What Are Isometric Exercises?
Isometric exercise involved sustained contraction against an immovable load or resistance with no or minimal change in length of the involved muscle group” (Carlson et al. 2014). In other words, isometric exercise is holding a steady position by activating your muscles without moving from the position. For example, imaging squatting down and holding the squat at the bottom position for 30 seconds without moving up or down.
Isometrics for tendon pain, especially very painful tendons, can give immediate and sustained pain relief. The exact science behind why it works is still under research. However, they have shown that it works on the cortical representation via the brain, which helps change the view of what is and is not painful. If the isometrics do not work on decreasing the pain there is a high probability that the tendon is not the issue or the source of pain. Therefore, it is a great way to ensure that your symptoms are truly from the tendon.
Improving Tendon Stiffness
Isometrics help improve tendon stiffness which at first sounds counterintuitive; however we want your joints to be mobile and tendons to be stiff. It’s difficult to stress the importance of the tendons when it comes to your overall strength, joint integrity and longevity of your health. They literally are the link to transferring force from muscles to bones and therefore generating movement
Safely Decrease Blood Pressure
For many of you high blood pressure isn’t an issue; however, an added benefit is always a plus. Research has shown that isometric exercises actually decreases your systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as, your mean arterial pressure. Traditionally, doctors recommend medication or aerobic (walking, running, biking) or resistance training to decrease your blood pressure. Those exercises do decrease your blood pressure, but research has demonstrated that isometric exercises actually decreases the blood pressure more significantly.