Isometric Workout Routine For Beginners
Isometrics. The fastest way to get stronger without moving a muscle. Or picking up a single weight. That is… if you know what you’re doing.
Because most beginner’s THINK they know how to do isometrics. Only to finish their workout saying… “did I even do anything?”
Then wake up the next morning without an ounce of fatigue or muscle soreness…
And discredit the whole isometrics thing like it doesn’t work…
I know the dilemma. Because that was ME after my first isometric workout.
And in this article I’ll share exactly what you should do to get the most out of your isometric workout routine…
I’ll give you a kick-butt isometric workout routine for beginners that’ll help you build strength and boost your fitness level starting today…
Here’s a few things I love about isometric workouts that I call “the four no’s”
- No Equipment
Eventually, you can utilize equipment to raise the difficulty of your isometric workouts.
Yet for the sake of this isometric workout routine for beginners, it’s fitting to keep your workout in the bodyweight zone.
Here’s why that’s an amazing benefit…
For one, isometrics help you increase strength without having to perform any complex exercises.
Which I think is a big reason many people don’t spend time strength training.
Have you ever been unsure how to perform certain weight lifting movements, or set up machines properly?
Or maybe you’ve been afraid to look like a fool in the gym (we’ve all been there)
Well, an isometric workout routine is a no-movement strategy. Which takes “complicated” out of the picture…
No confusing movements or progressions at all.
For example. A weighted squat can be intimidating.
Think about it. You have to place the bar perfectly on your lower traps so you don’t put dangerous pressure on your neck…
On top of that, you must set your feet in the right position.
Stick your chest up. Butt out. Sit on your heels…
Perform an eccentric and concentric movement, while filling your belly with air, and exhaling as you push your body upward, etcetera, etcetera…
All while having one hundred pounds (or seven-hundred lbs. like this guy) on your back…
Now, squats are an anabolic BOMB. It’s the #1 muscle builder in my book. Yet it’s not for everyone. Especially beginners.
I recommend isometrics instead…
Continuing with our squat example. You can perform an isometric squat simply by lowering your body as if sitting on the toilet seat…
While placing your bodyweight on the back on your heels.
And hold the position while squeezing your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
No up-down, up-down movement needed. And no heavy load sitting on the back of your neck.
It’s simple. Yet incredibly challenging when done right.
Hint: you know you’re doing it right when you feel your legs shaking. Especially at about 10 seconds in…
Hold it long enough and you’ll look like you’re performing the chicken dance…
All in all, let’s sum up the first “no” with a basic math problem…
“no “ equipment = no intimidation.
- No Joint Pain
The beauty of an isometric workout routine is there’s no movement at the joint other than getting into the exercise position.
Traditional strength training routines will demand you bend your knees and elbows for hundred of reps in a single workout…
Maybe you’ve experienced it before…
Let’s give an example “chest day” of a traditional weight training routine.
- 4 sets of 12 reps on barbell bench press
- 4 sets of 12 reps of incline dumbbell press
- 4 sets of 15 reps of dips
- 3 sets of push-ups (to failure each)
- And maybe 3-6 sets of tricep cable extensions or skull-crushers at 12 reps a set…
That’s almost 300 repetitions in a single workout!
Or think of it this way… 300 joint bends with a heavy load in a single workout.
That’s a lot of wear and tear on your joints.
And if you’re someone who wants to maintain healthy joints long term. Or maybe you experience joint pain already and you want to workout without discomfort…
An isometric workout routine in perfect for you.
Because an isometric workout does not include the concentric and eccentric phases of a movement. This is, the stretching and contracting part.
Instead, your body remains in one position while doing the exercise. Be sure to check out this article for extra intensity techniques for your beginner isometric workout routine.
- No Time
What I mean is… these workouts take no time at all. Due to the fact you can perform them anywhere.
And considering a drive to the gym may take you at least 10 minutes one way…
Plus waiting for machines or equipment to open up. Which eats away at your precious minutes…
While following an extensive one hour (or longer) routine…
You see the minutes… or even hours pile up, right?
Well, an isometric workout routine will save you time…
Hey, you can even roll out of bed and do a quick workout.
(I’ll give you a sample workout at the bottom of this article…)
One of my favorite qualities of an isometric workout is your ability to do a max effort contraction.
Which, any traditional weightlifting program CANNOT do.
You see, most weight training routines have you performing sets and reps at 60% – 80% of your max effort.
And the higher you go, the more dangerous the movement becomes. For example, a one-rep max can be highly strenuous on your muscle tissue and joints…
The risk can often times be greater than the reward.
Isometric workouts can get up to 100% max effort.
Yet because there’s no movement with isometrics – you don’t have to worry about a potentially dangerous stretching/contracting overload on the muscle.
Especially when using your own bodyweight.
Making your isometric workout routine both safe and impressively effective.
