How to Do Isokinetic Exercises

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

Isokinetic exercises are kind of difficult to conceptualize. Even your every day lifter probably doesn't know exactly what they are. In essence, an isokinetic exercise is one where your muscles move at the same rate of motion while the resistance changes. Still confusing? I know. Imagine that you're running, and every step you take forward your body actually gains 10lbs. You're still running at the same pace, but the resistance that you face is growing with each step. This is a hypothetical representation of isokinetic exercise. Below I'll outline 3 different ways to work your muscles isokinetically.

Step 2

The first way you can go about isokinetic exercise is with machines like an indoor stationary bike or a rowing machine. In both cases, you can alter the resistance that the machine gives you, yet your pace on the machine will stay relatively the same. These kinds of cardiovascular isokinetic exercises are helpful for your respiratory system and for the increase endurance of your muscles. Allow yourself to increase the resistance until the your pace becomes inhibited, then you can draw the resistance back as necessary in order to keep a solid and consistent flow of movement.

Step 3

Another isokinetic variation is getting a set of resistance bands. Underneath, I've linked a great set of bands that comes with a door anchor and a carrying bag. These are high-quality and offer a lot of variety for resistance levels. Isokinetically speaking, though, each individual band will provide a myriad of resistances throughout its length. So, if you go to do a bicep curl with a resistance band, as you get higher in the movement, the length of the band stretches and raises the amount of resistance. The speed of the repetition never changes, yet the resistance does. This is a fantastic way to recruit a lot of smaller muscles and add definition.

Step 4

The third way to isokinetically exercise is with chains. Whether you're doing pullups, dips, bench presses, or any other exercise really, chains can be extremely helpful in raising your strength and gaining mass in your muscles. Just loop them over your body or over the barbell you're using, and as you get further in the movement, more of the chain will lift off of the ground, adding weight and resistance without ever changing your pace. This is a fun way to get stronger and get bigger- isokinetically!

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

It can be hard to find the right isokinetic exercises. Most machines these days are actually updating to include isokinetic variations, but until then, you should attempt to stick to the things above and allow the changes in resistance to isokinetically work your muscles.

Stuff You'll Need

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Funny or interesting story about this topic...

Before I even knew that they were isokinetically related I would always see bodybuilders putting chains on their bench presses. You'll actually notice that a lot of professional lifters use isokinetic methods in order to enhance their strength, size, and endurance. Go ahead, look up and pro bodybuilder or fitness icon and in one of their youtube videos you can see them using chains, resistance bands, or doing cardio on the stationary bike or row machine. Isokinetic training, for all of its mystery in the field, is actually really quite popular. Now you have the proper term for these exercises- how's it feel to be educated?

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I got involved with isokinetic exercises before I knew what they were. I've always gravitated towards mixing things up in my workout routines. For this reason, I added chains to my benches and used resistance bands basically from the first year in the gym onward. I've always gotten a lot of benefits from isokinetic training and it has put a lot of spice in my gym time. Hopefully you'll find that the same is true for you. Happy lifting,

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