:30 paused pullup
:30 L-sit (from dip)
:30 paused pushup
:30 paused pistol (from box, per leg)
4 rounds. Then: 40 mins of mobility.
Static holds have a tremendous carryover to performance. The ability to hold a position vastly improves your ability to move under load through better postural maintenance. So why don’t we do static holds all the time?
In the late 1960s, isotonic holds were a popular method of strength training (you still see them in exercises like “wall sits.”) Unfortunately, they only strengthen muscles and joints in the exact angle of hold. Paused squats in one position, for example, won’t make you stronger in other positions. This is why we do air squats and lunges instead of wall squats or paused squats.
In the above workout, though, we’re strengthening positions that are held static while other joints move. In the paused pullup, your grip will strengthen with your wrists held straight–a position necessary for pull-ups. In the paused pushup, your trunk will struggle to maintain alignment–a common fail point for high-rep pushups. And the L-sit will require you to hold hip flexion (important for gymnastics) and elbow extension (important for lockout of all presses) simultaneously.
My favorite: the paused pistol. Most people fail at a consistent spot in the pistol. Beginners lose their balance, but after practicing on a box for awhile, the balance is no longer an issue; they simply lack the strength to do a one-legged squat. They sink to the bottom and can’t rise up again. The paused pistol seeks to make you stronger at the exact position where you fail. Challenge yourself to stay in that position as long as possible; in general, you can hold about 30% more weight (including your bodyweight) in a static hold than while moving it.
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