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Ways to Strengthen Your Brain Using Isometric Exercises

My research on this topic comes from a series I listened to on Alzheimer’s disease prevention.

A professor of neurology, Dr. Vincent Fortanasce, MD, spoke of the benefits of isometric

exercise on the brain.  

Dr. Fontanasce is a former Olympic gold-medalist and a major advocate for isometric exercise

 He says physical exercise stimulates human growth hormone and increases blood flow to the

brain, which is necessary for quick thinking and creativity. 

Dr Fontanasce’s brain therapy involves isometric exercise.  For those of you who have never

heard this term, isometric exercise is when the muscles push and pull against each other without

movement. I show several examples in my video. In other words, your own muscles resist each

other. This type of exercise also can involve resisting your own body weight. Yoga and Pilates

moves, such as planks, stationary squats, bridges, and holding a crunch position, are all isometric

exercises.  For those who enjoy pushups, if you simply stop part way through the movement,

tighten all the opposing muscles and hold this position for five to 10 seconds, the stopping and

holding would turn the pushup into an isometric exercise.  

When the joints move, such as a biceps curl, there is concentric and eccentric action. If the joint

moves with resistance to a load, such as a hand-held weight, this action can be strength-building,

but different than isometric exercise.  

The reason Dr. Fontanasce likes isometric exercise is that eccentric and concentric are

movements, and movement often involves momentum. Therefore, not all muscle groups get

worked for as long an endurance as isometric (no movement) exercise works. Without moving,

the muscle must work as well as endure for as long as you hold that position. When moving, that

same muscle group might only work a few seconds during the routine. Thus, if you do lift

weights in the traditional sense, it would be much better to go slow and steady, paying attention

to the eccentric motion – the part where the weight is traveling down to the resting position.  If

you stop this motion at any time during the concentric stage or the eccentric stage, you turn your

workout into isometric exercise. 

For more recommendations on isometric exercises, check out this link:

For more about Dr. Vincent Fontanasce, go to his Facebook page: 

You can view Dr. Fontanasce explaining isometric videos on his YouTube



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