Isometric Leg Exercises – Activ5 Simple Daily Workout Series Part 5


Welcome to Part 5 of the Simple Daily Workout series which focuses on the best isometric leg exercises to build strength and endurance from your hips to your toes. Often leg exercises are overlooked in lieu of a run or bike ride. While running and biking can be great workouts, it’s not always convenient and they tend to work the same muscles each time. And why risk an injury if you can get an efficient, effective leg workout at home, the office, or anywhere you have the time?  With Activ5’s isometric leg workout, you’ll feel and see the results in everything you do.

The Ultimate Leg Workout – Lower Legs

Most leg workouts tend to focus on three muscles – hamstring, quads, and calves. Your Activ5 works these muscles, but also can isolate specific leg muscles to ensure a more complete leg workout. And since Activ5 provides zero-impact isometric leg exercises, you don’t have to worry about injuries to your ankles, knees, hips or Achilles tendon. Ailments like shin splints can also be avoided. Let’s start with your lower legs and move up.

Calf Raise

Like any Activ5 workout, make sure to warm up and stretch before starting. You can do this leg exercise seated or standing, but try it seated first.

Isometric Leg Exercises

  • Place Activ5 beneath the ball of your left foot
  • Press Activ5 down with the ball of your foot, like you’re pushing it into the floor
  • At the same time, lift your heel and squeeze your calf

Remember to keep your back straight and your shoulders back. Repeat with your right foot.

Toe Raise

Similar to the calf raise, but this works the other side of your calf muscle group.

Isometric Leg Exercises

  • Place Activ5 under your left heel
  • Press your left heel into Activ5 as you squeeze your shin muscles
  • Keep your left toes off the ground

Keep your back straight and shoulders back. Press Activ5 into the floor while simultaneously squeezing your calf muscles. Repeat with the right leg.

Single Leg Deadlift

This exercise engages your upper body, core, and entire leg, but focus on pressing your foot to the floor to further work your calf muscles.

Isometric Leg Exercises

  • Step forward with your left foot
  • Keep your back and arms straight
  • Lower your hips until both knees are bent at about 90 degrees
  • Place Activ5 on your left leg just above the knee
  • Press Activ5 with both hands as you squeeze your leg muscles

Keep your left heel firmly on the ground.  Repeat with your right side.

Inner Thigh Burn

While this exercise is about your inner thigh, it’s rooted in your calf.

Isometric Leg Exercises

  • Place Activ5 sideway in between your two feet at your toes
  • Press Activ5 together with both feet as you squeeze your inner thigh muscles

Keep your back straight and shoulders back. Press with the front your feet on the ball of your foot.

The Ultimate Leg Workout – Hips and Thighs

Now it’s time to work the big leg muscles, but we won’t forget about your hips. Much of your power and endurance is in your hips, so when you’re doing these exercises, think about contracting muscle groups around your hips.

Squat Crush

The squat is considered the “mother” exercise, because we’ve been doing it since we were walking on two feet. It works the entire body, but you’ll feel it more in your thighs than anywhere else.

Isometric Leg Exercises

  • Place Activ5 under your left heel
  • Squat back and down as if you are about to sit in a chair
  • Press your left heel into Activ5 as you squeeze your glutes
  • Keep your right heel firmly on the ground

Keep your knees over your ankles and behind your toes. It will feel like you’re pressing Activ5 into the floor.

Outer Thigh Squeeze

With Isometrics, you can contract and hold several different muscle groups simultaneously to maximize the efficiency of each exercise.  That’s the beauty of using your own body to apply force and resistance from one muscle group to the other. The outer (and inner) thigh squeeze is a primary example of this. You’ll work both your thigh muscles, as well as your chest and shoulder muscles.

Isometric Leg Exercises

  • Place your feet shoulder width apart
  • Press Activ5 with your left palm into your left outer thigh on the side of your knee
  • At the same time, press your outer thigh into Activ5

Keep your back straight by pushing your shoulders back. Feel it in your shoulder and chest? Repeat on the right side.  

Simply by placing Activ5 on your inner thigh and reversing the resistance, you can do an inner thigh squeeze. This is a great isometric leg exercises that targets the 

Leg Press

As with the outer thigh press, this exercise works several muscle groups. While this is a leg press, it also works your core.

Leg Workouts

  • Place Activ5 under your left heel
  • Press your heel into Activ5 as if you are trying to push Activ5 into the ground

Keep your back straight and shoulders back. Contract your stomach muscles to maximize this exercise. Repeat with the right leg.

Squat Outer Thigh Press

A variation on the squat, this works your outer thigh muscles.

Isometric Exercises

  • Squat back and down as if you are about to sit in a chair
  • Place Activ5 on the outside of your left thigh, just above the knee
  • Press Activ5 as you squeeze your leg muscles

Keep both feet firmly on the ground, with your knees over your ankles and behind your toes. Repeat with your right side.  

Lunge Crush

If the squat is the mother exercise, then the lunge is her younger sister. Again, this exercise works multiple muscle groups, but the focus is on the legs.

Isometric Leg Workouts

  • Hold Activ5 between both hands in prayer position
  • Step forward with your let foot
  • Lower your hips until both knees are bent about 90 degrees
  • Press Activ5 between your palms, as you squeeze your leg and chest muscles
  • Keep both feet firmly on the ground

Your right knee will be just above the ground. This exercise is also about balance, so your entire body works to maintain the pose.  Repeat with your right side.

Clamshell

The clamshell focuses on your hips and glutes.

Isometric Leg Exercises

  • Place Aciv5 sideways between both heels
  • Press activ5 with both heels as you squeeze your outer thighs
  • Point your toes out

Keep your back straight and shoulders back. Press with your heels, not your toes.

The Ultimate Leg Workout: Get a Leg Up

As with other workouts in our Ultimate Workout Series, we have a final exercise to test you, push you, and to make sure you’re getting the most out of Activ5. With the ultimate leg workout, we’re giving you not one, but two final exercises. Good luck!

