Static exercises, also known as Isometrics, are a form of training where the body performs little to no movement while contracting its muscle fibers. Key benefits of static training are:

  • Increased muscular endurance
  • Increased muscular strength
  • Toning
  • Time saving

hollow hold

Muscular Endurance – Static training is very taxing on your CNS (Central Nervous System). This occurs very quickly while performing static holds making your muscles fatigue faster than if you were to perform a standard eccentric/concentric exercise (think pushup). In order for your body to handle the stress placed upon it the muscle fibers have to adapt with a higher state of fatigue. This results in your muscles being able to perform the same exercise more easily the next time you try it.

Muscular Strength – A great advantage to static holds is their ability to increase your muscular strength without lifting heavy objects (although, that is an option). Any static movement requires you to engage every single muscle fiber to their fullest capacity. As a result your muscles have to get stronger in order to perform the movement for a longer period of time or at a more difficult angle.

Toning – Since static holds increase muscular strength resulting in larger muscles. Toning only happens when muscles enlarge (and fat cells shrink). Oh, and ladies don’t be afraid of enlarged muscles. We’re talking about that lean toned look, not body builder bodies.

Time Saving – Most static exercise based workouts should take no longer then 20-30 min.  Sure, you may attempt a longer workout but your CNS won’t allow you to continue. When your body says it’s time to stop you listen. The added bonus is time saved in your workout.

You may add static exercises into your current fitness routine but you must do it correctly to see the benefits. If static holds are something you wish to focus on in your workouts then perform those movements first (maybe one or two static exercises) before continuing with your normal routine. However, if you just want to ‘play around’ with static holds or supplement them into your current program then perform your static holds near the end of your workout. But, beware of the shakes!

One common occurrence of static training is shaking.  This happens when you contract your muscles so intensely your muscle fibers make your body jitter like you’re out in the cold without a jacket. Don’t worry. This is normal. It’s your muscle fibers taking turns bearing the load of the exercise. Each one is in ‘rapid fire’ mode in order to help your body hold position.

A sample static exercise with sets is provided below:


3 sets x 15-30 sec.
1-2 min. breaks between each set
Muscle Worked: Everything!

About Josh Jarmin

Originally from Washington, D.C. (NOVA) Josh moved to Atlanta to be a Middle School history teacher after graduating from James Madison University. He joined the Marine Corps infantry as a reservist and served in Iraq honorably. Josh then turned his attention to personal training after his tour in order to help others reach their health/fitness goals. At one point he was 275lbs and 28% body fat. Now he's 195lbs and 13.5% body fat. Josh worked for several fitness facilities in Atlanta and developed a loyal following of trainees. He's created a training program of his own personal design and has established himself as one of the top kettlebell and body movement experts in the Atlanta area. Josh is currently the Co-Owner and Director of Fitness at Blueprint Fitness.

2 Responses to The Benefits of STATIC Exercise

    Shaking is big for me I want it to go away. Will it go away after my muscles stregthen. Should I worry?

    • Hi Jacob,

      Sorry for the delayed response. Yes, as you get stronger the shakes will go away. But even the most advanced gymnasts still shake when they reach the maximum threshold.


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