Isometric exercises have fallen right out of popularity and it’s been well over ten years since I included them as part of my regular Wing Chun workouts. Part of the reason they fell out of favor is because of the tendency for users to hold their breath (called the valsalva maneuver) where you essential try to breath out forcefully but don’t let the air escape.
To the best of my knowledge — it ain’t good for the heart — so remember to breath!
Now this isn’t the best video of practical isometric exercises to use for your Wing Chun workouts but it gives you an idea as to how they work.
To make them more “Wing Chun” specific you can easily use a wall bag or even a wooden dummy. Against a wall bag get as close as you can and place your fist on the bag. Then isometrically contract for a maximum of 5 seconds before resting and repeating.
One of the negative arguments against isometric training is that because you are only working the joint in a fixed position (pretty much the definition of an isometric exercise) you don’t work your arm or body as it is was intended. It’s not functional.
However what you really need to do is perform the exercise at a range of angels. So, for example, you perform the isometric exercise with your arm at approximately 90 degrees, again and 135 degrees and again when it is almost locked straight out.
For those 3-5 seconds you should exert MAXIMUM force and ideally explosively. Of course your arm won’t move but your muscles will fire at 100% effort and that is where the benefit lies. Exploding with maximum force for just a few short seconds.
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