Is Isometric Training Effective?
As you may know variety is the key to getting faster results and to keep your workouts fun. Isometric training is one way you can achieve both of those. I use isometric training mixed in with regular repetitions and explosive repetitions to maximize muscle confusion and to push myself more physically as well as mentally. It is a test when you are fatigued and you add in some isometric training at the end. It can and does test your will to push through the fatigue. But is isometric training effective as a stand alone way to workout? I will explore that in this post and give you a quick isometric training workout to do so you can be the judge for yourself. Keep on reading to get my take on isometric training and the workout…
What Exactly Is Isometric Training?
Isometric training is also called static training. The premise basically is to hold a fixed position in an exercise for an extended period of time. Take wall squats for example. If you have ever played sports the chances are very high that you had to do wall squats. Sitting in a chair position against the wall for 1-2 minutes is extremely hard if you have never done it before. Your legs shake, you grit your teeth, and you want to come out of the squat in only a few seconds. Isometric training forces your muscle to recruit more fibers. If you do a static hold against a heavy weight or just your body weight for example, your muscles will start recruiting extra muscle fibers to maintain the intensity of that contraction.
Strength is determined by both and the size and number of muscle fibers that are recruited, and so you can see how isometrics come into play in increasing your strength and speed. By incorporating isometric exercises in your training program, you will not only develop more relative strength, but you will develop more functional strength such as like when you do a push, pull, or resistance exercises. If you overdue isometric training and only focus on that for months on end you can actually shorten your muscle fibers, so be careful to not solely focus on it.
Here Is An Isometric Training Workout
For this workout I am going to only use four exercises which are all bodyweight exercises. The time for each hold will vary but try and do 3-5 round of this workout. Each round is completed when you have done all the exercises. Have fun with this, tweak it to your liking and toss it in sometime during the week.
Exercise #1 – Isometric Hold Push Up
Get in push up position and go down 3/4 of the way to the ground. Once you hit 3/4 of the way down hold that position for 1 minute.
Exercise #2 – Isometric Hold Squat
Get into a squat position and go down to a 90 degree angle. Hold that position for 90 seconds. If you struggle here just come out of the squat and count to 3 then drop back down into the 90 degree angle.
Exercise #3 – Isometric Pull Up
Decide on whatever grip you like, I would recommend the chin up grip if you have not done this before. Do a full pull up then go down half way and hold that position for 30-45 seconds. This will get very hard in the later rounds.
Exercise #4 – Plank Hold
Planks are possibly one of the best exercises you can do to get flat strong abs. They also happen to be a staple in isometric training. Get into plank position, forearms on the ground as well as your toes and hold that for 2 minutes if possible.
Closing Thoughts On Isometric Training
I usually add in some form of isometric training with each workout that I do. At times I solely focus on isometric training which brings mental challenge along with it. I suggest you try this workout that I posted on here and see how you like it. I also suggest to do isometric training throughout the week. Like I said the more variety the more muscle confusion and the more muscle confusion the less your muscle memory will kick in to reduce results. Give isometric training a try and have fun with it.