How To Do The Isometric Chest Squeeze Properly

When it comes to working out, it really doesn’t get as easy and effective as the isometric chest squeeze.

The isometric chest squeeze is a compound exercise that works a number of areas. This is enabled by the tension you generate mid rep while doing the exercise.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Start out standing up straight with your arms by your hands and your feet full width apart.
  • Place your arms at a 90 degree angle right in front of your chest with your hands aligned.
  • Press your palms against each other and close your shoulders until you sense strain in your muscles.
  • Keep onto this position for 15 to 30 seconds and return back to the starting spot.
  • Repeat for as many reps and length as needed

WHAT MUSCLES DO THE ISOMETRIC CHEST SQUEEZE WORK?

CHEST

As the name suggests, this is the primary target area when doing the isometric chest squeeze.

The chest is engaged whenever you maintain position. This is because by holding position mid exercise, you direct pressure towards the chest area.

As a result, you allow the target area time to handle the weight it’s being forced to hold. Consequently, the chest adapts by getting stronger, making it easier to withstand the strain.

ARM

Your arms act as the links supporting movements necessary to complete the isometric chest squeeze.

When you stretch your arm out it directs the majority of the strain to the shoulder and when you bring them together, it links them to the chest.

SHOULDERS

The shoulders act like an anchor while doing the isometric chest squeeze. When you perform the movements necessary to complete the isometric chest squeeze gravity acts on your arms.

The pull from gravity is what triggers strain in all the target areas. However, it’s the shoulders that hold it all together.

 

This is because they ensure that your arms stay balanced whilst working with the chest to pull the arms back in and out.

ISOMETRIC CHEST SQUEEZE BENEFITS

BUILDS STRONGER SHOULDERS

Since the shoulders are so heavily involved as the anchors, they are forced to handle a reasonably heavy load.

Over time, they adapt and become stronger. This is beneficial for you as it allows you to do daily activities much easier with less likelihood of getting injured.

For instance, carrying heavy loads. It also allows you to transition into higher impact exercises i.e., deadlift heavier weights.

IMPROVES POSTURE

While doing the isometric chest squeeze it’s paramount that you keep your back straight. Doing this under strenuous circumstances whilst ignoring the urge to round your back trains your back muscles.

Consequently, this translates into your day-to-day life resulting in better posture and the decrease in your chances of getting a back injury.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE ISOMETRIC CHEST SQUEEZE

BURPEE

To do this exercise:

  • Start in a squat position with your knees bent, back straight, and your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Lower your hands to the floor in front of you so they’re just inside your feet.
  • With your weight on your hands, kick your feet back so you’re on your hands and toes, and in a pushup position.
  • Keeping your body straight from head to heels, do one pushup. Remember not to let your back sag or to stick your butt in the air.
  • Do a frog kick by jumping your feet back to their starting position.
  • Stand and reach your arms over your head.
  • Jump quickly into the air so you land back where you started.
  • As soon as you land with knees bent, get into a squat position and do another repetition.

DOWNWARD DOG

To do this exercise:

  • Start on the floor with your hands shoulder-width apart, with your shoulders above your wrists.
  • Align your inner shoulders with your index fingers.
  • Your hips should be above or slightly before your knees.
  • Next, tuck your toes against the mat or ground, using that leverage to extend your legs and lift both knees into the air.
  • Extend and lengthen your spine, simultaneously pressing through the palms of your hands and balls of your feet.
  • Pull your pelvis up toward the ceiling, using the triceps in your upper arms to help stabilise your form.
  • Hold your body in position, making sure to breathe properly.
  • Slowly bring your knees back to the floor. Start again

CABLE CROSSOVER

To do this exercise:

  • Set the handles at both ends of the pulleys at the highest level.
  • Stand in the centre of the machine with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your torso forwards slightly, keeping your spine neutral and back straight, and bend your elbows slightly as well, with your wrists facing the floor.
  • Keeping your core engaged, pull both handles down and across your body.
  • Squeeze your chest muscles in this fully contracted position

DUMBBELL BENT OVER ROW

To do this exercise:

  • Grab a set of dumbbells, bend your torso forward and keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Pull the dumbbells toward your waistline, while squeezing your shoulder blades.
  • Slowly lower the weights to the starting position. A 1-second pull, 1-second pause, 2 second down count is ideal.

MISTAKES TO AVOID

DON’T ROUND YOUR BACK

One of the keys to maximum efficiency while doing the isometric chest squeeze is to keep your back straight.

This ensures that the focus is entirely on the upper body as it helps isolate the lower body. As a result maximum strain is channeled throughout the upper body.

FLABBY ARMS

In order to maintain tension within your arms long enough to feel the strain, you need to maintain tension within your arms.

In order to do this, they should remain tense at all times. Failure to do this waters down the effectiveness of the exercise.

CONCLUSION

The isometric chest squeeze might be a perfect starter exercise for anyone looking to build their chest.

Not only does it require no equipment, it also requires very minimal space and even less effort whilst bringing about effectiveness.

You can therefore use it as an easy bridging exercise before you graduate to a higher impact exercise.