- No Excuses
Back to another basic math problem…
“No” #1 + “No” #2 + “No” #3 = No Excuses
Isometric workouts are not intimidating. Not long (unless you make em’). Require no equipment. Not bad for the joints…
What other excuses can one have?
What’s awesome is these workouts don’t take up any space.
You won’t have to lug any equipment around.
You can perform them in a hotel, on the beach, in your bedroom, wherever and get a quality strength building workout.
Breathing For Isometrics
One more note before we get to the actual exercises. Breathing.
How do I breathe when performing an isometric workout?
It’s a common question so let’s clear it up before your workout.
Perform natural inhales and exhales. In through the nose and out through the nose or mouth.
Do not hold your breath when performing isometrics. This can cause some unnecessary strain in your abdomen during your workout.
Instead, go with the flow (as they say)…
As the duration of the exercise progresses and your heart rate continues to escalate, so your breathing will also.
Roll with it.
It’s that simple.
4 Beginner Isometric Exercises
Let’s keep with the theme of 4’s, shall we? Hope that’s not an unlucky number of yours…
Here’s four isometric exercises you’ll be using in the routine at the end of this article (I’ll give you the sets, duration, etc)…
Chest Compression (muscles; chest, shoulders)
(Skip to 5:15 of this video… oh look! It’s yours truly… watch from the beginning if you want to meet my dog…)
This isometric exercise will smash your chest and shoulders.
What’s cool about it, is you’ll be able to exert 100% maximum effort. Something you can’t do when repping on a bench press.
From the very get-go you’ll feel your upper body shaking. Especially in your arms.
Eventually the lactic acid will makes it’s way to your chest and you’ll feel like your muscles are on fire.
It’s one of those burns that hurt so good…
Another plus about this move… it’s not complicated. Simply bring your hands together and press with all your might.
Push-up Hold (muscles; chest, shoulders, triceps)
(Skip to 3:55 of this video)
(You don’t have to perform this movement inverted like I did. Complete it on your toes or with your knees on the floor depending on your strength level…)
You’ll be doubling up on your chest and shoulders with this move.
Pro tip: Notice how I lower my body down to the floor, then slightly press my body up an inch before holding the position?
Most people neglect this. They typically lower their body and hold.
When you lower your body, you are lengthening your muscle. This is the easiest portion of any movement.
For example, when performing a bench press, notice how lowering the weight to your chest is far easier than pressing the weight away from your chest?
The same challenge should apply for your isometric push-up.
So instead of lowering your body to the floor (eccentric) and holding (static).
Lower your body down (eccentric). Slightly press your body upward (concentric). And hold (static).
This will help you maximize your isometric workout and have you feeling incredibly sore the next day.
Isometric Bench Dip (muscles; triceps)
The next exercise will tone up your arms and help you build strength in your pushing assisters –the triceps.
You may be familiar with the tricep bench dip.
For this exercise you can find a bench, couch, or low enough table to place the back of you palms on.
From there, follow the same technique as in the exercise above.
With your feet out in front of you, and all of the resistance placed on the back on your arms…
Slowly bend your elbows. Lowering your body down.
Once you reach the lowest position you can comfortably bend your elbow, slightly press your body up half an inch to one inch.
Hold that position for the ultimate tricep burn.
Here’s a great video on the anatomy during a dip, what muscles are being worked, and how to perform this move properly…
Just be sure not to perform reps, but instead, hold the position.
Isometric Towel Roll (muscles; back, biceps, forearms)
This one will give your chest and shoulders a break.
All you’ll need is a long enough towel about 2 feet of space…
For this move, you can give a 100% maximal pulling effort on the towel.
The towel will not move. And neither will your arms after the initial pull.
You’ll almost look like a straining statue (with a little bit of shaking)…
Pro tip: Wear shoes… towel burn hurts between the toes.
For more intensity techniques, (like using a towel) check out this article: 3 Intensity Techniques For Your Isometric Workouts
Okay, so now that you have your four exercises for this isometric workout routine… let’s break it down into an actual regimen:
Isometric Workout Routine For Beginners:
Chest compression – complete for 3 sets of 10 seconds each. Breaks in between each set should last no more than three seconds.
Push-up Hold – complete 1 set until “failure” – meaning, your body can no longer continue holding itself up. Break for 10 seconds
Isometric Tricep Dip – complete 1 set until “failure” – meaning, your body can no longer continue holding itself up. Break for 10 seconds
Isometric Towel Roll – complete for 3 sets of 10 seconds each. Breaks in between each set should last no more than three seconds.
Complete this entire workout 2 times.
You will be wiped out after.
For Part II of this article… click here.
If you enjoyed the article, on this isometric workout routine for beginners, you’ll like the Isometric Secrets of Old Time Strongmen Report in this link. In it, you’ll discover proven isometric exercises used by some of the world’s strongest individuals, that will help you build insane strength WITHOUT stepping foot in the gym. Just click the banner below.