6 Must-Try Isometric Moves

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By: , – Deazie Gibson, Acacia TV Contributor
  :  20 comments   :  135,431 Views

Strength training is an important part of any good exercise regimen. Not only do you build muscle (which burns fat), but strength training also helps to speed up the metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories for longer periods of time. Looking for new ways to strength train without having to move around too much? Here are six static positions that require very little movement while still building muscular endurance and strength. 
 
1. Plank Hold/Shift

How to Do It
Begin with a plank hold on forearms with palms facing up and arms shoulder-width apart. Shift body forward onto tips of toes with weight in your shoulders, and hold that position for 3 seconds. Then, shift back to the balls of the feet; hold for 3 seconds. This completes one set. Repeat for 10 total sets.

Form Notes
Be sure to keep your back in a straight line, squeezing your butt, thighs and abs. Do not let your back sag or your chest cave between your shoulders. Keep eyes focused on the floor so that your head remains in a neutral position. This allows you to use your own body weight as resistance and develop a strong midsection.
 
Muscles Worked
Core, back, shoulders, glutes and quads. This is a fantastic full-body isometric strength exercise!
 
2. V-up Hold  

How to Do It
Begin seated on the floor. Keep your knees bent with hands behind your knees, pulling your knees into the chest. Point toes and keep your heels off the floor. Lean back slightly and lift feet off the floor, balancing on your butt. Lift chest up and keep your back straight while looking forward. Extend one leg to a 45-degree angle while still holding behind the knees. Then, extend the other leg. Release one arm forward, then the other. Hold this position for 4 seconds and then lower for 4 seconds. Repeat for 5 total sets.

Form Notes
Don’t forget to breathe. For a modification of this move, keep both knees bent or extend one leg at a time and alternate legs. You can make this move more advanced by reaching for your toes.

Muscles Worked
Your entire core should be on fire from this move! This is excellent for building balance and learning to use the core as your stabilizer.
 
3. Supermans

How to Do It
Lie flat on your stomach with arms extended in front of you and legs extended straight behind you.

Variation 1: Lift opposite arm and leg, hold for 3 seconds, then come down and alternate sides. Repeat for 10 sets.
 
Variation 2: Lift just the arms off the floor for 3 seconds, then come down. Then, lift just the legs off the floor and hold for 3 seconds, then come down. Repeat for 10 sets.

Variation 3: Lift both arms and legs off the floor at the same time, hold for 3 seconds, then come down. Repeat for 10 sets.

Form Notes
When you lower your arm or leg back to the floor, don’t completely collapse and let everything go! Gently touch the floor with control.

Muscles Worked
This move will really work your mid and lower back.
 
4. Crab Hold

How to Do It
Start in a seated position with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward. Place your hands flat behind you about shoulder width apart and fingertips facing your heels. Lift your hips up off the floor as high as you can, coming to a table-top position. Keep your head at a 45 degree angle. Squeeze your butt, flatten your stomach and breathe. Hold for 15 seconds and then slowly lower back down to the floor. Repeat for 3 sets. To intensify the crab hold, you can do this move using only one leg. Simply lift one leg (straight) off the ground during the entire movement.

Form Notes
Keep your abs flat as possible, butt tight and hips as high as you can.

Muscles Worked
This exercise is not only a great isometric core, quad, hamstring and glute movement, but it's also good for increasing shoulder and hip flexibility.
 
5. Squat Hold with Arms Behind Head

How to Do It
Start in a standing position, hands behind head, feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned out. Keep chest up, back straight, abs in and weight in the heels. Lower into the squat as if you’re going to sit in a chair. Hold the squat at the bottom while maintaining good posture and not compromising your form. Hold squat for 10 seconds, then return back to standing position. Repeat for 6 sets.

Form Notes
Think of pushing the knees out throughout the movement. Once you're in the squat, do a little squat check. Wiggle your toes to make sure you are driving through your heels and contracting your hamstrings and glutes.

Muscles Worked
This move works your core, quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.





6. L-Holds

How to Do It
Start in a seated position. Place hands flat on the floor just outside your hips. Extend legs out in an L-position. Engage abs first, then press hands into the floor and lift butt and legs off the floor at the same time. Hold 15 seconds then rest 15 seconds for 5 sets.

To modify this move, begin in a seated position in a loose cross-legged position. Press hands into the floor and lift butt and legs off the floor at the same time.

