If you need to ease yourself into physical activity on Monday, there are several low-impact but effective moves that can tone your muscles and increase your strength. Isometric workouts work your muscles while you hold a static position, targeting specific muscle groups, such as abs, legs, or back. They may seem easy, but workouts that require little movement can be more challenging than they appear!
By incorporating isometric workouts into your daily routine, you can better prepare your body for more active workouts (like your Monday Mile). There are several static workouts that can be done in very little space at any time and don’t require any equipment. If you’re not up for a high-impact workout this Monday, try a few low-impact moves with great benefits!
Here are three of the most effective isometric moves:
Plank: There are three different plank positions — traditional, forearm, and side. Each of them work different muscle groups throughout your entire body, especially your core, back, and arms.
Traditional plank: Keeping your back straight and looking straight ahead, get into a pushup position with your arms straight, your hands under your shoulders. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds to start and gradually start to increase your hold time. Aim to do a one-minute plank!
Forearm plank: Same position, just lower your elbows to the floor and rest on your forearms while keeping your back straight. This position will target your shoulder muscles.
Side plank: This one can be a bit more challenging. The side plank can work your obliques and help your balance. Start in the traditional plank position, then shift your weight until your left foot is stacked on top of your right while lifting your left arm toward the ceiling, keeping your right arm straight. Keep your back straight, maintaining good posture while reaching up. Hold for at least 10-15 seconds to start, then repeat on the left side.
Wall sit: If you have a wall nearby, you can spend a minute to strengthen your back and thighs. Using the wall as support, get into a sitting position. You should feel your thigh muscles engage. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds and repeat. Increase your hold time as you gain strength.
Static lunge: Regular lunges will work out your lower body, but holding the same position will have similar muscle-toning benefits for your quadriceps, thighs, glutes, and hips. While maintaining an upright core, lower yourself into a lunge position — remember not to bend your front knee beyond your ankle — and keep your lowered knee inches from the ground. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.
There are many more isometric workouts that can tone your muscles and burn calories. However, it’s important to note that isometric workouts should be done in addition to (not instead of) other workouts and physical activities. Monday is a great day to add these easy moves to your workout routine. By integrating some low-impact exercises throughout the day and the rest of the week, you’ll be better prepared to start something high-impact the following Monday!