Isometric Training for
Strength and Stability
Most people only focus on dynamic forms of training and only focus on the concentric phase of the movement (raising of the weight). In combat sports you often see athletes get into a stalemate situation where you are riding someone on top or you stuff an athlete’s takedown there are many static movement that happen in competition as well as dynamic ones. It is important to be able to hold positions and control your movement as well as to be able to resist an opponent’s movement. A great way to train for this is to implement isometric (static) exercises in your program
There are many applications for both types of contractions (static and dynamic) for sports and just general strength training. Isometric variations have their place in a solid lifting program and can help the body learn to use the muscles to stabilize and control movements.
An isometric muscle contraction is when force is applied without changing the length of the muscle so no movement will occur. Isometric exercises have a lot of merit because they teach a wrestler to resist movement as well as control. Often times in combat sports athletes need to resist an opponent’s movement and they must learn to stabilize their body in order to stay in a solid position. Wrestlers need to absorb impact throws and leg attacks as well. Isometric exercises can help increase static strength as well as static stability.
Isometric contractions, much like eccentric contractions, can be used as a way to modify an exercise to fit the individual needs of an athlete. A person may not be able to perform a pull-up, but he can hang on the bar for a given amount of time. This will work the same muscles as a normal pull-up but in a static fashion versus a dynamic one.
When advanced isometrics are performed for time they are
very effective for building mental toughness as well as teaching full body
tension. In wrestling it is important to know what to stay loose and when to be
tight. There are going to be situations in a wrestling match that you need to
hold your ground in order to come out on top. Sometimes when defending a pinning
combination you just need to stay tight and hold your ground and refuse to go to
your back no matter how hard it may seem. Advanced and long isometric variations
are a great way to train the body as well as the mind.
Everyone who has wrestled for a substantial time from the top positions knows that the muscles, of the grip, forearms and upper back can get quite fatigued during a wrestling match. This exercise is great for building the static grip and upper back strength necessary for holding opponents down for extended periods of time. This static upper back strength will also help with shoulder stability needed on other big lifts in your strength program.
The adductor muscles are often neglect in training program, but are crucial for
developing a strong top game. If you have ever wrestled a good leg rider you
know that they are constantly squeezing with their inner thighs in order to hold
The low push up position plank will build both spinal stability as well as shoulder stability. Should stability is crucial for defending all types of bar arms and half nelson attacks from the bottom position. This also provides a nice stretch of the pec muscles which also seem to get tight when wrestlers are hunched over in their stance for extended periods of time. This exercise will also help build core strength to aid in other big lifts in your strength program.
This is a great exercise because it helps increase the local muscular endurance of the legs while also stretching out the back side hip flexor. Tight hip flexors can hinder an athlete’s ability to get in a good position for all penetrations steps. This is a great one to do at the end of your workout.
Many people like the wall sit as their favorite static squat variation, but this position is more real world. This position will build muscular endurance in the legs and hips as well as help stretch out the muscles of the adductors(inner thigh). If you have ever seen a wrestler do a split to defend a takedown you know they have good hip mobility and length in their adductors and this is a great exercise to help build that mobility and stability in the legs.
Static Glute Bridge Holds
The muscles of the hip extensors are very important for power, but also for
posture and core stability. The muscles of the glute help stabilize the low back
and pelvis so it is critical that these muscles are also trained in a static
fashion. This is also a good drill to learn how to continuously put pressure on
an opponent’s body when in a static sprawl position when defending a takedown.
To take your wrestling to the next level and ensure this coming wrestling season is your best one ever go to GaglioneStrength.com and e-mail Coach Gaglione for more information on wrestling training.