To modify this move further, sit in a cross-legged position with 1 leg extended. Then, press hands into the floor and lift your butt and legs at the same time.

Form Notes
Lean forward to help engage the abs to lift yourself up. If you’re still not there and need a little help, put a block, pillow or book under your butt to decrease the range of motion and make it a little easier to lift yourself initially.

Muscles Worked
This move works your entire midsection as well as your arms. It’s challenging and different than your normal core exercises, but once you get it, you will see a difference if you keep at it! 

About the Author
Deazie Gibson
is AcaciaTV’s strength training instructor. She is also an international group fitness instructor, personal trainer, fitness model & flight attendant based in New York City & Chicago. Deazie is well known for applying her D3 Lifestyle (Drive, Discipline and Determination) in every aspect of her life. deazie.com






AcaciaTV is a leading subscription-based streaming fitness service easily accessible on a variety of platforms/devices. Members have complete access to more than 100 workouts in a diverse range of disciplines which they can stream anywhere at any time. AcaciaTV now features new themed 20-minute workouts each month from trainers Kristin McGee, Amanda Young, Deazie Gibson, Gerren Liles and Liz LeFrois. Consumers can visit Acacia TV at US.Acacia.TV and easily try out the service with its 10-day free trial. The channel is for all fitness levels, offering workouts from beginners through advanced. Subscription to the service includes access to AcaciaTV’s Facebook fitness community which offers additional support and a group forum for all members. SparkPeople members can receive 25% off any membership for a year with the code ACACIASPARK. 


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Comments

  • 20
    Good info - 8/1/2017   6:52:31 AM
  • 19
    great exercises! - 6/16/2017   11:28:36 AM
  • JANETEMILY
    18
    Most of these may not be moves for true beginners, but everyone has to start somewhere! I started a couple of years ago only being able to do a few squats at a time, and planks were started on my knees until I had strengthened my upper body. Just finished a workout that included squats, side lunges (32 on each leg), and can hold planks for at least a minute now. I also love trying the V-hold. Working consistently, trying new moves, and doing strength training with weights will help too. No one gets into shape in a few weeks... Oh, and I turned 60 last month... - 9/9/2016   3:35:22 AM
  • 17
    Fabulous, I'm going to keep these in my reference! - 8/12/2016   10:39:00 AM
  • 16
    These are awesome. Although I have to modify a couple of them, they are very worth the effort... Thanks so much! - 7/28/2016   7:48:49 PM
  • 15
    I cannot do the V-form no matter how hard I try! The plank is easy but the crab is painful to my shoulder. Good exercises for others and for me, only some. - 2/29/2016   9:07:07 AM
  • DEEP8LEO
    14
    Thank you! These are some moves - can't wait to try 'em out. - 2/26/2016   12:14:27 AM
  • CJOHNSTON2001
    13
    got try these,I do some of then anyways.thanks for the info!!!! - 7/1/2015   4:53:21 PM
  • 12
    WILL TRY THEM - 6/13/2015   9:55:38 AM
  • BKTRYING
    11
    Thank you, these are great moves and very interesting. - 5/25/2015   6:04:14 AM
  • BKTRYING
    10
    Thank you, these are great moves and very interesting. - 5/25/2015   5:53:47 AM
  • LEENANYC
    9
    I like this and any article that helps me get in shape at home. As a newbie here, I am enjoying just taking time navigating this page and many others. - 4/15/2015   7:22:20 AM
  • 8
    I think some of these could have used more photo's or showed a video of someone actually doing them. I was a little confused on some of them. - 4/8/2015   1:20:52 PM
  • KELLIEPARADIS
    7
    I love all given moves... But have question...
    Is that all moves are comfortable for beginner also??? - 4/8/2015   6:52:27 AM
  • 6
    I think I need to print this off so I can put it in my workshop to remind me what to do and how, and to do it at all! - 4/7/2015   2:09:43 PM
  • CMARNESON1
    5
    Please modify for us Senior Citizens...thank you. - 4/7/2015   1:19:55 PM
  • 4
    These are great exercises. As a beginner I could not do all of them. I will keep working at getting stronger until I can! - 4/5/2015   6:08:08 PM
  • 3
    These are not moves for a beginner or anyone with physical limitations. - 4/5/2015   3:53:43 PM
  • 2
    Exercise on a concrete surface? More power to her! - 4/4/2015   4:01:17 PM
  • 1
    Thank you! These are great moves, and I love the helpful pictures! - 4/4/2015   2:34:22 AM

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