Halfway Lift

Like many Activ5 exercises, this exercise engages your entire body. Start with the left side.

Isometric Leg Exercises

  • Slightly bend your knees as you lean forward at the hips
  • Place both hands onto your lower thighs, with Activ5 beneath your let palm
  • Keep your back straight and slowly roll your shoulders back
  • Press Activ5 as you squeeze your core muscles

You can make this exercise even more challenging by placing Activ5 below your knee. Repeat with the right side.  

Tree Pose

The tree pose is a relaxing yoga pose that teaches balance, posture, and patience. It’s also a great way to warm down from the workout. While this exercise engages your arms and chest, the balancing component challenges all the muscles in your legs to maintain the pose without falling.

Yoga Exercises

  • Place the sole of your left foot on the inside of your right calf
  • Squeeze your right foot into the ground as you straighten your spine
  • Press Activ5 with both palms in a prayer position

Repeat with your right foot. Once you’re comfortable holding this pose, try bringing your foot to your inner thigh. That’s advanced yoga stuff!

Use Activ5 for the Best Leg Workout

This concludes the Activ5 Simple Daily Workout Series. Each workout in the series shows you just a sample of what Activ5 can do. There are over 100 exercises and the list keeps growing. You can create your own interval training circuit by mixing up exercises to work various muscle groups.

Activ5 provides the best isometric leg exercises available.  Activ5 workouts will strengthen and tighten your body, giving you the results you want faster than you thought possible. But it only works with the Activ5 portable fitness device and smartphone app. Get one today, and you will understand how powerful and effective isometric exercise can be.

Isometric Ab Exercises – Activ5 Simple Daily Workout Series Part 4


Welcome to Part 4 of the Simple Workout series which focuses on the best isometric ab exercises to tighten your mid-section and strengthen your core. Having a strong core, front and back, is necessary to properly perform almost every other exercise from head to toe. Whether you want to better define your six-pack or simply improve your posture, this ab exercise routine is a real cruncher, and we’re not talking potato chips! Grab your Activ5, and let’s get busting!

The Ultimate Ab Workout – Crunches

Say “sit-up” and you might think of your high-school PE class, fingers laced behind your head, struggling to “give ‘em 10.” You were more likely to strain your muscles than strengthen them. Thanks to Activ5, you can safely perform effective isometric ab exercises that focus on specific muscles in your abdomen, sides, and back – all necessary for a strong core.  Let’s start with crunches.

The Crunch

Like any Activ5 workout, make sure to warm up and stretch before starting. The crunch is the “core” ab exercise and has rightfully replaced the standard (and dangerous) sit up.

Isometric Ab Exercises

  • Lay on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground and knees about hip width apart
  • Place Activ5 in the center of your chest, beneath your palms
  • Contract your core to lift your head and shoulders off the ground
  • Press both hands into Activ5 as you squeeze your core muscles

Remember to lift with your core muscles, front and back.

Bicycle Crunch

Activ5 has a killer bicycle crunch, the kind of sit-up where you try to touch your elbow to the opposite knee. It targets your abs, obliques, and hips.

Isometric Ab Exercises

  • Place Activ5 on the inside of your left thigh, right above the knee
  • Lean forward and place your right elbow on top of Activ5
  • Contract your abs as you press on Activ5
  • Keep your chin tucked, and your left arm relaxed to the side

Remember to keep your back straight and press with both your thigh and elbow. Unlike the standard bicycle crunch, the Activ5 version assures you can actually touch your elbow to your knee and then apply muscle force, which makes this exercise even more effective (and safer).

Repeat on your right side.

Boat Pose

If your stomach muscles aren’t aching by now, the boat pose will sink you. Sorry, had to be done. All kidding aside, this one is a true test and helps improve your overall balance too.

Isometric Ab Exercises

  • Begin seated on the ground with knees bent hip-width apart
  • Place Activ5 between both palms and extend your arms out in front of you
  • Slightly lean back, keeping your back straight, chest open, and core tight
  • Press Activ5 as you squeeze your core

Keep your back straight by pushing your shoulders back. Be sure and press Activ5 with the heels of your palms.

Cat Pose 

This one is a nice way to cool down on the first part of our ultimate ab workout.

Isometric Ab Exercises

  • Begin on all fours
  • Bring both hands to the center and place Activ5 underneath both palms
  • Contract your abs as you round your back to the ceiling, then slowly curve it back down
  • Repeat slowly, while simultaneously pressing Activ5 into the floor with both palms

Push your core down and tailbone up, then slowly round your spine and tuck your tailbone forward. Repeat slowly and remember to breathe in on the up and out on the down. It will feel like you’re pressing Activ5 into the floor.

The Ultimate Ab Workout – Obliques

Now we’ll focus on your obliques – the side muscles that are often overlooked in “full-body” workouts. As with your abs, most exercises you do require the use of your oblique muscles. And, whenever you’re doing Activ5 isometric ab exercises, you should try and contract all your core muscles to further enhance your workout and increase its efficiency.

Oblique Crunch

A similar adjustment to the bicycle crunch, this exercise targets your obliques, but your abs and hips benefit as well.

Isometric Ab Exercises

  • With your left palm, hold Activ5 against your front right shoulder
  • Keep your right hand by your side
  • Contract your abs as you lean towards your left knee

Rotate your shoulder forward and down, using your core and obliques. Repeat on your right side.

Trunk Rotation 

The trunk rotation highlights Activ5’s ability to hyper-target specific muscles within a particular muscle group.  It can be done sitting or standing. The oblique crunch targeted your lower side muscles. The trunk rotation works muscles slightly higher in your mid-section.

