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Isometric training effects on speed
Ty R. Nordic, CSCS 6/8/2012 4:45:01 PM
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 7:17 PM
Joined: 6/8/2012
Posts: 3

I am a High School Strength and Conditioning Coach, working with 13 different sports throughout the year. Most coaches are pretty "hands off" (which I prefer) and just let me do my thing. However, the football coach is very hands on, and frustrates me beyond belief. I am pretty vanilla with football. Hang Cleans or Cleans on explosive days where we focus on speed of movement and plyometrics. Snatch movements on lifting days where the focus is strength development. Squats, Bench, Rows, etc are on those days. He has finally become OK with this as the athletes have made tremendous improvements doing this for the past 2 years (using a linear periodization model throughout the year). However, NOW he is into isometrics to build "mental toughness" (because it hurts). He wants the athletes to hold a squat position for 2 minutes, followed by a 1 minute rest and repeat it 3 times a workout. I told him that isometric training would have a detrimental effect on speed and explosiveness. He said, "prove it"... Which brings me to you. Is there any research out there that shows the effect of isometrics on speed and explosiveness? My gut tells me there must be, but I have not been able to find anything...
Thanks for the help!
Mr Esteban Perez 2/24/2013 2:33:13 PM
Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 1:29 AM
Joined: 2/24/2013
Posts: 1

that sounds interesting, but i heard that weightlifters (from Russia) use 10% of their training using Isometrics. I dont think they would use isometrics if it would reduce their speed/explosiveness. Gymnasts also use isometrics for 2 minutes plus and theyre also very explosive, my thoughts are that speed and explosiveness would not suffer, but then again it depends on the specific position of the isometric lift, in your case a squat position. Now im pretty sure the transfer of training would benefit your football players (in their squat, plus you can see it as a hypertrophy stimulus without too much mechanical work)
Nathan R. Dean, DC, CSCS 9/24/2012 2:03:27 PM
Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 3:43 PM
Joined: 9/24/2012
Posts: 2

I believe that all sports are dynamic.  Based on this theory it makes sense to train dynamically if you want to increase performance.  Isometric training is great for early stage rehab, but not for performance.  The following is a link to an abstract that might help you with your position. 

 Isometric training can negatively impact an athletes stretch-shortening cycle (SSC).  The SSC is important for all aspects of athletic performance.  

If I were in your situation I would let the coach perform his isometric training, as long as it doesn't take away from the important dynamic movements.  In my opinion barbell training is the way to go if you want to produce athletes.  All you have to do is visit a top Div 1 weight room and you will see what all the top athletes are doing to get better.  My bet is you wont see an olympic sprinter squatting against a wall for 10min to get faster.