What Are Isotonic and Isometric Exercises?

isometrics exercises

There is always a new exercise term that pops up and has of us wondering, “Am I doing it right? Should I be doing this instead?” The short answer is… if you’ve been successful in your workout efforts, you aren’t missing anything. There is no one correct way to exercise.

Today’s article will go over isotonic and isometric exercises, the differences and similarities between the two, and how to incorporate them into your workouts.

Isotonic vs. Isometric Exercises

isotonic vs isometric exercises

If you’re serious about your workouts, look for fun ways to include both isometric and isotonic exercises in your daily training routine or work with a trainer to add more of these to make your sessions more comprehensive.

You’ll feel the benefits in terms of the range of motion and increased muscle strength in a matter of weeks. Because most of the exercises can be performed with limited or no equipment, you can still put some work in even when you don’t have access to weights.

Isotonic Exercise

The Greek word isotonic translates roughly to ‘same tone’ or ‘equal.’ During isotonic exercise, the muscle maintains an equal tone while shortening. This implies your muscles hold the same tension throughout the set. Popular examples of isotonic exercise include stair climbing, bicep curls, squats, and push-ups.

Some of the benefits of isotonic exercise include:

  • Increases range of motion muscles that support daily activities
  • Strengthens muscles
  • Develops bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis
  • Promotes cardiovascular health

Isometric Exercise

During isometric exercise (also known as static strength training), contractions of a particular muscle or muscle group occur. Unlike isotonic exercises, isometric exercises do not influence muscles through motion. Instead, the muscles remain stable, so that there is tension but no variation in length. Isometric exercises include planking, wall sit, and many yoga poses like the chair and tree poses.

Benefits of isometric exercise

  • Requires little experience and time
  • Rehabilitative effect on muscles
  • Promotes joint flexibility
  • May help lower blood pressure

The Most Beneficial Isotonic Exercise Examples

If you do a lot of strength training or know someone who performs strength exercises, you’re likely to be familiar with the most popular isotonic exercises we mentioned earlier.

Most of these movements are ideal for increasing muscle strength and size and should be executed using the largest amount of weight you can manage while maintaining good form through each position. Some of these exercises include:

  • Squats
  • Straight-Leg Deadlifts
  • Push-ups

Other common isotonic exercises include bench presses, shoulder presses, dumbbell and barbell curls, and crunches. Note: Squats and deadlifts may be performed using a barbell.

Some Great Isometric Exercises to Add to Your Regimen

To make the most of your workouts, include a few sets of these isometric exercises into your workouts daily to target specific muscle groups and reduce weak spots within your training.


Sticking to your regimen is essential if you want to see results over time and enjoy the gains you’ve been dreaming of.

Remember, any form of exercise will provide significant health benefits – mentally and physically. The best kinds are ones that you enjoy and are able to do regularly; however, the most significant benefits are reaped by those who combine a variety of activities, so get creative, and try new things. Choose the best kinds of exercise based on your current aims, your personal favorites, and state of health, for more tips on workouts that may suit your lifestyle, visit Fitness Realm.

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