Isometric Ab Exercises

  • With you left palm, hold Activ5 against your front right shoulder
  • Keep your right arm relaxed by your side
  • Keep your back straight and both hips square as you slightly rotate your torso to the left

Remember to keep your elbows bent at about 45 degrees. Press Activ5 with the heels of your palms.

Woodchop

The woodchop can also be done while seated. It’s an exercise that works your entire core as well as your shoulders, hip, and legs if you’re standing.

Isometric Ab Exercises

  • Hold Activ5 between both palms with your arms stretched out fully in front of you
  • Place your hands on the outside of your left hip
  • Press both palms into Activ5 as you contract your abs

Try to keep your arms straight and rotated to the left. Press Activ5 with the heels of your palms.

The Ultimate Ab Workout: Be the Chair

We like to end our Ultimate Workout Series with a final isometric ab exercise to test you, push you, and to make sure you’re getting the most out of Activ5. With the Chair Pose, you’re neither sitting nor standing. You are the chair.

Chair Pose

A properly done chair pose engages almost every muscle in your body. (Even your face, because you’ll be contorting it as you struggle to hold this pose.) It’s that good.

Isometric Ab Exercises

  • Place Activ5 between both knees
  • Extend both arms in front of you, while squatting down as if you’re sitting in a chair
  • Press Activ5 as you squeeze your thigh muscles

Be sure and keep your back straight and knees bent. This is hard enough even without squeezing Activ5, but that’s what makes this awesome full-body exercise even better.

Use Activ5 for the Best Ab Workouts


If you climb out of bed tomorrow morning and don’t groan as you remember this ultimate ab workout, then you may not have done it right. That’s okay, because with Activ5 you can do isometric ab exercises again at home or on the road. Forget going to the gym or packing travel weights. Activ5 is the best isometric workout device you can find.  It’s portable, quick, and easy to use, so you can squeeze in short, full-body, low-impact workouts throughout your day.

Next, the Activ5 workout series focuses on isometric leg exercises. This series is the best isometric workout available and will strengthen and tighten your body, giving you the results you want faster than you thought possible. But it only works with the Activ5 portable fitness device and smartphone app. Get one today, and you will understand how powerful and effective isometric exercise can be.

Isometric Arm Exercises: Activ5 Simple Daily Workout Series Part 2


The Simple Workout Series – Isometric Arm Exercises

Welcome to Part 2 of the Simple Daily Workout series where we will show you isometric arm exercises that will tone and strengthen your arms. Whether your goal is to get more cut for the beach or just lose that dreaded arm flab, the Activ5 isometric arm workout will help you see results faster than ever.  Get ready to “curl-up” with Activ5!

The Ultimate Arm Workout – Isometric Bicep Exercises

Be honest… next to losing a few inches off your waist, having nice muscle definition in your arms makes your feel pretty good about yourself.  That’s probably why arm exercises are often more popular than others because you tend to see results almost immediately and increases in your strength and stamina more quickly. From the bench press to curls to dips to presses, the Activ5 isometric fitness device can replicate almost any kind of arm exercise, only as an isometric arm workout. Let’s start with exercises that target biceps.

Bicep Curls

This is the foundation of bicep exercises, the basic arm curl. Do this exercise while seated.

Isometric Bicep Exercises

  • Hold Activ5 in your left palm
  • Lean forward at the waist and place your left elbow on the inside of your left knee
  • Place your right palm on top of Activ5
  • Press Activ5 with the heels of your palms
  • Keep both elbows bent at 90 degrees
  • Keep your right elbow above your right knee

Switch and repeat with your right arm.

Hammer Curls

A simple twist of the wrist and making a fist targets a different part of your bicep with this curl.

Isometric Bicep Exercises

  • Bend your left elbow by your side at 90 degrees
  • Make a fist with your left hand
  • Place Activ5 on top of your left fist with your right palm
  • Squeeze your left bicep as you press Activ5 with your left fist and right palm
  • Keep both elbow bent at 8

Repeat on your right side.

Left Hook

This is a combination exercise that works your biceps, triceps, and shoulders.

Bicep Exercises

  • Make a fist with your left hand
  • Bend and bring your left elbow up, keep your forearm parallel to the ground
  • Position Activ5 between your right palm and your left fist
  • Keep both arms parallel to the floor
  • Press Activ5 with your left fist and right palm

Repeat on your right side.

The Ultimate Arm Workout – Isometric Triceps Exercises

Often overlooked, triceps exercises can help get rid of your arm flaps, but also aid in other endurance workouts like running and swimming.

Single Arm Chest Press

Shoulder injuries due to improper bench press technique are some of the most common weight lifting injuries. This is our version of the bench press and saves your shoulders from overdoing it.

isometric tricep exercises

  • Extend your left arm to the side with your elbow bent at 90 degrees
  • Place Activ5 with your right hand in front of your left fist
  • Press your left fist into Activ5, while squeezing your chest
  • Keep both elbows bent at 90-degrees, with your arms parallel to the floor

Repeat with your right arm.

French Triceps Press

This classic triceps exercise also gives you a shoulder workout too.

isometric tricep exercises

  • Bend and lift your left elbow to eye level
  • Make a fist with your left hand
  • Place Activ5 on the bottom of your left fist with your right palm
  • Press Activ5 with your left fist and right palm, as you squeeze your shoulder muscles
  • Keep your back straight and pull your shoulders back

Repeat on the right side.

Side Bend Press

While this may not seem like a traditional triceps exercise, is works the same muscle groups as the dip.

Isometric elbow exercises

  • Place Activ5 on your desk in front of your left arm
  • Place your left palm on Activ5
  • Bend sideways slightly to the left
  • Push down on Activ5 with the heel of your palm, using your triceps and oblique muscles

Repeat on your right side.

