Isometric Strength Training

Feb 06, 2017
Tagged with: Isometric Strength Training

According to American College of Sports Medicine, resistance training is an essential element of a well-rounded workout routine. Some benefits include: prevent osteoporosis, decrease the risk of heart disease, reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol and help to control weight.

So, there is no doubt that everybody should incorporate strength training into their workout routine. The advantages are obvious regardless of age, gender, physical disabilities or fitness level.

The question that remains is: what kind of resistance training should you do?

When we talk about strength training, we often associate it with barbells, dumbbells or fancy weight machines, but it need not be that complicated. It doesn’t even have to require any equipment or an expensive gym membership. You can start strength training right now as you read this article.

What I’m talking about is isometric strength training,

The way it works is simply by engaging your muscles without changing the length of the muscles nor the angle of our joints. We simply keep an accurate position with our muscles involved.

Try it!

Here are two simple exercises to try right away.

Chest strength

  • Put your palms together in front of your chest
  • Press your hands against each other without moving or bending your arms
  • Hold this position for ten secs\

Leg strength/Wall sit

  • Stand tall and lean your back against a wall
  • Slide down the wall
  • Walk your legs out a bit out
  • Continue until you reach a 90-degree angle at your knee joints
  • Your back should be flat against the wall
  • Hold this position for as long as possible  With isometric training, we place tension on the muscle as well, but without any motion. So, we will get tension in one particular position and therefore become stronger in that position if we repeat it often.

Which muscles

Isometric strength training can be applied to all our muscles. However, there areas where it makes more sense.On the other hand, we have some areas where the muscles are meant to keep an isometric hold. The primary purpose for these muscles is often to stabilize. And these muscles can benefit a lot from isometric strength training. Here are the most important ones.

Core

The core muscles run from your chest down to your glutes. Their principal function is to stabilize; and, stabilizing means a continuous engagement of the muscles. Working your core muscles with isometric training is an excellent choice.

Neck

An adult’s head weighs around 10 pounds, and the neck must hold it in place for most of the day. Therefore, it’s beneficial to apply some isometric strength training to your neck as well, but please be gentle.  Due to the often lack of motion when injured, this training is great for rehabilitation as well.  Start with ten secs of moderate engagement and build up from there. Do 3-5 repetitions for 2-3 rounds and repeat 2-3 times a week. Rest for 1 min between each repetition, 2 min between each round and 1-2 days between each workout.

Some of the more famous isometric exercises are:

Find a position where you would like to become stronger and only engage your muscles by pressing them against something or just work against gravity.

Next

When we have a particular position where we understand that a strength/stabilization issue is present, we can utilize isometric training to target the area precisely.

Weak/Injured areas

As mentioned above, we will create strength in a specific position – meaning the exact position where we place the tension. Many our muscles are by nature built for a more concentric and eccentric purpose. The muscles in our arms and legs are some of them. Think about it: we grab things with our arms and walk with our legs.

Muscle strength and muscle growth are caused by adding a load to them they aren’t used to handling. Normally, we do this with concentric and eccentric exercises like biceps curls. During motion, the muscle must work against the tension that the weight produces.

Why does it work?

  • The plank
  • Wall sit
  • L-sit
  • Planche
  • Handstand

Over to you

I would love to hear about your experience.If you haven’t tried it yet, do you think it could be useful for you and how?//Henrik

Have you tried isometric training? If, so how did it go?

 

Author: Henrik Nielsen



  • bobl07

    As a rugby athlete, I always look for anything new and fresh. Thank you for the tips.

  • https://fits-me.co Henrik

    You are welcome!
    I use this a lot especially for core strength.