Classic isometric holds are performed against an immovable object like a wall,
a door frame, a chain or a strap. Isometric means that there is no movement,
usually with a high level of muscular activation. Isometric training can lead to
fast strength gains, but is not considered as effective for hypertrophy.
Bands move - or do they ?
Yes, they stretch. However, the further you stretch them, the higher the resistance
gets. If the band is heavy enough, you will reach a limit point where band
resistance equals your strength. If you hold this position for some time, you perform
an isometric hold.
Brief holds as part of normal sets
Simply do a brief hold (maybe half a second) at the top of each rep.
Longer hold at the end of a normal set
When you reach failure, hold the final rep for a few seconds before you stop.
Isometric holds with bands
- Start with two light warm-up sets.
- For the isometric hold, use a band combination that puts the limit point at a
good point of the ROM.
- Try 3 isometric holds of 20 seconds each.
- Finish the exercise with 2 to 3 work sets with a band that allows a full ROM.
Isometrics on the go
When you are waiting at a stoplight in your "padded cell with a restraint system"
(car), you can train your chest.
Hold your hands at 3 and 9 o'clock positions of the steering wheel, try to push
them together. Also try 5 and 11, or 1 and 7 o'clock.
Isometric holds let your body express its full strength.
Only do them in positions that are safe for your joints, and brace properly.
Your blood pressure may temporarily reach impressive levels.
Some exercises where I do NOT recommend isometric holds:
- Stiff-legged deadlift
- Belt squat
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