The isometric deadlift
The isometric deadlift is a deadlift variation that is great for developing lower body strength rapidly, without the need for heavy weights or expensive equipment.
It’s an isometric contraction or hold, that means the length of active muscles do not change.
The absence of heavy weight allows individuals to hold positions for longer, engaging specific muscles for longer and also reduces the risk of injury.
Isometric deadlift form
- With your feet shoulder width apart, stand on a towel, rope or belt.
- Bend at the knees so your legs are at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
- Grip the towel, with your hands, at both ends (if you also want to develop grip strength, don’t wrap the towel around your hands).
- Keeping a neutral spine and head, with your arms straight, push your heels into the ground and pull the towel until it becomes taught (do not pull with your arms – engage your whole body).
- Hold and squeeze for the duration of the exercise and breathe smoothly throughout.
- Start with 20-second holds and work your way up in blocks of 5 or 10 seconds.
Easier isometric deadlift variations
- Reduce time of exercise.
- Reduce intensity of exercise to 50%, 60% or 70% effort – don’t squeeze and pull as hard.
Harder isometric deadlift variations
- Increase time of exercise.
- Increase intensity of exercise to 80%, 90% or 100% effort – squeeze and pull harder.