History of Isometric Training

Feb 20, 2022

 by VAforgyms admin

Isometric training is among the most effective training methods. It is incredibly effective for increasing muscular size and strength. It's a fancy way of classifying exercises that recruit muscles and exert tension without actually lengthening or shortening the muscle. In other words, while your muscle is flexed, it is not expanding or contracting. It's a stale method of demanding a specific muscle or group of muscles. If you want to take your training to the next level, you must understand the fundamentals of isometric training.


Isometric training, also known as isometric contraction, is any type of exercise in which the muscles strain and tense against an immovable object or against each other for a few seconds without moving. For many years, it was thought that the only valid method of developing muscle strength was to perform repetitive dynamic exercises against an overload for an extended period.


History of Isometric Training

Isometric training has been around since the early 1920s when scientists tied down one leg of a frog and discovered that straining against its bonds made the tied-down leg stronger. In the 1920s, physical therapists used some forms of isometric contraction to strengthen muscles in cast limbs. Their research found that static contraction increases muscular strength, and those daily periods of static contraction held briefly at half-maximal power were the most effective in strength development. It was also discovered that static strength was ineffective as a measure of stability in movement activities.


In the 1950s, German scientists Dr. Erich Albert Müller and Theodor Hettinger "observed that contractions involving less than one-third of maximum strength do not train the muscle; however, if a muscle's contraction exceeds one-third of its maximum strength, its mass and thus its strength grows." Over the course of ten years, the Max Planck Institute conducted over 200 experiments, and Theodor Hettinger's book Physiology of Strength was published. They both devised a training regimen based on isometric exercises.


In the 1960s, University of Connecticut professor James A. Baley put isometrics to the test with a class of 104 college students to study the results of tests measuring increases in strength, endurance, coordination, and agility. The original study found that a 4-week program of isometric exercises resulted in significant gains. Isometric exercises were introduced to the modern American public as a precursor to bodybuilding in the early days of physical culture. Isometric exercises have been incorporated into the training regimens of many bodybuilders.


Many studies concluded that isometric training resulted in more significant strength gains.  Hence, isometric exercises have made their way into athletics, and Bruce Lee was a great champion of the method. In fact, you may have seen photos of him using a chain-and-bar device.


Isometric training will help you gain strength quickly. If you want to make changes, you will see progress. The law of diminishing returns dictates that it will eventually slow down—this is true for all training methods—but don't worry about it. Strength training does not have to be challenging to be effective; you simply have to enjoy it!