. The best kind of exercise is an activity that you enjoy and are able to do regularly, and the biggest benefits are enjoyed by those who incorporate a variety of activities.

Choose the best types of exercise for you based on your current state of health, your goals, and your personal preferences. And of course, always consult your doctor so as to know the best form of exercise(s) that will be majorly beneficial for your health. For more tips on workouts that may fit your lifestyle, subscribe to our blog!

All right, guys, that is it for now for isotonic exercise vs. isometric exercise. I hope Healthsoothe answered any questions you had concerning isotonic exercise.

Feel free to contact us at contact@healthsoothe.com if you have further questions to ask or if there’s anything you want to contribute or correct to this article. And don’t worry, Healthsoothe doesn’t bite. 

You can always check our FAQs section below to know more about which exercise is better between isotonic and isometric exercise. And always remember that Healthsoothe is one of the best health sites out there that genuinely cares for you. So, anytime, you need trustworthy answers to any of your health-related questions, come straight to us, and we will solve your problem(s) for you.

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