Isometric training is not an often discussed topic in the bodybuilding industry, but there are those who firmly believe in its effectiveness. However, since it is not as publicized as other strength training techniques, not many people understand what it involves, or whether it is effective at all. It has its strengths and weaknesses, as shall be explored shortly.
What is it?
Isometric exercise does not employ any range of motion at all. It lacks any dynamic movements and therefore the muscle length, and joint angle remain stationary during contraction. Isometric training involves yielding and overcoming.
The yielding isometric involves the joint and muscle being held in place while there is some resistance being applied. On the other hand, the overcoming isometric involves the muscle and joint working together against an immovable object.Some people prefer yielding because it allows for the rough estimation of how much tension is created each time. The ability to measure progress is very desirable, but caution must be exercised to use the right amount of weights. Overcoming isometrics allow greater tension to be created, and are extremely safe. They are also easier to do anywhere since they don’t need to be weighted to be executed correctly.
Benefits of Isometric training
Isometrics do have a few advantages. They are ideal for beginners as they allow a gentle learning curve on how to master the right movement patterns.
Isometrics are gentler on the connective tissue and are useful in recovery from injury or post-exercise muscle soreness. They are great at isolating particular muscle groups, allowing you to target them without putting too much pressure on your tendons.
Isometric training has also been shown to improve compound movements and their flexibility. Overall, it increases your contractile strength through the activation of more motor neurons.
Perhaps the best thing about isometrics is that they are not limited by time or location. Whether you are at home, the office or the park, you can perform a few exercises without suffering any inconveniences.
Isometrics for Muscle Growth
Given the lack of eccentric and concentric movements, the scepticism that isometrics can be used to stimulate muscular hypertrophy is well warranted. Howe real-world and real world applications have shown that there is a direct correlation between isometric training and muscular gains. Your approach to the training is what makes all the difference.
While isometrics are built around the muscular contraction, there is an active and passive way to approach that. Active isometrics are recommended for hypertrophy. They allow you to increase the force exerted to fatigue your muscles further and encourage growth. You can and should apply the maximal strength you can when conducting each exercise.
For all their benefits, isometric exercises alone are not enough for muscle growth. To become the all-rounded bodybuilder and athlete, you need to include concentric and eccentric movements in your routines. To gain the best of both worlds should be the ideal. This way, you will not only be able to squat 300lbs, but can hold the stance without the crumbling under your feet.
Your fitness pal