By Cory Steig, Equipment sponsored by Rebel Elite Fitness
These do-anywhere isometric moves build muscle and blast fat!
Can’t face the thought of a run? Well, here’s good news: fast and furious isn’t the only pace that will score you the physique of your dreams. In fact, slowing down – and even staying still – can make workouts more effective. When you rush through exercises without distinct pauses at certain points, you don’t improve strength and stability where your body needs it the most, says strength and conditioning specialist BJ Gaddour. “Isometric training can improve your technique in tough positions, like at the bottom of a push-up or the top of a hip thrust,” he says. If you find it tough holding still for a long while, have no fear: short holds (of up to 60 seconds) give you higher-quality muscle contractions since you’re less likely to break form, says Gaddour, who created this routine. They also keep your heart rate elevated, which burns more kilojoules and revs your metabolism. Do the following exercises in order, resting for 15 seconds after each move. That’s one cycle. Repeat for a total of three cycles, moving straight into the second and third cycles without a break.
Watch one of our WH staffers perform the moves:
1. Push-up hold
Position your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders and extend your legs behind you, so your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Bend your elbows to lower your body towards the floor, keeping your back straight and elbows close to your sides. Hover just above the floor. Hold for one minute.
2. Hip-thrust hold
Lie face-up with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Squeeze your glutes and hold for one minute.
3. Squat hold
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms extended in front of you at shoulder height. Keeping your chest up and core tight, sit your hips back and bend your knees to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground or lower. Hold for one minute.
4. Split-squat hold
Position your left foot 60 to 90cm in front of your right, hands on your hips. Keeping your core tight, bend your knees to lower your body until your front knee is bent at 90 degrees. Hold for 30 seconds, then return to start. Switch sides and repeat.