What exactly are “Isotonometrics”?
Basically they are Dr.Schwartz’ combination of “Isotonics” and “Isometrics” in one movement… a “moving isometric” or what some call “isomotion” today…
The “isometric resistance” was produced by a variety of “handclasps” where one arm resists the other through pushing or pulling in varying directions. Unlike traditional isometrics or “dynamic tension”, the arm movements were incorporated into larger body movements to activate as much muscle simultaneously as possible. Body twists, knee dips, waist bends, lunges, etc where mixed with hand resistance moves.
It was not only the arms that were involved …
Dr. Schwartz also envisioned hand to leg resistance. One move mentioned in a patent application for this method mentions sitting on the floor in a knees up position. The hands/arms can then be used to provide resistance to the knees as they flex outward or inward working first the outer thigh muscles then the inner thigh muscles.
However accomplished, the motion followed the doctor’s usual principles… of activating as many body parts simultaneously as possible and not letting the upper body be neglected during “aerobic” exercise. Using his methods, “isotonometrics” could produce aerobic effects equal to his other exercise protocols.
The extended quotation below explains the concept in Dr. Schwartz’ own words as they appeared on the now defunct “panaerobics.com” website.
(There is a site by that name, but it is not Dr. Schwartz’ site any longer!)
This quote was accessed by way of the internet archive called the “WayBack Machine”
ISOtonometrics is not just exercise for you, ISO is YOU!
Most popular exercise these days involves apparatus of some kind. Others offer a linear approach to fitness; get your “aerobics” at one time, focus on “body-sculpting,” strength work, or other fitness factors at another. Sound familiar? Not with ISO!
Better prepare yourself for some quantum, perhaps heretical leaps! ISO is an exercise discipline that galvanizes most every bone, muscle, tendon, ligament and joint you’d care to include, well orchestrated with an increasingly effective heart action. All this can be accomplished with no hardware outside the very body whose function and structure you’re out to preserve, enhance and gussy up to look like you want it to. As a whole-body exerciser, your Isotonometric ‘gym’ is always located precisely where you happened to be! Once that sense of ‘autonomy’ is acquired you’re home free!
Even though ISO developed into an exercise system ideal for all you dancers, athletes, weight-loss-seekers, casual or obsessive exercisers, it began as a personal exploration. ISO evolved from exploration a system I developed in the 1980’s – Heavyhands. When I began my late-career leap into the exercise field – and the eventual development of Panaerobics and Heavyhands – I had several objectives in mind. I wanted my ‘strategy’ to be novel, simple, relatively inexpensive, utterly convenient, able to bring the exerciser all or almost all exercise can confer. Heavyhands did all that while including easy to use equipment that served as a catalyst for gaining the basic exercise benefits-and maybe a few more-simultaneously.
Seems the word “simultaneous” was key to my system. Lots of muscle groups trained simultaneously; lots of fitness factors, i.e., strength, endurance, flexibility, balance and skill, also gained during the same session; and of course I wanted exercise that fulfilled the fundamental fitness requirements, all while making for better performance in relation to work and recreation-you guessed it-simultaneously! (The “S” Factor)
In short, I wanted this exercise to be at once the very best and the most diverse available, acquired by dint of the most convenient, yet varied, tactics I could conjure. Heavyhands provides a unique brand of fitness.
Important to me, while I was at it, was making it fun. In my first book, “Heavyhands: the Ultimate Exercise System”, a primer teaching a hand weight-assisted whole body exercise system, I simply ducked the fun issue. That’s because the physician/psychiatrist part of me was getting more excited about the varied and growing list of measurable benefits of exercise as well as the well-documented added risk that came with being sedentary. Fun was okay, even pure wonderful, maybe for many a it is motivational must. But twenty years ago, I didn’t want to leave people with the impression that the down and dirty benefits weren’t good enough to be worth the toil – even if the process wasn’t pure pleasure!
A few years ago experts began suggesting that easy-does-it where it comes to exercise. Some went so far as to advise those who wanted to lose weight to work out at low levels of intensity. That advice was likely based on the fact that low intensity workouts were consist with metabolic activity that favors fat utilization. That argument never did convince me that low-intensity was the best fat-loss, weight-loss route because it avoided the speed at which calories of heat are expended!
I mention that trend and research because over two decades of exploration in exercise and movement adventure resulted in the discovery of Isotonometrics. ISO blends two exercise functions: isotonics and isometrics …. ISO-T allows you to
select any intensity you prefer by one of many routes (without fussing with various bits of equipment) and
to enjoy max control of intensity,
practice heart training,
do strength work,
focus on stamina and last but hardly least,
gain skill while having fun!
“Isotonometrics”, then is Dr. Schwartz’ term for his method of “simultaneous” exercising of as much muscle as possible using only the resources of one’s own body without reference to equipment – even his own brainchild the “Heavyhands”!