What Is an Isokinetic Exercise?
Exercise has become much more accessible in recent years purely because of the sheer number of options at your disposal. You can get in a killer workout at a typical box gym, boutique fitness studio, or even right in your own home. The options are endless – but that also means there’s lots of debate about which types of exercises are most effective.
And while there is no one-size-fits-all routine that works for everyone, there is a new form that is taking the industry by storm for good reasons. Isokinetic exercise is the next best thing for building muscle fast. Here’s everything you need to know.
What Is Isokinetic Training?
When it comes to traditional strength training, one of the main staples of growing more muscle is the practice of progressive overload. Progressive overload is the idea of increasing weight or reps over time. Even for experienced bodybuilders, it can be difficult to find exactly the right type of weight to use for a given exercise.
Isokinetic training uses science and technology to fix this problem. It uses a special machine, like Speede, that creates different resistance levels to ensure that your movements stay at a constant speed. So, no matter how much force you apply, the machine can always match it.
Muscles can exert different amounts of force at different joint angles. At some point during a movement, your muscles are strong, while at other points, they’re weaker. For instance, your shoulder muscles are most activated at the bottom of a shoulder press when your hands are closer to your body. When your hands are overhead, your muscles are less activated.
This is called the strength curve, one of the major limitations of traditional strength training. Since you’re forced to use just one level of weight for the entire motion, it can be hard to gain muscle fast. But with isokinetic exercises, the velocity of the motion remains constant while the resistance is automatically adjusted.
When Should You Use Isokinetic Training?
Anyone can perform isokinetic exercises. From pro athletes to those recovering from injuries, there are benefits to be seen and felt by all.
To Build Muscle
With isokinetic movements, your muscles experience the perfect amount of resistance at every point in the range of motion. This engages the fast-twitch muscle fibers at the joint.
Fast-twitch muscles produce big, powerful movements at a cost – they fatigue super quick. Engaging fast-twitch fibers is the key to muscle growth, but the problem is that the larger, fatigue-resistant muscles need to be worked to failure first. Slow-twitch muscle fibers are resistant to fatigue and are more focused on smaller, sustained movements.
Traditional strength training is just not able to tire out the slow-twitch muscles quickly enough to provide maximal gains in the fast-twitch fibers. However, isokinetic moves are designed to fatigue your motor units so quickly that they cannot recover. That might sound bad, but it means you can have bulkier, toned muscles in no time.
To Recover From Injuries
Physical and occupational therapists can also use isokinetic machines to help individuals recover from injuries. This is because the level of resistance the machine requires can shed light on the muscular limitations you might be sustaining after an injury.
This way, physical therapists can see data-driven statistics regarding muscular imbalances and weakness to craft a treatment plan that works best for you. Plus, they can use these machines to build up your muscles to help you rehabilitate after an injury.
Professionals can also set the resistance on these machines to safely challenge the muscles and joints after an injury without straining or pulling the muscles. You’ll be less likely to push yourself past your current abilities. This science-backed technique is something that traditional strength training is unable to accomplish.
To Stay Fit With Age
One of the values of isokinetic exercise is that it can adapt to your own personal strengths and weaknesses. This is a major benefit for staying fit while aging because the machine can adjust based on your changing muscles and joints.
Studies have also found that isokinetic exercise does not drastically change blood pressure or heart rate behavior in older populations, making it a safe form of strength training for older individuals.
How Can You Start an Isokinetic Training Program?
There are many different isokinetic training machines out there, but you’ll want to choose one that can help you tone and bulk your whole body. Speede uses science-backed technology to let you complete almost any traditional strength exercise with the benefits of isokinetic movements.
Traditionally, isokinetic machines were built for athletes, but now anyone can use them to start building strength and getting closer to their goals. And while everyone’s training regimen is different, you’ll want to ensure you’re hitting every major muscle group at least two times a week.
You can split this up however works for you, but full body, compound exercises tend to be most effective. With this in mind, many athletes like to use a program in which each muscle group is trained two days per week with a rest day on the sixth day.
Whatever you decide, you can accomplish pretty much any exercise imaginable with Speede’s revolutionary system. And with four different modes including our isokinetic mode, you can challenge your muscles and become the best version of yourself in a fraction of the time of traditional training.
Book a demo today to get started and see what it’s all about.
How Do Isokinetic Exercise and Isometric Exercise Compare?
While the word isokinetic might be new to you, the word isometric might sound familiar if you’ve frequented the gym. Isometric exercises involve tightening a specific muscle group or specific muscle.
During an isometric movement, your muscles don’t noticeably change length. The affected joint also doesn’t move. These movements can help you maintain your strength – though they might not be too effective at growing your muscles.
Isokinetic exercises still involve contraction and movement of a muscle. However, the resistance stays constant throughout the entire rep. So while the limb doesn’t stay stable in the same way as an isometric move, the velocity of the movement stays the same.
Isokinetic exercises involve a special machine that adjusts to your body’s strength curve. Essentially, the machine applies the perfect amount of resistance to ensure that your muscles are maximally activated from the start to the finish of a movement.
Isokinetic moves can be used by people who are looking to make their workout more effective, but they can also be done by people who are looking to rehabilitate after an injury. This is because the machine can adjust to ensure you are using the perfect amount of resistance without straining or pulling a ligament.
To learn more about the power of isokinetic training, book a demo with Speede today. Our proprietary technology and science-backed methods will get you stronger faster.
Fast-Twitch Vs. Slow-Twitch Muscle Fiber Types + Training Tips | NASM
Muscle Fiber Types: Fast-Twitch vs. Slow-Twitch | American Council on Exercise.
The cardiocirculatory reaction to isokinetic exercises in dependence on the form of exercise and age | NCBI