Isometric training

What is isometric training?

Isometric( static) training is that you lift and hold a power shell( or body weight) motionless for a certain period of time - most often as long as possible until a muscle failure is achieved.

Despite the fact that this type of training is known for a long time, it is often reopened, promising muscle growth without a gym and with minimal effort, emphasizing that isometrics involve slow muscle fibers in work.

Slow Muscular Fibers

Strength training, like running short distances, involves mainly fast fibers, making glycogen the main source of energy. To involve slow fibers in the work, long loads of 30 minutes are required.

The belief that weight retention for several minutes involves slow muscle fibers is mistaken. Yes, the muscles receive some load, but this load is not sufficient to adapt the fiber and for its growth.

Static exercises

An example of a static strength exercise - twisting on a press with weights. You lie with your back on the floor, put your knees bent on the bench, press the weight to the chest, then tighten the muscles of the abdomen and freeze in this position for 20-50 seconds.

Another example may be squats with a back rest on the ball - stand against the wall with your back, put the ball between it and the shoulder blades, then slowly go down while holding the ball;stay at the bottom point, keeping the balance.

Studies NASA

The idea of ​​muscle training with an exceptionally static load without the use of simulators or free weights aroused interest in NASA, because in conditions of weightlessness it is difficult for astronauts to maintain muscle tone.

However, during the experiments it was found out that isometric training can not support the existing volume and muscular strength, and the muscles simply degrade without proper load( 1).Naturally, one can not talk about any growth.

The effect of isometrics on muscles

Obviously, isometric training does not develop muscle strength, but endurance of ligaments and tendons, while increasing their elasticity. In addition, such training improves coordination of movements and improves the ability to keep balance.

In fact, static exercises are the basis of many martial arts and yoga techniques. But it is important to note that these techniques are traditionally used exclusively to improve self-awareness, but not to create a sports figure and muscle growth.

Does yoga affect muscle growth?

Even theoretical consideration of yoga as a tool for muscle growth is extremely strange and wrong. The priorities of yoga are absolutely different moments - managing your body's energy, learning to listen and feel it.

From the fact that beginners who started yoga, at first feel pain in the muscles and notice some improvement in physical tone, there is no conclusion that yoga can be a tool for creating a sporty muscular body.

Dangers and drawbacks of static training

The use of isometric training to increase muscle mass is not just pointless, but even dangerous: there are studies showing that retaining a heavy weight causes an increase in blood pressure( 2).

In addition, using too much weight can easily cause joint injuries. Remember that by taking the bar for the press on the biceps and keeping it still, you do not work out the muscles - you just create an unnecessary load for the ligaments.


Periodically becoming popular isometric training techniques for muscle growth are meaningless and even dangerous. In addition, it is erroneous to believe that yoga can serve as a tool for creating a sporty muscular body.

Scientific sources:
  1. Isometric Exercise Discussed, source
  2. NASA, Why do Workouts Work? , source