Isometric Workout of the Week

Jan 2016

By Paul "Batman" J.O'Brien 

B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Cert Clin. IMed., Dip. Adv. OBB, Dip. CHM, M.AFPA., M.C.Th.A.

Isometric Workout of the Week - Jan 2106. This one is an easy workout to gently ease you into the new year. This is taken from my Samurai Strength: Special Forces Workouts. 

The goal of physical training for Special Forces units such as the Navy Seal is to provide guidance regarding physical preparation is, in a general sense, the same as that of the Samurai - preparation of the body and mind for combat and conflict, and to resist injury. Depending on the outfit, the exercise selection and the focus of the training is dependent on the unit being trained. For instance, the Seals as they are a water based unit are big fans of swimming. The Russian GRU, less so. The German GSG9 Special Forces units are big fans of upper body strength and stamina. You modify for the unit but the base and its goal remains the same. 

For instance the Naval Special Warfare Physical Training program is designed to "provide(s) a specific program for preparing for the Physical Screening Test (PST) along with more general fitness advice to promote endurance, strength, and resistance to injury once a candidate has received a contract". That means they focus on running, swimming, and exercises that improve your pushes, pull ups and crunches numbers. 

All units, and the Samurai included in this, all share a similar trait in their training: 

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Use proper technique (get coaching from qualified sources)
  3. Develop the whole body, especially the parts known to be vulnerable to injury

Isometric Workout of the Week - Jan 2106

US Navy Seal Pushups (Dive Bombers) Start

In this weeks workout we're going to use 5 Exercises and Introduce a 5 second Isometric Hold to the non Isometric Exercises and Movement into the Isometric ones! 

Our exercises are:

  1. US Navy Seal Pushups (Dive Bombers)
  2. Supermans
  3. Advanced Bird Dog
  4. Lateral Hop
  5. Heel Walk 
US Navy Seal Pushups (Dive Bombers) Mid


  • Each exercise is performed smoothly and in perfect form. If you want full instructions on these see Vol. 2 of Samurai Strength
  • Each exercise is to be performed consecutive for 1 minute. Then immediately move on to the next exercise. No breaks if you can avoid it. Of course, if you need to, take a knee, shake out the arms and legs, catch your breadth, but ideally, keep moving. 
  • Do not lockout at any point in the exercise, keep the load on your muscles, not on your skeletal structure. 
  • At the start and finish points of the US Navy Seal Pushup, tense the body isometrically and squeeze the arms inwards for 5 seconds. At the start position this will focus on the shoulders at the end position it will develop the chest. 
  • Isometrically contract the body at the top of the Superman to engage the shoulders, lower and upper back and contract at the bottom, to work the abs and lats. Hold each for maximal tension for 5 seconds. 
  • Pause for 5 seconds in an isometric one legged squat between each hop.
  • For additional toughness, interlace your fingers and keep them behind your head, pulling your elbows back behind you, isometrically contracting the upper back during the Heel Walk. the Heel Walk naturally holds an isometric contraction of the tibialis anterior. 

Beginners perform this Isometric Workout of the Week once, Intermediate perform it twice in a row, and for advanced trainees three times in a row for a devastating 15 minute workout.For the super hard core the Isometric Kata can be performed at the end of each round. This workout can be performed no more than 5 times a week. 

Try the workout and let me know how you get on in the comments below. :-)


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