Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Isometric/Isotonic Exercise

  • Anthony RemaudEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_895



An isometricexercise refers to any physical activity involving static muscle contractions. The term “isometric” is derived from the Greek roots “isos” (equal) and “metron” (measure), which means that during isometric exercise, muscle length is broadly unchanged and consequently joint angle remains the same. From a biomechanical point of view, this exercise modality means that the net moment generated by the individual at the joint level is equal to the resistant moment applied to the body segment in an opposing direction. Actually, muscles slightly shorten and involve a stretch at the tendon level but the length of the muscle-tendon complex remains constant. Depending on the amount of resistance applied to the body segment, the level of muscle contraction can be maximal or submaximal. Performing the “wall sit/phantom chair” exercise,...

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References and Readings

  1. Abernethy, P., Wilson, G., & Logan, P. (1995). Strength and power assessment. Issues, controversies and challenges. Sports Medicine, 19(6), 401–417.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Enoka, R. M. (2002). Neuromechanics of human movement (3rd ed.). Champaign: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar
  3. Watkins, J. (1999). Structure and function of the musculoskeletal system (1st ed.). Champaign: Human Kinetics.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Elisabeth Bruyere Research InstituteUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Laboratory “Motricité, Interactions, Performance”University of NantesNantesFrance