Isometrics or static contraction exercises have been used by the Soviet’s since the 1950s. Isometrics are when a muscle is contracted without tissue glide. Where the muscle is activated through a static contraction without shortening and lengthening. This by definition allows to produce maximal force in a given range since the velocity is lessened to zero. When the intensity grows velocity slows so in order to fully maximize your ability to gain absolute strength isometrics are key.
More importantly isometrics have been shown to help aid in decreasing inflammatory injuries while strengthening the tissue around it. Using isometrics can help you improve range of motion by increases active range mobility. Utilizing this method of training will help you improve your full active range of motion throughout the kinetic chain to enhance athleticism and reduce the risk of injuries.
Sometrics can be used in several parts along the a training cycle. For general physical preparedness this can be utilized to help with stability and joint stiffness. Allowing for the body to get comfortable underneath heavy load. This can also increase the ability to produce higher rate of force production do to the controllability in the amortization phase (time between eccentric and concentric contraction).
There are several forms of isometrics that you can use in order to fully reap the benefits of it…
Yielding or Eccentric isometrics where you decent down into a sticking point (mini max) and hold for up to 3-5 seconds this will increase irradiation and overall strength in those weaker positions to allow for greater muscle contraction and neuromuscular control. You can use these in several ways for GPP it can be done as high as up to 5 minutes with lighter intensity to increase strength endurance. You could also use it with your peaking phase with 3 second hold to decrease kinetic energy for greater overall rate of force production.
Then you have overcome or concentric isometrics where you would press or pull into an immovable object to increase strength in the mini max. This can also be done in several different positions along the movement to increase the strength throughout the range of motion. This also can be done in GPP phase but more prevalent in the peaking phase of training to increase force production motor unit recruitment. Furthermore it also allows for less muscle breakdown due to the absence of eccentric loading. Use this method for 3-6 seconds around 3-5 sets coupled with a dynamic effort movement for contrast training.
We also have static overcome by dynamic method where you would hold a certain position for 3-6 seconds and then explode through the movement in a dynamic high velocity way. This will increase RFD and promote neuromuscular coordination. This is usually dome with box squats and pin presses.
Another good method would be dynamic isometrics for a speed strength and end range force production. This is good to eliminate joint sheering and deceleration of the movement enhancing compensatory acceleration. I usually throw these in at the end of a training camp to increase both speed and force production.
Lastly progressive and regressive angular isometrics. This is a form of functional range conditioning to help increase optimal range of motion and body control. Using base positions after setting up into a passive stretch your actively isometrically contracting the antagonist PAILs and agonist RAILs for a ramp up of intensity for 20 full seconds. This will activate mechanoreceptors in those end ranges so that you will have a better overall neuromuscular connection. Sending a sensory input to your brain to down regulate the bodies natural stretch defense mechanism, the Golgi Tendon.
Isometrics are also very helpful and beneficial for all weight class sport athletes looking to maintain a weight class but still get stronger and more powerful. It also allows for less overall muscle breakdown while improving force production and tissue strength. Eliminating inflammation allowing for more frequency of training.
So make sure to get your isometric training in and watch the strength gains come on like crazy!
If you guys want to learn more about my methodologies and training regimens make sure you check out my Daru Strong Mentorship Program, where I will personally teach you everything you need to know to truly coach high-level athletes and individuals.