My friend Todd Kuslikis is here today to share with us a 10 minute isometric workout you can do anywhere.
I will admit, I have heard of isometrics in reading about the old time strong men etc., but have not experimented much with them myself. I tried the workout in the article below, and my upper body was fried in a totally different way. Love it.
And the fact that you can do a workout like this most anywhere you can imagine, with absolutely ZERO equipment, is SO awesome. Will be adding this one to the travel and at home workout arsenal for sure
Without further ado -
10 Minute Isometric Workout You Can Do Anywhere
Todd Kuslikis, author, Isometrics Strength
Most guys want to have a bigger chest. The feeling of taking off your shirt at the beach and being proud of nicely defined pecs increases self-confidence and gives you a sense of pride in your own body.
Call it vain but that’s just the way it is.
The path for many men begin at the doors of their local health club. You ask any guy what to do to get a bigger chest and they will almost invariably say, “You have to do the bench press.”
And where do you find the bench press? At the local gym.
It is true that bench presses CAN and do provide a means of building strength, power and muscle. However, it is not the only way.
In fact, there is a method of building strength that many Old Time Strongmen have been doing for years.
It’s called, Isometric Exercises. Huh? Isometrics are a method of exercise where you contract and fatigue the muscle without actually moving.
Today, I’m going to teach you four isometric exercises that you can do for your chest and show you how to combine the exercises into a short 10-15 minute workout.
Before we begin, I want to cover the 3 types of isometrics because all 3 types are represented in the workout below.
Type 1: Overcoming Isometrics
This type of isometric is called, Overcoming because you are pushing against a force that is immovable. The best example, which I’ll go into in more detail, is pushing against a wall. You are able to push with all of your strength but since the wall is much larger than you it’s not moving.
Type 2: Yielding Isometrics
Yielding Isometrics are exercises where you push or pull against a movable force. The best example to explain this is with an exercise called Palm Pushes (I’ll again, explain more below). You put your hands in a prayer position in front of you and push your hands against each other as hard as you can. Since one hand is pushing against another its considered movable but you provide an equal and opposite force from the other hand so there is no movement.
Type 3: Static Tension
Static Tension is the easiest to explain. Its tensing the muscles in space. For example, try this. Lift your arms up so that your elbow is in a 90 degree angle. Now, flex your biceps as tight as you can. Hold it for 30 seconds then relax. You just did Static Tension!
Now that we have covered the basics, let’s dive into some specific isometric exercises for your chest.
Isometric Exercise 1: Wall Pushes
In this first exercise, you’ll be pushing against a wall as alluded to above. It’s a powerful isometric because you are able to push with all of your might to totally fatigue the chest muscle.
How To Do It:
Stand facing a wall. Get into a lunge position and push against the wall. Hold it for 30 seconds or longer. You feel lots of muscle engage. The harder you push the more fatigue you’ll feel.
The key to this isometric is in positioning. This isometric will be working the upper portion of your chest as well as your shoulders.
Exercise 2: Low Push Up Hold
Everyone knows at least knows how to do a push up even if they can’t actually do one. Yet, many people forget that you can hold the push up in a low position as a type of isometric. It fatigues the chest muscles quickly because the low position in the push up is the hardest point.
Here’s How To Do It:
Get in a normal push up position and lower yourself so that you are about 3-4 inches away from the ground. Hold it for as long as you can. Make sure that your back is straight as I am showing in the picture above.
Exercise 3: Palm Pushes
The next exercise is a type of Yielding Isometric. The goal again is to push as hard as you can with your hands against each other.
Here’s How To Do It:
From a standing position, raise your arms up. Place your palms together and bring them away from your body about 1-2 feet. Now squeeze your hands together as hard as you can. Come on! You can go harder than that!
When you bring your arms out you are allowing your chest to do most of the work. When you bring your arms in, toward your body, you are recruiting the help of your biceps as well.
Since this is a chest specific exercise you want to keep your hands out away from you.
Exercise 4: Scissors
The last exercise that you’ll be doing is called, Scissors. It’s a type of Static Contraction Isometric.
Here’s How To Do It:
Raise Your arms as shown in the picture and cross them over each other. Squeeze as tight as you can. You’ll feel your chest muscles engage. Make sure to give it everything you’ve got.
There is a reason I laid out the exercises in the specific manner above. It’s because that’s how you should do them in the workout.
Here’s the outline:
– Wall Pushes: 30 seconds
– Low Push Up Hold: Max time
– Palm Pushes: 30 seconds
– Scissors: 30 seconds
After you get done with the above set rest for 1-2 minutes then do it 2 more times for a total of 3 sets. You’ll definitely feel your chest burning!
The cool thing is that you can do the routine practically anywhere!
If you’re interested in checking out a full isometric workout plan already developed for you, see my 8 Week Isometric Strength Plan HERE. It will help you build muscle, lose fat and get stronger. It only requires you to do one workout 3-4 times per week and is very intense.