Use these Isometric Core Abs Exercises to build a powerful midline and body that will improve performance and prevent injury.
Isometric exercises, also known as static strength training, are contractions of a particular muscle for an extended period of time. Simply put, an isometric exercise is one that involves muscle engagement without movement. Instead, you pick one position and hold it. For example, in a plank or wall sit, the muscles are working, but not actively changing lengths.
In positions like these, the muscle fibers are activated but since there are equal forces against each other, there is no movement. (Compare this to picking up a 20-pound dumbbell to do biceps curls—the force of the weight pushing down is less than the force you are using to lift the weight up).
How can you benefit from Isometric Core Abs Exercises?
Every athlete wants to be able to generate a lot of explosive force. Isometric exercises, when added to a functional strength training program, have been shown to help athletes produce more speed and power. Studies have shown that that a 7 second muscle contraction increases your strength by about 5 percent.
In addition, As you get older, you lose muscle tone, flexibility and the ability to digest essential amino acids, but regular isometric exercises can allow you to maintain your muscle strength. In fact, isometric exercises are a necessary kind of strength training for an older person who would like to stay healthy and mobile and for everyone else who would want to avoid muscular decline.
Including isometric exercise in your training routine has the dual benefit of injury prevention and strength building. If you have or have had damaged muscles in your lifetime, this method can help you to rehabilitate your injury and reduce recovery time of your muscles. While it may seem like a good idea to just sit and rest, you may recover healing muscle more quickly by training. Isometrics are great at this because they don’t put too much strain on your muscles and joints.
These isometric exercises build a foundation of functional strength to support you when you advance to more dynamic, explosive routines. They are particularly beneficial when rebuilding from injury.
Top 10 Isometric Core Abs Exercises
All the exercises listed below are positions required to be held for a duration of time. The duration that you hold the positions for will depend on your current level of core strength.
It is important to not overdo it and work well within your limitations to avoid compromising your lower back.
Technique is important, so read the notes and make sure you check out the video clips for some extra form guidance.
1. L SIT
- You can do this on dip bars or on the floor. A good starting point for learning this exercise would be to do it on the dip bars.
- Start with a hand on each dip bar and support your body weight on fully extended arms, straight down by your side. Your body should be hanging in a straight line to begin with.
- Keeping your legs straight, raise them to be parallel to the ground. If the straight leg version is too challenging, try it with your knees bent, keeping them shoulder width apart, i.e. lift your knees instead of your straightened legs.
- Extend through your chest and try to send your hips forward.
2. PALLOF HOLD
- Attach a single handle to the cable machine at shoulder height.
- Grab the handle between two hands and take a few steps out from the cable machine.
- Press the cable out in front of you until your arms are fully extended.
- Resist being pulled towards the cable machine by bracing your core and squeezing your glutes.
- Dave-D-L-sit: Photo Courtesy of CrossFit inc