Isokinetic exercise equipment is used to rehabilitate muscles and tone the body. Using uniform resistance that adapts to each particular user, this method of exercise is less stressful on the body and encourages a full range of motion without exhausting or exceeding the user's physical limitations. This is especially helpful after an injury, as normal physical therapy may over-exert the muscles and lead to fatigue or further injury. Professional athletes may find benefit in taking advantage of isokinetic exercises as well. There are a number of isokinetic exercise machines available on the market, but a majority of these are targeted toward rehabilitation facilities and clinicians, and not readily available to the individual.
Benefits of Isokinetic Exercise
Isokinetic exercise is beneficial in many ways. The body can be challenged to increase muscle expansion and strengthening, increasing the range of motion while avoiding fatigue or muscle straining. Muscles are invigorated through resistance, but unlike other exercising methods, muscles are allowed to rest between repetitions allowing blood to flow and circulate. This helps to clear lactid acid created during the workout, thus avoiding the burning or painful sensation often experienced during a workout.
The Best Isokinetic Exercise Equipment
The best form of isokinetic exercise equipment for you will depend upon your goals and situation. Many of the isokinetic exercises are extremely beneficial for patients who have had a stroke or accident which prevents use of one or more limbs. Isokinetics can be used to rehabilitate certain muscle groups for the purpose of regaining strength and use of those parts of the body. This form of exercise is popular with athletes as well, as muscle imbalance can be corrected allowing for balanced use of the entire body during important competitions.
The Isokinetic Dynamometer
The dynamometer is, by far, the most popular and most used of the various isokinetic exercise machines. This type of equipment will measure the strength of different muscle groups and provide resistance which matches that of the patient, allowing for automatic accommodations for weakness, pain or fatigue at specific points in each person's range of motion. Net muscle torque can be measured in this range of motion for ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows and shoulders. By having access to the dynamometer during the isokinetic exercise routine, many different statistics can be recorded and assessed, and ultimately a long-term rehabilitation plan can be established based upon results of the assessment. Detailed information helps to target muscle groups which need additional time, attention and physical therapy to regain strength and return to normal functioning.
While using isokinetic exercise equipment, patients generally exercise with the benefit of a wheel, crank, lever or some type of similar device. A mechanism, much like a braking system on a car, assists in allowing for increase or decrease in speed and torque, depending upon the resistance provided by the patient. Exercises generally consist of movements such as wheeling, cycling or focus on single joint exercises.