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What is Isokinetic Training?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2016
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Isokinetic training is a training routine that uses equipment to build and maintain muscles through a certain process known as isokinetics. Isokinetic training focuses on working specific muscles at a constant rate; an isokinetic machine will vary incause speed and resistance to keep the muscles working at a constant pace, thereby improving muscular performance and building strength without risking injury from over-stimulation. An isokinetic training routine is particularly helpful for athletes and others overcoming injuries, as it often prevents re-injury of the muscle being worked. Isokinetic training is also helpful for providing a base workout that can be built upon with weights or other more strenuous exercises.

The big advantage of isokinetic training is the machine's ability to match the user's needs. Isokinetic exercises are often done when a person is recovering from an injury because the state of the muscle will change over the course of the training period. When the muscle is weak, it cannot produce much force against the machine. The machine will therefore compensate by only applying as much resistance as the user is providing. As the muscle redevelops, it becomes stronger and can provide more resistance. The machine, too, will then increase its amount of resistance against the muscle to match. The machine will not go over the amount of resistance that the user is producing.

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Isokinetic training is often used in combination with other types of training. It is not often a stand-alone training regiment because it only does so much to build muscle or tone. It is a stepping stone toward other exercises and can prepare the muscles for more strenuous types of workouts, such as weight lifting, running, or cycling. Some of the benefits of isokinetic training are increased mobility, which can be useful in sports that require moving in many directions, such as soccer; base musculature, which is helpful when a beginner wants to get into weight lifting; and muscle recovery, which is useful for any athlete recovering from an injury or long absence from the sport.

Other aspects of an isokinetic workout include using a resistance band. This rubber band has a handle on the end and can be either tied or otherwise secured to a fixed object such as a wall or post. As the user pulls the rubber band back, the rubber band resists. The farther back the user pulls, the more the band resists. In this way, the band is an isokinetic tool, though it is an inaccurate one: because the actual force being applied to the band cannot be measured, it is impossible to tell if the band is resisting at the same level the muscle is pulling.

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