Standing Chest Fly

The chest fly is a gym favorite and works your core as well as your triceps and biceps.

isometric tricep exercises

  • Hold Activ5 between both hands in prayer positions with your arms stretched out in front of you
  • Straighten your back and pull shoulders back
  • Press Activ5 between the heels of your palms into and squeeze your chest muscles
  • Keep both feet firmly on the ground

Zen Chest Press

If you’ve done all of the previous isometric arm exercises, you may need to go to your “zen” place. So here’s the perfect exercise for you!

arm exercises

  • Hold Activ5 between both hands in prayer position with your elbows out, bent at 90 degrees
  • Lift your hands, so your palms are just above eye level
  • Press Activ5 with both heels of your palms by squeezing your chest muscles

The Ultimate Bicep / Triceps Exercise

Here’s one to grow on, as they say. This variation of the curl works both your biceps and your triceps equally by simply extending the curl in front of your body.

Opposing Bicep & Tricep Press

Here’s one to grow on, as they say. This variation of the curl works both your biceps and your triceps equally by simply extending the curl in front of your body.

Isometric Arm Exercises

  • Hold Activ5 in your left palm
  • Bend your left elbow at 90 degrees
  • Place your right palm on top of Activ5
  • Press Activ5 with the heels of both palms
  • Keep both arms bent at a 90-degree angle

Using Activ5 for the Best Arm Workouts

You just completed one of the most effective isometric arm workouts you can find, and it’s something you can do at home or on the road. Forget going to the gym or packing travel weights. Activ5 is the best isometric workout device you can find.  It’s portable, quick, and easy to use, so you can squeeze in short, full-body, low-impact workouts throughout your day.

Next, the Activ5 workout series focuses on isometric shoulder exercises. This series is the best isometric workout available and will strengthen and tighten your body, giving you the results you want faster than you thought possible. But it only works with the Activ5 portable fitness device and smartphone app. If you don’t have one yet, get one and get started!

Reduce Low Back Pain with Quick Isometric Back Exercises


How to Reduce Low Back Pain with Quick Isometric Workouts

Low back pain is an affliction that is linked to weakened core muscles and musculoskeletal integrity in and around the spinal column. A variety of diagnoses including arthritis, spinal stenosis and endometriosis, cause the conditions leading to low back pain.  An extensive 2014 study suggested that isometric back exercise aids those suffering from low back pain to build core stability for a better quality of life.

Accessible and convenient, quick isometric back exercises and workouts build core muscles and increase vitality. It is ideal for people recovering from back injuries, those who suffer from low back pain, and for busy professionals who spend a lot of time sitting. If your schedule doesn’t allow for long workouts, there is a simple solution that will set you on a track to improving your quality of life.

Moreover, recent innovations in the exercise tech sector have revolutionized isometric exercise in such a way that you can engage in fun, quick workouts while monitoring your activity and documenting your progress.

Self-administer Physical Therapy

Broken bones, strained ligaments and sprained joints all require healing time. During this period, tissue in and around the injury is subject to atrophy. Isometrics can build muscle strength without the discomfort of high-impact activities like running and weight lifting. For example, low back pain from a herniated disc means that the region needs to be eased back into condition. With a doctor’s approval, you can expedite the process with quick workouts that engage the lower back muscles for intervals ranging from five to sixty seconds.

For example, isometric Yoga poses, including the Locust, the Bird-Dog, and the Superman, reduce low back pain. Yes, these are all forms of isometric back exercises! The muscle contraction should be intense enough to be felt but not so much that it causes pain. Repeat these exercises several times throughout the week to gradually build muscle strength. 

Stabilize for Back Pain Relief

The musculoskeletal advantages of isometric exercise also improves core stabilization, which reduces stress on the lower back. Low back pain is often the result of atrophied muscles from an overly sedentary lifestyle.  A recently published study demonstrates that isometric exercise is an excellent solution while providing additional benefits. A panel of 39 female subjects suffering from lower back pain underwent a four-week workout program, resulting in unanimous reports of reduced pain and increased vitality. What’s more, the health improvements lasted for nine months after the official exercise program ended. Quick isometric workouts builds muscle strength around your core, leading to an improved quality of life.

Reduce Low Back Pain from Sitting Too Much

Recent medical research has revealed that regularly sitting down for extended periods contributes to bad posture and low back pain. If sitting for long periods is unavoidable in your job, you don’t have to take it sitting down, so to speak. While at the wheel, behind a desk, or at a computer screen, you can perform isometrics without disrupting your routine. These include abdominal and pelvic floor contractions, among other exercises.  Additionally, as exercising increases circulation, you also benefit from improved mental clarity and enhanced energy.

isometric exercises for lumbar spineIsometric Back Exercises

It can be tough to find appropriate back exercises that help you to become more flexible and strengthen your muscles, without causing injury. Particularly if you a;ready have pre-existing back conditions. But, when you try the isometric back exercises that we have sourced for you through the Activ5 app, it’s a whole new world of opportunity. From lat pull-downs to seated rows, you can use the principles of isometric exercise for back strength.

The Isometric Revolution

Activbody has innovated a way for those interested in isometrics to experience it in a fun, engaging and connected way. The Activ5 device is an isometric exercise device that connects your movements with a smartphone app.  It coaches you through quick workouts while tracking and measuring your levels and progress. With Activ5 as your coach, you can build muscle strength, reduce low back pain, and enjoy an enhanced quality of life.

Sources:

https://draxe.com/isometric-exercises/

http://ptjournal.apta.org/content/85/7/676

http://www.dynamicpt.com/library_treatments_56/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005

https://www.zvab.com/9780990606109/0990606104/plp

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/25/health/la-he-dont-sit-20130525

http://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/6-exercises-you-can-do-while-sitting-at-your-desk.html/?a=viewall

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258252724_Effects_of_Stabilization_Exercises_on_Health-Related_Quality_of_Life_in_Women_With_Chronic_Low_Back_Pain

http://www.healthline.com/symptom/low-back-pain

http://www.livestrong.com/article/106461-isometric-exercises-lower-back/

http://www.dianelee.ca/article-training-deep-core-muscles.php

Top Exercises for People Living With a Disability


Top isometric chair exercises for people living with a disability

Getting in better physical condition is a challenge for anyone. Keeping fit is especially challenging for those living with a physical limitation, limited mobility, or a disability. An isometric workout program may be the solution for anyone looking for wheelchair exercises, physical therapy exercises, and limited mobility exercises.  Isometrics are also effective exercises for other conditions such as cerebral palsy, motor disorders, stroke victims, obesity, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, visual impairment, injuries, and anything that limits your physical abilities.

