Custom Body Weight Isometric Workouts

Trying to find some isometric workouts to use? You're in the right place! Here's a list of body-weight isometric training exercises so you can create your very own custom routine.

Weight training is one of the best methods of strength training! If you want to start weight training safely and effectively, with the best info, diet, and routines, check out the 5 Day Beginner Weight Training Course!

One of the best things about body-weight isometric workouts is that you can do them anywhere. Whether you're on vacation or at home you'll always have the floor and walls to use.



Remember, with isometrics you stay in one position with no movement - holding your body as tight and tense as possible. Since you don't see any movement or weights lifted from your effort, it's important always to strain and try your hardest.

One of the most important parts of any isometric workout routine is recording your workout. Use the sheet below to track your progress.

Do each exercise for 2 - 3 sets & record them - so you'll know when to go really hard on yourself ;-)


Click here to download a PDF with a blank schedule you can fill in with your own isometric workouts. If that gives you trouble, try right-clicking and choosing 'Save Link As...'


- Exercises for Isometric Workouts -

1. Hand Push

  1. Start standing, hands palm-to-palm in front of your upper chest and elbows held out to the side, horizontal.
  2. Push your hands together as hard as you can for 8 to 15 second. That should be followed by 30 seconds of rest. Each set of 8 to 15 seconds of pushing is one set.


2. Plank

  1. Keeping your body straight, lay down horizontal, parallel to the floor & face-down. Only hold yourself up with your toes and forearms.
  2. Your forearms should look like 2 sides of a triangle, with your fists together in front of your face on the ground. Your forearms should be angling back behind you at 45 degree angles.
  3. Hold this position for 1 minute, and then rest for 1 to 1.5 minutes. That's 1 set.

If you want to make this harder, wear a heavy backpack or get a friend to sit on you when you're in position. It feels interesting to have someone reading on your back :-)


3. Isometric Crunch

  1. Start on the floor, hands clasped behind your head and legs together, knees bent & pointing up toward the ceiling.
  2. Contract your abs, keeping the same spot of your lower back on the floor and crunching your head and knees together as hard as possible. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then relax.

As you get stronger, hold the position for longer and longer periods of time. You wouldn't want your isometric workouts to get too easy, would you?


4. Isometric Lower-Ab Leg Extension

  1. Start lying on the floor, face up, hands under your butt, and your legs held together.
  2. Bring your legs up into the air, so that your feet are only a few inches off the ground. Now, hold that for 1 minute! That's 1 set - after that relax, and then get ready for the next one.


5. Side Bridge

  1. Start on your right side, legs together and your right arm extended out toward your right. You should be leaning on your right forearm.
  2. Keep your body straight by tightening your core and shoulders.
  3. Stay in that position for 30 seconds, then switch to the other side. Then you're done - that's 1 set.


6. Isometric Punch

  1. Start with one leg in front of the other by about 1.5 to 2 feet, or in the preferred punching stance of whatever martial art you practice.
  2. Start close to the wall, with your fist touching the wall, and push as hard as you can against the wall with your fist for 8 to 15 seconds.
  3. Take a slight rest, and then move slightly further away from the wall and repeat the exercise. After every time you should vary your distance to build strength throughout your punch.

And remember to do both arms, too!


7. Isometric Curl

  1. Start standing. Take one arm and hold it at a right angle, fist facing up so that it looks like it's halfway through a bicep curl.
  2. Take your other arm and, holding the elbow of that arm at a right angle as well, cross it in front of you body. Both arms should now be crossed at the wrists, fists facing upward.
  3. Tense the muscles in your first arm as hard as possible, trying to contract your bicep & arm. Using the second arm on top of it, push down as hard as possible.
  4. Hold this position at maximum tension for 8-15 seconds, switch sides and do the exercise with your second arm in the bicep contracting position, then take a 30 second to 1 minute break. That's 1 set.

You can do that in a variety of positions throughout the range of your bicep curl in your isometric workouts.


8. Isometric Tricep Extension

  1. Start standing. Take your right arm and form a fist, then bend it at the elbow so that it almost touches your shoulder (pointing straight up).
  2. Take your left arm, form a fist, and cross your left fist over your body so that it forms a cross with your right arm at the wrist.
  3. With your vertical right hand, try as hard as you can to press it out and down using your tricep while your left arm resists as hard as you can. Stay contracted for 8 to 15 seconds.
  4. Switch arms and do the exercise on the other side. Once you've done the other side, you're done with set #1.


9. Isometric Wall-Push

  1. Start near a wall. Place one foot right up against the wall, pointing toward it, and the other foot 1.5 to 2 feet back.
  2. Place both hands against the wall, with your elbows bent and touching the sides of your body. Then, push as hard as you can against the wall for 30 seconds.
  3. Switch feet and push for another 30 seconds. That's 1 set.

Make sure you're wearing footwear with good traction for this exercise, so that you don't slip. Falling on you butt during one of your isometric workouts ain't fun ;-)


10. Roman Chair

  1. Start standing with your back to a wall. Slide yourself down the wall and let your legs walk out in front of you. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the ground and it looks like you're sitting in a chair. But there's nothing supportin' your butt!
  2. Stay in that position, using the pressure of your legs to hold you against the wall for 1 minute. That's 1 set.


So, create your own workout now. Whether it's isometrics or just a beginning weight training routine, get started!

Oh, and be sure to sign up for the e-zine Starting Strong to get monthly strength training, exercise, and diet tips e-mailed to you - and access to the free e-book Train Smart, Eat Smart: Exercise Nutrition Hacks!

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Custom Body-Weight Isometric Workouts
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