Isometric Abdominal Exercises and Training

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What is Isometric Abdominal Training?

Isometric abdominal training (IAT) involves a series of abdominal contractions performed in a static position and free from changes in joint angles. The muscles are activated and held at a constant length as opposed to being allowed to flex or extend. In other words, the abs are tensed and kept in the same position with the levels tensed and held constant.

Who should do Isometric Abdominal Exercises?

Simply put, anyone who wants ripped abs.  Although Isometric Abdominal Exercises are especially useful for people with injuries that limit their range of movement and allows rehabilitation around damaged joints to occur.  In addition, studies have shown that Isometric Abdominal Exercises can increase max strength by 20% in compound exercises such as; the clean, deadlift, and shoulder press. Increases in isometric abdominal strength will also benefit anyone who does rugby, football, combat sports and running.

How Do Isometric Abdominal Exercises Work?

Because muscle fibres are pulled from both ends of the contracting muscle, as opposed to just a section of the muscle, IAT involves higher-intensity muscle activation, which causes your body to recruit more muscle fibres per contraction than regular flexion or extension training. The response from your body is muscle growth and increased muscle efficiency – stronger abs

How Do I Do Isometric Abdominal Exercises?

For muscle growth to occur, you should aim to hold the position for about10 – 30 seconds. The focus must be on peak muscle contraction and then maintenance of this for the desired time period.

Isometric Abdominal Exercises

  • Decline static holds
  • Side bridge
  • Plank
  • Lying leg holds
  • Isometric stomach flattener

Top Isometric Abdominal Exercise – The Static Push

This should be performed with a partner

  1. Lie flat on the floor.
  2. Raise your knees so they are directly above your hips
  3. Keep your heel above knee height.
  4. Now your partner places their hands on your shins and pushes downwards for between 10-30 seconds.
  5. You must contract your abs isometrically to resist your heels from dropping below knee height.

Tip: To reach peak contraction, boxing coaches will often throw medicine balls into the abdominals of their fighters, forcing them to contract hard.

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