Isometrics exercises are perfect for anyone living with a disability. Here’s why:

  • You can do isometric exercises in your own home
  • Isometrics are zero-impact
  • Isometrics make great chair exercises
  • Isometrics require no expensive equipment or gym memberships
  • Isometrics can be done anywhere, anytime
  • Isometrics increase strength, improve flexibility, balance, and increase your endurance and cardiovascular health

The core concept of isometrics is simple. You contract muscles and hold them (static muscle contraction). You use the resistance of your own body and your body’s weight as your personal “exercise machine.” The only thing you need to exercise other than your body is motivation!

Don’t believe us? Let us prove it to you. Here are just a few isometric exercises you can try that will make you a believer.

Seated Chair Exercises

Seated exercises can be done by just about anyone, but we encourage you not to limit yourself to seated exercises unless you have no other choice. Here are a few seated isometric chair exercises to get you started.

Breathing: Yep, just breathing, but with a slight variation. Sit straight up as possible. Take in a deep breath. Now, tighten your abdominal muscles as hard as you can. Count to ten. Release the air. Do this 10 times. A little out of breath now?

Chair lifts: Sit upright in a chair (or wheelchair). Bend your elbows and position your hands directly under your shoulders. Push yourself up an inch or two out of your seat. Even if you can’t push yourself up, just push hard. Hold it for 10 seconds. Lower yourself back down. Do this 10 times (if you can).

For chair lifts, the angle of your arms makes a difference. Try it at a 45-degree angle, then 90 degrees, then 120 degrees. Feel the difference?

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy: You can do this one even while lying down. Put your palms together directly in front of your chest and lock your fingers. Push your hands together as hard as you can for 10 seconds. Then, keeping your hands locked together, try and pull them apart for 10 seconds. Do this 10 times. Not so easy, right?

 Arm Wrestle Yourself: Put your right arm across your body, palm up. Put your left hand on top of your right hand. Push down. Your right bicep works to keep your right arm from dropping. Your left tricep works to push the right arm down. Hold this for 10 seconds, then repeat on the other side. And the winner is…You!

You’ll be surprised at how many exercises can be done while seated or lying prone.

Limited Mobility Exercises

If you have limited mobility and have the ability to walk, we encourage you to do so. This is one of the best exercises for people with limited mobility, and while it’s not an isometric exercise, it’s great for your heart health and building your endurance.

Stand Up and Put ‘em Up: Stand up straight and tall. Cross your right foot over the left without twisting your hips. Place your right palm against your right hip. Slowly sweep your left hand out to the side and above your head as high as you can stretch. Lean over to the right. You’ll feel the stretch. Hold this for 10 seconds, while breathing deeply. Do this on the other side.

Squeeze Yourself: Your body is a personal gym just waiting to be used for your personal gain. Stand up tall and contract your glutes and thighs. Hold it for 10 second, relax for 10, then repeat 10 times. Next, tighten your abdominal muscles as if someone were about to punch you in the stomach. Hold for 10, rest for 10, repeat for 10. You get the idea.

Standing Wall Plank: Stand a little less than an arm’s length from a stable wall, with your feet shoulder width apart. Reach out with your palms against the wall, as if you’re doing a standing push-up against the wall. At various stages during this standing push-up, hold your position for 10 seconds. This works your core, biceps and triceps.

Squats: If your disability limits your lower or upper body too much, you shouldn’t try this exercise without assistance (or at all). Squats are one of the best exercises you can do if done properly. Stand with your feet a little wider than your shoulders. Align your hips over your knees and your knees over your ankles. Stand up straight. No slouching! Put your arms out straight in front of you, palms down. Take a deep breath and slowly bend your knees. As you lower yourself, keep sticking your butt out, keep your chest and shoulders straight and your head facing forward. The best squats are the deepest your mobility allows, ideally with your hips below your knees.

Slowly raise back up, stop halfway up and hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat this 5 times or until you can’t safely do another squat.

Forearm Plank: For this exercise, don’t do it without assistance if your disability is too limiting. Start by positioning your body face down on the floor, with your forearms on the floor, so you’re supporting your body in a push-up position. Tighten your abs and hold this position for 10 seconds. This works your core, both front and back.

There are dozens more isometric exercises you can try. Mix it up. Work out different parts of your body. In a few weeks, you will see a noticeable gain in your strength, flexibility, and mobility.

Isometrics Work!

Isometric exercise is one of the ideal physical activities for people with disabilities whether it’s limited mobility or chair exercises. To enhance your workouts and make them fun, efficient and even more effective, try the Activ5 portable isometric-based strength training device and coaching app. Activ5 features over 100 gym-based exercises and each takes less than 5 minutes. The smartphone app calibrates to your physical abilities, teaches you the exercises, and tracks your progress. It even has games you can play, using the Acti5 device as a controller.

Obviously, any exercise will need to be adjusted to suit your specific abilities, but even doing these isometrics once, you will feel it working. In less time than you thought possible, you will increase your strength, endurance, mobility, agility, flexibility, and lose some weight too! Make sure you consult with your physician before starting any exercise routine. Get started today!

Flowers Again? 5 Things You Can Do to Make Your Mom Love You Even More


It sounds like a question on Family Feud – what are the most common Mother’s Day gifts? According to Forbes.com and based upon the billions of dollars we spend on Mother’s Day presents. the number one gift is… A meal out. Could be brunch, lunch or dinner, but nearly 4 in 10 of you did just that.

