Are isometric exercises a good way to build strength?

By Edward R. Laskowski, M.D -Mayo Clinic

Isometric exercises are contractions of a particular muscle or group of muscles. During isometric exercises, the muscle doesn’t noticeably change length and the affected joint doesn’t move. Isometric exercises help maintain strength. They can also build strength, but not effectively.

Because isometric exercises are done in one position without movement, they’ll improve strength in only one particular position. You’d have to do various isometric exercises through your limb’s whole range of motion to improve muscle strength across the range. In addition, since isometric exercises are done in a static position, they won’t help improve speed or athletic performance. They can be useful, however, in enhancing stabilization — maintaining the position of the affected area — since muscles often contract isometrically to aid in stabilization.