During an isometric contraction, your muscles maintain a constant length as resistance is applied, and no joint position occurs. The American College of Sports Medicine reports that increases in strength resulting from isometric training are related to the number of muscle actions performed, the duration of the muscle actions, whether the action is maximal or submaximal, and the frequency of training. Perform biceps isometric exercises three times per week on nonconsecutive days for best results.
Isometric Biceps Contraction
The isometric biceps contraction can be performed anywhere and with no equipment. Use this exercise as a warm-up exercise before performing other isometric bicep exercises. Stand with your legs hip-width apart. Bend your right elbow to 90 degrees and tuck it close to your side. Maintain the 90 degree position while pushing down on your right hand with your left hand. Hold the contraction for 30 to 60 seconds and then repeat the exercise with your left arm. Complete one to three sets of five to 10 repetitions.
The isometric chin-up is a challenging exercise that will help increase your biceps. Hang from a chin-up bar with an underhand grip and your chin above the bar. If you are unable to pull yourself up above the bar, stand on a chair or stool to get to the starting position. Starting at bar-level, lower yourself down until your elbows are at 90 degrees. Hold here for five to 10 seconds and then lower all the way down. Return to the starting position to repeat the exercise. Complete 15 to 20 repetitions.
Isometric Preacher Curl
The isometric preacher curl is a moderately difficult exercise that will help increase your biceps. Stand or sit with the back of your upper arms resting on a support pad and grasp a barbell with an overhand grip. Begin with your arms fully flexed and the bar in front of your shoulders. Slowly lower the bar until your elbows reach 90 degrees. Hold the position for 20 to 40 seconds and then return to the starting position. Complete 15 to 20 repetitions.
- ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer, Second Edition; Nicki Anderson, et al.; 2007
- Exercise Goals: Isometric Exercises - Isometrics | Isometric Training Tips & Workouts
- Sports Fitness Advisor: Isometric Exercises & Static Strength Training
- Strength Training Anatomy, Second Edition; Frederic Delavier; 2006