Isometric Exercises for Athletes
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Best Isometric Exercises For Athletes
Isometric exercises can drastically improve power output. One thing all aspiring athletes can do can drive into an immovable object. For instance, doing a quarter squat into the pins of a power rack and holding it for 10 to 15 seconds. After the isometric, do a plyometric exercise. This is a simple form of a contrast method.
I like to do 6 to 7 sets of two isometric holds, rest about one minute, and then do the plyometric movement. In the power rack, do the isometric movement where the athlete has the sticking point in their squat. Many athletes have problems around the quarter squat and some have issues lower in the movement. Play around with positions and see what results are achieved through each athlete and each angle.
Dynamic Trunk Control
Many athletes struggle with dynamic trunk control. An easy way to improve DTC is to have an isometric hold while getting dynamic feedback. For instance, holding an isometric split position while a partner gives dynamic feedback. The position can be maintained by holding a hydro-weight or powerlastic band.
When someone is pushing dynamically against an object that is being held isometrically, it provides an educational point in dynamic trunk control. Athletes will start to feel or sway one way or another. The coach can learn where the athlete is leaking energy through astute observation.
Having athletes hold challenging positions and add dynamic resistance while they are in a static hold, the athlete will be kinesthetically educated for performance at higher speeds. Think of holding a split jerk and pausing in the split overhead for 5 seconds. The athlete is doing a very rapid movement with an isometric that will educate the body and advance athletic development.
Joint stiffness is a struggle. Learning how to hold a split position on a ramp, the athlete’s joint stiffness will increase and strengthen their foot and Achilles tendon. By holding this challenging position, we can contrast the isometric with lower-level plyometrics that increases joint stiffness and leads to greater power output.
Sticking points can be a big struggle for athletes in certain lifts. Longer-limbed athletes will struggle in the midrange position in the bench press and the squat. For the bench press, I recommend 5 to 7-second pin stops at the sticking point to improve the ability to drive through the midrange.
When To Use
Use isometrics during the exposure phase or comprehension phase of Parabolic Periodization. Ideally, the isometric movements will be placed on the athlete day specifically or on the impulse leg day to improve positions relative to the actual sport being trained for.
Isometrics are used to improve dynamic ability and, maybe more obviously, are used to teach stability when landing in the dynamic position by holding the landing for 4 to 5 seconds for 5 to 6 sets.
Isometrics can be used in a split position, in a pin press, or working through a sticking point in a squat. Isometrics can improve joint stiffness and can even lead to greater dynamic trunk control.
Make sure to find specific patterns within the training for sport. For instance, many football players are tested in the vertical jump. Do pin squats at the counter movement level and then contrast the isometric movement with the dynamic movement of hurdle hops to lead to greater power output.
Yo, It's Dane
Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!
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