But, this answer is kind of misleading. Seriously, how many of you would take your mom out to lunch or dinner and NOT give her something else? Say…jewelry, flowers, a card, or a gift card to her favorite store? Of course, you do! She’s your mom. (By the way, those last four gifts are 2 thru 5 on the Forbes most-popular-gift list.)

5 Tips to Make Your Mom Love You Even More

Well, we have a few ideas, so you can mix it up a bit and make her REALLY happy:

  1. A meal together: NO, this is different! Avoid the The Cheesecake Factory (and calories) this year and do something unique. Make her a favorite meal from her childhood. Don’t cook? Pick up a delicious meal and bring it to her house. If it’s a wonderful day outside, have a picnic. The point is to do something memorable. Take a few photos and you can make a scrapbook as a follow-up give (major bonus points).
  1. Make a scrapbook (you saw this coming): You’ve had a smartphone for years. Pick out the best photos, print them, and make your mom a scrapbook. Sprinkle in some old photos and include some handwritten quotes or a poem or two about moms. If you really want to make it special, have you and your siblings come up with the 55 (or her age) things we love about mom. Write these all over the book. You’ll be surprised how many you come up with when you start reminiscing.

Not creative? Try using the Internet and copy something.

  1. A cool, recurring gift: Get her something she’ll continue to get throughout the year to remind her to keep you in the will. Just make sure it’s something cool and on-point with things she likes to eat, wear, or do. If you’re truly a great child, you will make her a recurring gift. Now THAT’S a boss move.
  1. Something Unique: On the other hand, if you’re really lazy and just don’t care that much about Mother’s Day, at least get her something unique from Etsy or Uncommon Goods.
  1. The Activ5 portable workout device: The best thing you can give your mom this year is something that’s good for her. An Activ5 device and app for her phone has all of the above gifts all “wrapped” into one. First, you’re going to take her out to lunch anyway. Don’t cheap out on your mom; give her this too!

Second, it’s cool and recurring, because she exercises with it every day. Third, it’s going to give you ongoing photo opportunities for a scrapbook as your mom loses weight, becomes more active, and generally enjoys life more, as she uses her Activ5 to get in better shape.

Why is Activ5 the Perfect Mother’s Day Gift?

Any mom can benefit from it: Whether your mom is super active, could lose a few pounds, or maybe has a health condition, Activ5 will help her:

  • Get stronger
  • Lose weight
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve stamina

Gets her exercising: The CDC suggest that 80% of moms don’t get their recommended amount of exercise. Activ5 is just the thing to get her going again. Why?

  • It’s an easy to use fitness gadget
  • It calibrates to her fitness and strength levels
  • It’s safe for seniors, thanks to isometric exercises
  • The workouts are fast

But, maybe the best reason you should get an Activ5 portable workout device for your mom is that it says “I love you” better than a bouquet of flowers or a bunch of chocolate strawberries. Tell your mom that exercising is the best way to live a longer, healthier, and more productive life. We love you, mom!

Isometric vs Plyometric Strength Training


Isometric vs Plyometric Strength Training Approach

Exercise plays an important part of one’s health and well-being. Therefore, it is worthy of a place in your schedule. Still, you should note that not all types of exercise are equal as far as efficacy and risks. If your goal is to get toned, improve stamina, and get stronger, both isometrics and plyometrics are effective but in different ways. Here, we will explore isometric vs plyometric oriented exercises. 

Isometric & Plyometric Exercise Techniques Explained…

There are three types of muscle contractions. A concentric contraction happens when your muscle shortens in length as it tenses. An example of this is the lifting portion of a bicep curl. As you lift the weight, your bicep muscle becomes shorter as it exerts force. To lower the weight without dropping it, your muscle has to resist as it lengthens, which is an eccentric contraction. Both concentric and eccentric contractions are part of plyometric exercise, which involves a change in muscle length and joint angle.

Isometric exercise, on the other hand, results in no change in muscle length or joint angle. Hence, it’s also known as static strength training. Examples of isometric exercise include wall sits, yoga poses and planks. Let’s explore the benefits: Isometric vs Plyometric.

Exercise and Rate of Force Development

Not only does plyometric and isometric exercise help you get more energy, it also increases the speed with which your muscles can generate force, known as the rate of force development (RFD). The time it takes to develop force is impacted by how stiff your tendons are: The looser they are, the more time they need. As you progress with regular training, the collagen fibers in your tendons change, resulting in increased stiffness and enhanced RFD. In other words, consistent and prolonged training leads to stronger and faster muscles.

Why Isometric Exercise Is the Better Choice

plyometrics is an isometric exercise technique

 

Isometric vs plyometric exercise is not always an either/or – both lead to improved rate of force development. However, the risk of injury during isometric exercises is significantly lower than during plyometric exercise. Plyometric exercise creates stress on your body because of the impact (such as moves that involve jumping) and can also cause tearing and inflammation of tendons and ligaments. Isometric exercise, on the other hand, has a low association with injury and is recommended as rehabilitation for those recovering from injury. Isometrics enhance the stabilization of the injured area without potentially aggravating it through muscle and joint movement. In short, isometric exercise strengthens muscles without causing extra stress on joints, tendons and ligaments. 

Can Isometrics Build Muscle?

Short answer: Yes! You can use isometric workouts with varied weights and durations to achieve different results. Exerting force to cause fatigue can create isometric workout results both for strength and aesthetics. Isometric muscle building is used by athletes and trainers in addition to traditional plyometric exercises. As long as you put forth an appropriate amount of strength, preferably maximal, into an isometric exercise, it can and will strengthen the muscle as a whole and lead to isometric muscle building.

