10 Isometric Core Exercises To Build A Strong Trunk

Isometric core exercises are one of the most under utilised tools when people are trying to build a strong core. Doing repetition upon repetition of sit ups and getting no where can be frustrating especially when there are so many effective isometric variations that will help you see results. Let’s have a look at the 10 isometric core exercises you can add into your routine today to start seeing results.

7 min read
Sean's profile
Written by
Sean Klein
Published on
17/03/22
Last updated
31/05/22
In This Resource
  • 10 Isometric Core Exercises to Build a Strong Core
  • Benefits Of Isometric Core Exercises
  • 1. Engage Entire Core
  • 2. Encourage Adaptation
  • 3. Focus On Body Awareness
  • How To Use Isometric Core Exercises
  • 1. Pelvic Positioning
  • 2. Shoulder Positioning
  • 3. Using Different Formats
  • Beginner Isometric Core Workout
  • Advanced Isometric Core Workout
  • More of Isometric Exercises

10 Isometric Core Exercises to Build a Strong Core

Benefits Of Isometric Core Exercises

1. Engage Entire Core

These are probably the most powerful exercises for core development. They are the basis of all serious gymnastic positions but are massively under rated with the general gym going population. Technically they can be hard to master, if you’re unable to do them correctly it feels as if you’re doing nothing. They develop the core as the body must resist extension from either gravity or your own bodyweight. If we look at a hollow hold for example, maintaining this position requires we resist the extension of the hips.

2. Encourage Adaptation

This resistance requires a great deal of engagement and work from the core musculature therefore creating a stimulus for the core musculature and resulting to adaptations, developing a strong and robust core. The same can be said for resisting rotation, either body weight or a load must be resisted against creating the stimulus, this can be seen in the suitcase hold.

3. Focus On Body Awareness

Using your own bodyweight (as in many of these isometric exercises) to develop your core and improve challenging positions can be very beneficial for improving your body awareness.

How To Use Isometric Core Exercises

1. Pelvic Positioning

The importance of pelvis positioning in these positions cannot be underestimated, if you’re in the wrong position then the work isn’t being done by the correct musculature making the exercise redundant. For all anti-extension (anterior-core) exercises the pelvis must be in a posterior pelvic tilt position (think the cat part of the cat-camel position) meaning the entire core can be properly braced and used to resist the extension. In a hollow hold, dead-bug, etc the lower back needs to be pressed into the floor (this creates the posterior pelvic tilt) and stay on the floor throughout the entire hold.

2. Shoulder Positioning

Keeping the shoulders square in exercises where resisting rotation is required is also essential. In the suitcase hold, the weight must be away from the body with the shoulders square and in a fixed position. This will allow the weight to pull on the obliques and created the stimulus for the desired adaptation.

3. Using Different Formats

EMOM’s a great format for this style of isometric core training. The every minute on the minute structure allows you to pick a few different isometric holds and follow a clock for 8-12 minutes and create a large stimulus for the entire core in this amount of time. We have created both a beginner and advanced isometric core workout for you to try below.

Beginner Isometric Core Workout

Complete 3 rounds

1. Deadbug Hold

Hold for 25 seconds

2. Forward Hold

Hold for 25 seconds

3. KB Suitcase Hold

Hold for 30 seconds

Advanced Isometric Core Workout

Complete 3 rounds

1. KB Suitcase Hold

Hold for 30 seconds

2. Hanging Knee Tuck Hold

Hold for 30 seconds

3. Ring Long Lever Plank

Hold for 30 seconds

More of Isometric Exercises

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