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Isometrics have been around for a long time - I learned about them around the time I started training. They are not the be-all-end-all, but a valuable tool to know. They are great when you don't have any equipment, or to bring up your strength in specific positions. You can do them virtually anywhere - standing in line, in the bathroom, in a padded cell with a restraint system (car)...

Please keep in mind that your body can be amazingly strong in isometric contractions. For your safety:


The Ultimate Isometrics Manual - book by Paul "Coach" Wade. This is a manual for their reassuringly expensive Isochain device, but also provides a wealth of information on the theory and history of isometrics, exercises without equipment, and progressions for static calisthenics holds. Inexpensive on Kindle, the book version is a bit more pricey.

Overcoming Isometrics - book by Matt Schifferle, using straps for many exercises.


T-nation on Isometrics for mass

Isometric training and long-term adaptations: Effects of muscle length, intensity, and intent: A systematic review PDF

Build your own isometrics rig

The Isochain set costs over $500, and does not allow you to use different handles or bars where appropriate. With my DIY setup, you will not get the electronic force meter. What you need:

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