Isometric vs. Isotonic Exercises

Personal training package ideas may include both isometric and isotonic exercises for a well-rounded fitness program. When you take a personal trainer class or fitness course, you will learn different types of fitness such as isometric and isotonic exercises. Both types of exercises provide benefits, but target the muscles differently to keep the body challenged and to prevent burn out and adrenal fatigue. Learning about the differences between isometric and isotonic exercises can help you determine which exercises are best for you to help you reach your personal fitness goals.

Isometric exercises do not shorten or lengthen the muscles while the exercise is being performed. These are static exercises that fatigue the muscles without movement.  Examples of isometric or static exercises include the plank hold and the yoga tree pose. Notice how these positions are held without movement, making them an isometric exercise. Many yoga poses and core strength exercises such as the bridge, dead bug, or side plank fall under isometric exercises. Isometric exercises can be used by any fitness level and any age to help tone up and increase personal fitness.

Isotonic exercises involve movement and shortening or lengthening of the muscles. Rowing machine, running, swimming, biking, walking, elliptical machine, and treadmills all fall under isotonic exercises. Weight lifting and resistance training also falls under isotonic exercises because the muscles are being lengthened or shortened during the workout. Weight or resistance training examples of isotonic exercises include squats, lunges, balance ball fitness exercises, and back weight lifting including barbells and dumbbells all fall under isotonic exercises. Isotonic exercises are great for burning calories and are relied upon by clients who are wanting to lose weight.

Both isometric and isotonic exercises can tone the body, improve muscle tone, burn calories, and help you maintain a healthy BMI (body mass index). When used together, isometric and isotonic workouts can provide a powerhouse of calorie blasting workout. Boot camp styled classes is an example of using isometric and isotonic exercises together. Timed intervals of isotonic exercises such as plyometrics, cardio, or sand bag training will be following by isometric exercises such as bridge, dead bug, or plank holds. Using these styles of exercises together can provide a challenging workout where mind and body are engaged for the ultimate fitness workout.


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