Get More Lean Muscle With Isometric Training

Did you know that you can boost your cardiovascular fitness, strength, muscle tone, and more without ever stepping foot into a gym? Check out Get-Fit guy's tips on isometric training.

Ben Greenfield
4-minute read
Episode #150

How to Get a Flat Stomach

...you simply have less distraction and more time under tension for any particular position you’re trying to learn or perfect, so you’re able to sense the proper muscles that you need to activate and better understand how to get there.

Another benefit to isometrics is that while you’re learning how to utilize the proper muscles for any given movement, you are also training your joints to move through their full range of motion. As you move slowly through or deeper into a joint angle, there is a significant amount of stretch placed on the fascia, which is the layer of fibrous connective tissue that surrounds your muscles. As this stretch occurs, you can gain enormous increases in range-of-motion and flexibility that far exceed what you might experience from a regular stretching protocol. For example, by performing 5 minute long deep isometric doorway push-ups such as the exercise demonstrated in this video, I’ve found that my shoulder range-of-motion has significantly improved.

How to Do Isometric Workouts

So how can you utilize isometrics in your workouts?

You don’t need much! Include a weekly or every-other-week workout in which you incorporate at least one move or a series of moves performed very slowly, or simply held for a long period of time. For example, you could simply perform one set of each of the following exercises (timed so that it takes you 10-60 seconds to go up and 10-60 seconds to come down), or simply hold each exercise in it’s hardest position for as long as you possibly can, up to 5 minutes.

  • Push-up
  • Pull-up
  • Dip
  • Lunge
  • Wall Squat  

Another isometric technique you can use is to simply do isometrics when you’d normally be standing around anyways – such as doing a wall squat while you’re on hold on the phone, or holding a push-up position during the commercial break of a TV program.

If you have more questions about isometric training, leave them at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy!



All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.