How Activ5 Can Help

The Activ5 by Activbody is a device designed to facilitate isometric exercise in a way that is convenient, easy, and fun. Paired with a smartphone app, the small and portable Activ5 enables quick workouts by doing simple exercises that will help you get in shape. With this innovative technology, you can exercise while you’re sitting, such as on an airplane, in your office, or hotel room. The use of the Activ5 app to coach, measure, and track your efforts creates an engaging and fun gamified workout.

Whether you want to try isometric exercise at home or on the go, the Activ5 can help. Lightweight and portable, its convenience allows you to maintain a fitness routine with minimal space, time, or equipment. In fact, the Activ5 is all you need for a full-body workout that fits easily into any schedule and lifestyle.

Sources:

https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/isometric-training-what-it-is-and-how-to-do-it-correctly

http://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/isometric-exercises

https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/increase-your-fast-twitch-potential-with-isometrics

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/isometric-exercises/faq-20058186

Isometric Training Results Include Avoiding Injury


An isometric movement is a strength-training technique that uses static movement, or a hold, to target muscle groups for improvement. Professional athletes often use this technique to get isometric training results that include things like building new muscle, boosting body conditioning and preventing common injuries. While your fitness goals might be different from a pro athlete, you should know that recent studies support adding isometric training to your workout, which can help protect muscles, bones, and joints under impact.

Isometric Training Results & Benefits

Isometrics are unique and powerful contraction exercises. Unlike other strength-training activities that rely on range of motion (ROM) against resistance to tone muscles, isometric exercises are low impact and precise. Their stabilizing movements help prevent injuries while increasing body strength and tone.

Studies reveal important features of isometrics:

  • Increases hamstring musculotendinous stiffness (MTS), which is a muscle’s tendency to stay tight like a rubber band to protect load-bearing joints
  • Builds bone density
  • Builds muscle strength
  • Facilitates muscle isolation. Using targeted isometrics, performance problems at a joint angle can be resolved quickly.
  • Low impact exercise enables steady engagement of muscles performed anywhere – for example, a seated exercise routine for quick workouts
  • Promotes large-scale muscle activation. Body flexing exercises can readily activate all available muscle units.

Research Supports Adding Isometrics as Part of your Workout Plan

Recent studies show that isometric exercises are the best strategy for injury-free, effective workouts. In two separate studies, researchers found that isometric training is instrumental in preventing knee injuries via hamstring MTS and improving mineral bone density.

Improved Hamstring MTS and Knee Injury Prevention

Isometric Training

 

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most common sites for sports injury. Knee injuries are influenced by jarring exercises that affect the loading bearing capacity of the ACL. As a result, these injuries often loosen knee ligaments or promote tears.

Exercises linked to knee injuries:

  • Landing incorrectly from a jump
  • Changing directions rapidly
  • Stopping suddenly
  • Slowing down while running
  • Direct contact sport

Research shows that by tightening the hamstrings through targeted isometric exercises, hamstring MTS acts like a shield, thus improving knee-joint biomechanics for favorable landing capabilities. As a result, there is a reduced risk for ACL injury.

In the same study, researchers also measured the effectiveness of isometric vs. isotonic exercises (static workout vs. ROM) in providing quality changes in hamstring MTS. After six weeks of training both isometric and isotonic participants, researchers discovered that isometric training showed a significant increase in hamstring stiffness over isotonic workouts. This finding follows previous literature that reported greater increases in quadriceps tendon stiffness using isometrics. Therefore, isometric training ranked superior to plyometric training in enhancing tendon rigidity.

Thus, these important findings suggest that isometric training results in the most effective mechanism for preventing common injuries in both recreational and professional sports.

Prevention of Thinning Bones

Further studies investigated isometric training results in preventing bone density reduction in an injured limb. Sixty individuals participated in the study, and each participant had injuries to the femur requiring at least one month of post-injury immobilization. During the immobilizing phase, the muscles, bones and tendons often grow weak and are susceptible to tissue atrophy.

Key findings reveal that isometric training not only prevents the reduction of bone mineral density in the femur but also significantly increases the density of injured bones. In other words, these exciting results suggest that isometric exercises are effective in preventing tissue atrophy by increasing density in the injured limb and bone. Like muscles, bones are living tissues that can be strengthened through targeted training. Notably, young people who exercise regularly develop greater peak bone mass than those who do not.

A primary characteristic of isometric exercises is its flexibility. Performed anywhere, anytime and discretely, it is therefore a great addition for individuals on the go. Furthermore, adding Activ5 to your routine, the cutting-edge device and its companion app can coach you through your workout and help manage your fitness goals.

Resources:

Blackburn, J.T. et al., 2013. The Effects of Isometric and Isotonic Training on Hamstring Stiffness and Anterior Cruciate Ligament Loading Mechanisms. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 24 (2014) 98-103. Web. Scripted, Inc. resources: http://www.jelectromyographykinesiology.com/article/S1050-6411(13)00242-3/abstract

Yousefi, R. et al., 2011. The Effect of Isometric Training on Prevention of Bone Density Reduction. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 5(12): 981-985, 2011. Web. Scripted, Inc. resources.

Read, A., n.d. Isometric Training: What it is and How to Do it Correctly. Web: https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/isometric-training-what-it-is-and-how-to-do-it-correctly

Mental Benefits of Strength Training


Mental Health Benefits of Doing Strength Training

Good health involves more than just a disease-free body and fit physique. Your mental health matters just as much: A sound mind contributes to your overall well-being by empowering you with the resolve to meet your physical health objectives. Personal growth, emotional resilience, successful relationships and the ability to make good choices also stem from mental stability. Health professionals have explored the mental benefits of strength training and came up with this list!

Anxiety

Anxiety is an issue that plagues many, affecting as much as 15 percent of the US population. Researchers examined both aerobic exercise and strength training as potential anxiety reducers and found both to be effective. Randomized controlled trials involving both healthy adults and medical patients show that strength training has a beneficial impact on anxiety. In particular, moderate intensity strength training reduces anxiety symptoms more than high intensity.

