Skip to main content

Isometric Training Exercises


Isometric Training Exercises

Interested in workouts and exercises that will make you more powerful and much more explosive? Try these techniques.

Any athlete knows how important explosiveness and strength are. That’s why most athletes use a combination of strength training and plyometrics to build muscle and push their performance to the next level. What many athletes fail to acknowledge though is the importance of being both extremely balanced, and explosive. How do you train for both at the same time? By integrating isometric training exercises into your program.

Isometric (ISO) Explode training is the most advanced, and most functional, method for using isometrics with athletes. When performing this type of training you’ll use a high tension, and often loaded, isometric before dropping the weight and immediately performing an explosive movement. Movements like this happen all of the time in sports, but we rarely see them combined in strength training. Which is odd, because few methods yield better results for my athletes than ISO Explode exercises.

Knowing that, here are two of my favorite ISO explode pulling exercises. You can start by doing them without weight before progressing to loaded variations as you’ll see in the videos below. The inverted row shows a loaded progression and the pull up shows an unloaded progression. This will develop grip strength and pulling stability which are crucial for all athletes.

Having covered the upper body, my favorite lower body variation is the Goblet Squat ISO Hold to Squat jumps. It’s important to be able to stay in a good low stance before going into an explosive movement regardless of the sport you play. This exercise is perfect for teaching just that:

Another one of my favorite ISO Explode variations for developing leg strength is the ISO Explode Bulgarian Split Squat to Split Squat Jumps as shown below. It’s extremely important to be strong and stable on one leg since many sports are performed using unilateral movements. This type of resistance training will prepare athletes for all single leg explosive movement patterns in their sport.

Additionally a great posterior chain variation is the Single Leg Hip Thrust to Single Leg Hip Thrust jump. It’s paramount to have a strong and stable posterior chain in order to be able to produce and absorb forces on the field and this progression helps you develop just that.

Typically with my wrestlers I’ll use 1-2 ISO explode variations in a workout for a 1-3 week cycle every 12-16 weeks for an offseason program. As far as sets and reps, start off with 15 seconds for the ISO hold and 3 reps for the power exercises, for three sets. Once you can complete that, progress to 30 second ISO holds and 5 reps for the power exercises for five sets, before switching to harder variations or increasing the load of the isometric exercise. If the tension and movement quality of the isometric exercises diminishes, simply cut the set.

With that, here are two workouts that I use with my athletes at Gaglione Strength...

ISO Explode Workout 1 Isometric Posterior Chain and Vertical Push Emphasis

ISO Glute Bridge to Broad Jump

ISO Wall Handstand to Power Dive Bomber Push Up

Then finish off with traditional strength work such as Front Squats, Pull Ups, and ab rollouts.

ISO Explode Workout 2 Isometric Vertical Pulling and Knee Dominant Emphasis

ISO DB Flexed Arm Hang to Release Pull Up

ISO KB Goblet Bulgarian Split Squat to Split Squat Jump

Then finish off with Feet Elevated Push Ups, Romanian Deadlifts, and Uneven Farmers walks.

There’s an old saying that, “you can’t shoot a cannon from a canoe.” If you’re extremely strong and powerful but aren’t stable, you’ll never realize your full potential. The entire core must be strong from the upper back, to the abdominals, to the glutes, to the hamstring. ISO explode training and the exercises above won’t only help you develop that stability, but will help you develop your power and explosiveness as well. So what are you waiting for? Are you not interested in becoming bigger, faster, stronger, and more explosive?

To maximize your gains using this approach 1R would recommend the following supplements:

  1. Optimum Nutrition AmiNO Energy - This preworkout supplement contains vital amino acids and beta alanine to get you ready for any workout that may come your way
  2. Cytosport Creatine - By increasing your body's ATP production creatine will help you become more explosive, more powerful, and more athletic when taken before or after lifts
  3. Optimum Nutrition 2:1:1 Recovery - The carbs and protein will help you recover and build lean muscle faster after tough workouts


19 / 09 / 2017 1R