Convenient Bare-Hand Muscle-Toning Isometric Exercise You Can Do Anytime, Anywhere

by Percival J. Meris on October 25, 2010

isometric exercise

Isometric Exercise Photo Courtesy of Andrzej Pobiedziski via stock.xchng

WE ALL KNOW HOW IMPORTANT EXERCISE IS TO OUR PHYSICAL HEALTH. And yet, a great majority of us are unable to perform a daily exercise routine due to lack of time or lack of energy. What if we can devise a type of exercise that can be done with minimal effort and least amount of time, anytime and anywhere? What if we can incorporate it into our daily routine?

Isometric Exercise

Here is a type of exercise that does not require much of your time and energy, and yet when properly performed actually saves you time and increases your energy. It is called isometric exercise.

Isometric exercise is performed by causing a particular muscle of the body to tense in an effort to push or pull something that provides resistance. The exerciser holds the tensed muscle in a stationary position for a few seconds, while performing a proper breathing procedure.

How I Developed My Own Version of Muscle-Toning Isometric Exercise

I first learned isometric exercise several decades ago, when I stumbled upon the book “How to Exercise without Moving a Muscle”. Huh? Without moving a muscle? How can that be? I bought the book out of curiosity and interest in its promised simplicity.

Years later, I purchased an isometric exercise equipment that brought faster and more effective results to its user. This was the Bullworker. It was my favorite exercise equipment.

The Bullworker Principle

Other isometric exercise methods rely on the use of immovable objects, such as tables, chairs, or sticks, to provide static resistance to the muscle.

Bullworker provides counter-resistance, instead. As you press or pull it, its compressed spring produces a counter pushing or pulling force, doubling the effectiveness of the manually applied pressure while requiring only 60% exertion of the user’s strength.

Bare-Hand Isometric Exercise System

What if the Bullworker were not available, when I want to exercise while away from home?

This question gave me the idea to devise an isometric exercise system, based on the Bullworker principle of double effectiveness with less effort. I wanted to develop a method that did not rely on the availability of any immovable object or exercise equipment.

My isometric exercise method is a variation of some Bullworker techniques and of some borrowed from the book I mentioned. The rest were mere improvisations of mine. This method is designed to be a bare-hand isometric exercise system.

My Improvised Bare-Hand Isometric Exercise System

As in any other exercises, consult your doctor before attempting these exercises. This is not for those suffering from any physical issue, incompatible with these exercises.

These exercises are for the muscles of the body from the neck down to the legs. If you want to learn about isometric exercise for the face, read my article If You Are Getting Older and You Want to Look Younger…

Techniques Common to Each Exercise:

To each of the exercises, apply the following techniques:

Breathing Technique: As you begin to apply pressure with a pushing or pulling force, breathe in. Then, hold the pressure, while breathing out as you orally count from one to ten at normal pacing.

Pressure Exertion Rate: 60% of your strength only

Torso Exercises:

Target muscles: chest, shoulders, upper back

Get two clenched fists in contact with each other, successively at each of the following areas:

  • in front of chest for the chest muscles,
  • above the head and behind the neck for the shoulder muscles, and
  • at the back of the torso along the waistline for the upper back muscles.

At each of the foregoing designated areas of the body, tense each target muscle first. Then, increase tension by pushing the arms inwards, creating counter-pressures at the point of contact of the clenched fists.

Target muscle: abdominals

Pull in your stomach muscles as far as possible, and hold the tension for as long as you complete the breathing technique, as described.

Target muscle: lower back

Squat, and connect both hands under your thighs with interlocking fingers. Maintaining your squatting position and keeping your entire back straight, pull your arms up with your torso in an attempt to stand up to an erect position.

Arms Exercise:

You can exercise both biceps and triceps simultaneously. Make a fist with one hand and rest it on the open palm of the other. Push the fisted hand downwards for triceps development, and the catching hand upwards for biceps development. Reverse position, and repeat.

Neck Exercises:

Front and Back of Neck: Apply two-hand pushing pressure to the forehead and at the back of the head successively, while resisting each pressure with your head’s pushing force.

Left and Right Sides of Neck: Apply right hand pressure to the right side of the head, while resisting the pressure with your head’s pushing force. Do the same on the left side.

Thigh Exercises:

Outer Thighs

At a seated position with knees about one foot apart, apply simultaneous inward push with each hand at each outer thigh. Resist inward hand pressures with outward thigh pressures.

Inner Thighs

Place right hand at inner left thigh and left hand at inner right thigh. Simultaneously, apply outward hand pressures, while resisting with inward thigh pressures.

Front and Back Thighs

While seated with legs stretched forward, cross both ankles. Lift the feet a little off the ground. Push the leg underneath upward, and leg on top downward. Reverse position, and repeat.

Leg Exercise:

While seated with both feet on the ground, cross both ankles. Lift the feet a little off the ground. Then, push the hind leg forward, and pull the front leg backward. Reverse position, and repeat.

Concluding Your Isometric Exercises

After the isometrics exercise, perform movements that will stimulate blood circulation throughout your body. The use of the legs, considered to be the SECOND HEART, is ideal for this purpose. Its rhythmic movements serve to help pump blood throughout the body, as the heart does.

Walking and climbing stairs are simple ways of performing this. For example, if you are in the office, pretend to go to the washroom, but choose a washroom located downstairs or upstairs, so that you will have a chance to use the stairs.

Recommendations on Isometric Exercise


Isometric exercise will increase your muscle tone and strength even in your advanced age. Do it everyday whenever your schedule gives the opportunity, except after meals.

If you cannot do all exercises in one sitting, do them by installments throughout the day. Just make sure you complete the entire set before the day ends, so that you can do another one the next day.


If you are interested in learning isometric exercises from a book, you can get lessons from an Amazon paperback: How to Exercise without Moving a Muscle by Victor Obeck.

If you are interested in using Bullworker, simply go its website, and find out the details of its purchase and delivery.

. . . . . . . . . . .

With isometric exercise, there is no need to go the gym, if you don’t have time. No need to sweat, while you are neatly dressed. No need to pant while talking to a colleague. No need to withdraw to a private place in order to perform this. Many of the techniques here can be done rather inconspicuously in public.

This is the beauty of isometric exercises.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Percival J. Meris November 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Thank you very much for your kind comment.

Easiest Way to Lose Weight November 17, 2010 at 8:50 am

Good descriptions of type of exercise. How to make a muscles and how. It is really nice article with proper description of form of exercise required to build muscles.

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