Section 1 - Start Here



The word ISOMETRIC is defined as follows: ‘Iso’ means equal or the same, and ‘metric’ means length. Combining these two definitions we get ‘equal or the same length’. Isometrics, as it pertains to muscle training, involves tensing muscles against other muscles or against an immovable object while the length of the muscle remains unchanged. For isometric training to be effective, this muscular tension must be maintained over a certain period of time.

Therefore, isometric training is best defined as follows:

The sustained contraction of a muscle over a certain period of time where the length of the muscle remains unchanged.

The following are two examples of an isometric contraction:Example 1. Take a 20 pound weight and perform a biceps curl. Hold a position halfway between the repetition for 10 seconds. The length of your biceps muscle doesn’t change during this time. A force is still being applied. See Figure 1-1.

Figure 1-1. Isometric Curl

Figure 1-1. Isometric Curl

Example 2. Push against a pole for 10 seconds. The pole doesn’t move and neither does the length of the muscles in your arms or legs pushing against it. A force is still being applied. See Figure 1-2.

Figure 1-2. Isometric Push

Figure 1-2. Isometric Push

Isometric training has been around for a long time, and so it is nothing new. Many extraordinary results in muscle strength have been achieved in a very short period of time with this type of training. However, because of the number of new training products and techniques on the market today, its use by athletes is often overlooked.

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