Isolation is no fun. Isometrics are AWESOME!
Living Well...together, while apart
One huge benefit of training without heavy weights is the ability to safely incorporate isometric contractions into your workout. This type of contraction essentially occurs when a muscle is exerting force or creating tension without producing any change in muscular length or movement. A plank is a perfect example.
Outside of various planks and other core strength applications, how much isometric training do people typically do? I would argue not enough.
One of the key benefits of isometric training is a far greater neuromuscular activation when compared to eccentric or concentric activity using the same muscles. That is, a greater number of contractile fibers are activated. This improved ability for muscles to maximally contract often positively impacts more dynamic movements, augmenting strength gains, while placing less strain on the joints.
Because of this higher neural activation, using isometric contractions to wake up muscles that tend to be a bit sleepier or weaker, is a fabulous way to warm up. Figuring out how to activate your glutes before a deadlift or lunge, or rhomboids and lower traps before you train your back.
People who pooh-pooh isometrics, complain that strength gains occur primarily at the joint angle being trained. To me – that’s one of the biggest benefits! Who doesn’t have a point in a lift where they get stuck, where they know their mechanics get a bit sloppy when they’re tired, a range in a lift they are not always comfortable or able to visit…?! Will you be stronger and safer if you can nail the entire range of your lift or movement? Of course you will! Once we identify where you could use a lift (pun intended) we simply need to drop in a few carefully placed isometrics and off you go.
A few common examples to help you picture what I’m talking about:
- The first ½ inch off the floor on your deadlift
- The beginning of your pullup – especially if you allow your shoulders to rise and elbows to straighten
- The bottom of your squat
- Halfway up on your biceps curl, push up, or bench press
- The end range of your seated or dumbbell row
The last benefit I will touch on: It can make any workout So. Much. Harder.
What have you got to lose?!?
Inspiration of the Day
“If you think lifting is dangerous, try being weak.” - Bret Contreras, sports scientist
Classes of the Day
Today is going to be a great day because we’ve got THREE classes for you to join!
Mobility & Stability with Adriana
Join Adriana for your morning pick-me-up! This class will focus on moving through a full range of motion and develop your full body control, flexibility, and usable range.
Recommended equipment: yoga block or pillow
Join Adriana at 7:30am (45 minutes) from your own living room.
Cycling with James
Get an amazing cardiovascular workout on an indoor bike. The class will simulate an outdoor ride, including a mix of intervals and hills.
Recommended equipment: bike trainer
Join James at 11:00am (45 minutes) from your own living room.
Rip it Up with Gavin
This class will challenge you to your max! Come out and perform the prescribed workout for the day. This class utilizes all your skills, from coordination to endurance and strength. No equipment necessary, you’ll just need your body weight!
Join Gavin today at 12:00pm (35 minutes) from your own living room.
Weekly Class Schedule
To get the links, meeting IDs, and passwords for our virtual classes, click here to view the weekly schedule.
To learn more about our virtual classes, please reach out to Lauren directly.
Trainer Moves of the Day
Isometrics in action! Take a few minutes to try these simple and challenging moves with Meg. It’s a great one that will give you ideas on how to change up your other workouts.
For questions about today’s Trainer Moves, you can connect directly with Meg here.
Missed a Class?
Missed one of our classes last week? Loved a class so much you want to do it again? You can access our virtual class library here! Links to the previous week’s classes will be updated on Mondays. Be sure to copy the password as is without an end space to gain access.
Do you have a "Something of the Day" you'd like us to share?! Email Meg.