Chronic Pain

Strength training also reduces chronic pain issues, which can contribute to a decline in mental health. One of the most common forms of chronic pain is lower back pain. It’s often caused by disc injury or muscle strain from insufficient core muscle tone. Medically supervised strength training for back pain not only reduces this pain but also increases physical functioning for back pain sufferers. Furthermore, studies support the mental benefits of strength training as well as pain reduction, specifically in symptom reduction for knee and hip osteoarthritis, as well as fibromyalgia.

Depression

Depression can be fatal and costs the US in excess of $50 billion each year, but strength training can help with this mental health affliction. Evidentlly, exercise of all types helps ease depression, but the studies involving strength training alone have all yielded positive results. Fibromyalgia patients derive a double benefit from strength training: pain reduction and a moderate reduction in symptoms of depression. Those diagnosed with depression fare even better and have large reductions in symptoms when they incorporate strength training into their lives.

Chronic Fatigue

Strength training combats chronic fatigue by giving sufferers more energy as they get in shape. Even if you don’t suffer from this condition, you might be one of the almost 25 percent of the population who have persistent fatigue. Once again, the prognosis for strength training participants is promising, as at least ten trials have demonstrated that this type of exercise can reduce fatigue.

Cognition

Incorporating strength training into an exercise regime along with aerobic exercise improves cognition among older adults. Memory, in particular, seems to benefit from the strength training component, with four studies demonstrating its effectiveness in boosting this cognitive process.

Sleep

Consistently getting a good night’s sleep is vital for good health, both physical and mental. Regular strength training not only improves both the quality and duration of your sleep, but also reduces the risk of developing sleep disorders. While high-intensity strength training produces a stronger effect, low-intensity workouts still yield improvements.

Self-Esteem

Healthy self-esteem is a cornerstone of good mental health, assessed by things like your personal relationships or your fitness level. Improvements in each area can affect overall self-esteem. Strength training, through its effects on physical health, improves global self-esteem and, in doing so, improves mental health.

physical fitness training and mental health

Activ5 Can Help Achieve the Mental Benefits of Strength Training

The Activ5 portable fitness device enables you to strength train with simple exercises that provide a full body workout. With short workouts and seated exercises that can be done almost anywhere, you can easily obtain your strength training objective. This mobile app-enabled fitness tool is customizable to your fitness level, meaning it can improve stamina no matter what your current level is. This gamified workout tool makes strength training easy!

Make strength training a part of your daily exercise routine to reap the mental benefits that it provides. Whether it’s a home workout, hotel workout or even exercise on an airplane, the Activ5 is your portable strength training solution.

Sources:

Mental Benefits of Strength Training by O’Connor

Mental_Health_Benefits_of_Strength_Training-2010-O_Connor-377-96.pdf

http://www.ripsych.org/importance-of-mental-health

Isometric Exercise Benefits: Can Isometrics Help You Quit Smoking?


Isometric Benefits: Can Isometrics Help You Quit Smoking?

If you’re among the nearly 70 percent of U.S. adult smokers trying to give up smoking [1], you’re probably well aware of the benefits. Ten years after you quit smoking, your risk of lung cancer drops 30-50 percent [2], and just one year of not smoking decreases your risk of coronary heart disease by half [3]. While these health benefits and others make a compelling case, it’s not as simple as just quitting cigarettes.

Smoking-cessation aids like nicotine-replacement products, prescription medications, counseling and behavioral therapies [4] can increase the likelihood of success. Even so, cravings and withdrawal symptoms make breaking the smoking habit feel like an impossible challenge. Surprisingly, one practice that can help you to part ways with cigarettes may be one you don’t expect: exercise.

Exercise and Smoking Cessation

A study by the University of Exeter has added weight to the claims that exercise can assist efforts to quit smoking. The research used fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans to show how physical activity results in changes in brain processing.  In fact, these changes can reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms [5]. Although further study is needed, researchers believe exercise curbs cravings by boosting your mood and/or shifting your blood flow.

Although eliminating cigarettes has a clear benefit, a regular exercise plan can be difficult to incorporate into a busy life. In addition, those new to exercise will have an especially hard time finding the right workout plan that will reduce cravings and fit their schedule. That’s where isometric exercise fits in.

A Study on Isometric Benefits

Another study of the relationship between smoking cessation and exercise concluded that isometric exercise, in particular, was found to reduce the desire to smoke. Furthermore, just 10 minutes of isometric exercises, which involve contractions of specific muscles, measurably lessened cravings and withdrawal symptoms in the study’s participants [6].

There are many advantages to using isometric exercise to curb cravings. These exercises don’t require a long time commitment to complete, making them easy to fit into a busy schedule. They can also be done at any time, at any location, so isometrics are the perfect solution to avoid boredom and deal with cravings throughout your day.

Activ5 and Isometric Benefits

One easy way to introduce isometric exercise into your daily routine and smoking cessation strategy is with the Activ5 device and mobile app. Designed for those short on time and seeking convenient exercises on-the-go, the Activ5 program can help you remain physical and reduce smoking urges. Activ5 coaches you through five-minute workouts that not only help curb urges, but also tone and strengthen your muscles.

Activ5 provides quick bursts of exercise to keep you on track. It also maintains the convenience of isometric exercise, as you can use Activ5 to stay active anytime and anywhere.

To learn more about isometric exercise benefits from the Activ5 portable fitness device, you can watch our videos.  Also, you can get more tips on staying active on the ActivBody blog.

Sources:

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/mmwrs/byyear/2011/mm6044a2/intro.htm

[2] https://www.cancer.gov/types/lung/patient/lung-prevention-pdq

[3] http://www.who.int/tobacco/quitting/benefits/en/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK63952/

[5] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090210092738.htm

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19563567