Coaching Throughout COVID-19: The Quarantine Machine

As we all try to figure out how to cope in these difficult times of closure and social distance, we seem to have this strange mix of a lot of time to train, but a lack of options to use them.

The challenges of training from home (minimal equipment and space are the main problems) have made it really difficult to develop strength training options that can at least maintain or possibly develop the power production and neural drive required for athletes.


If this situation finally resolves and we can start the competition again, those who have been consistently exposed to this type of stimulus will have a dramatic performance advantage over those who have not.

One of the best solutions for this is a setup and program that uses certain variations of isometry.

Isometric contractions can be performed safely with minimal equipment so that we no longer have to overwhelm Rogue / Amazon with orders or our wallet with large purchases. You can also work in a small space, which means that stuck in a garage or even a living room doesn't have to be a big obstacle.


Some time ago I came across the above structure from Ross Enamait of Ross Training, a super creative guy and great innovator in the strength and conditioning world.

As we continued to recognize the situation that many people would face in the foreseeable future, I began to see the potential value that this facility could bring.

By providing options for isometric contractions that can be done with minimal equipment and space, we can offer options for people who are still under some force while waiting for things to be over.

The setup can also be easily expanded, as I'll show below, to provide many more training options. In addition to the numerous isometric options, we can also do dynamic tape work, power work with tapes, vertical and horizontal pulling of the upper body and vertical and horizontal pressing of the upper body.

We not only offer people the opportunity to regain access to strength work, we also dramatically expand their training options overall to avoid things becoming too monotonous.

The isometric furnishings

Training during COVID-19: The quarantine machine - fitness, strength and condition, training at home, sore muscles, competitive sports, DIY, home gym, training at home, isometric handles

Plywood – 48 "x 36" (This can be really any size, just make sure you have enough surface area to get good squat / press positions.) 4 '' pieces 4×4, cut in half, 2 Piece of chain, mine are about 6 & # 39; long each steel tube (I have a 1 inch diameter here so it mimics a 28.5 mm barbell.) Carabiner x 2-4 2 inch eyebolts x 4-6 (you really only need 2 at first, but that Add-ons are used extra.) 4 ”deck screws (I only used 8 in total.)

Total cost: approximately $ 75.

The basic construction of the isometric structure

I'm as far away from a handyman as anyone can get, and yet it took me a total of 15 minutes to put this project together.

Find out how far the 4×4 parts should be approximately apart by crouching regularly and then placing the 4×4 parts on each side outside of your feet. You can then place the plywood on top of the parts and center it as best as possible and then use your deck screws to secure the plywood to the top.

Then flip it over and screw the eye bolts into the center of the 4×4 pieces (I pre-drilled some holes to make this a little easier). Connect the chain with the quick couplings with the eyebolts. Use the carabiners to adjust the length of the chain.

I chose to use the steel tubing to attach to the chains compared to Ross' build where he had the playground handles, mainly because I wanted to make sure there were options for isometrics in a front / rear rack , not just to hold hands, but you can do both if you want.

Overcome isometry

There are several types of isometric contractions: isolated versus complex, endurance versus explosive, overcoming versus yielding. All of these have specific methods and goals. Our settings above are mainly used to equip us to overcome isometrics.

Overcoming isometrics occurs when the athlete creates force to overcome an external force. This is an almost maximum or maximum effort, which means that as much tension as possible is created for a short time.

For our purposes at a time when most of us do not have access to conventional power equipment, we can use these contractions with maximum effort to achieve a strong stimulus and maintain a higher level of neuronal drive.

If we can include these sessions 2-3 times a week, our strength and strength production will be much less likely to decrease when it's time to return to normal training.

Some examples of how to overcome isometrics with hinges, squats and pressing patterns. A great advantage of using chains and connectors is that we can easily vary the positions and heights at which we perform the isometric contractions. We can quickly switch from isometric pulls to isometric squats and adjust the height with the carabiners as needed.

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Tips for implementing isometrics

Here are some quick tips for programming and performing isometrics at home without going into too much science and nuance.

Think about the joint angles at which you want to improve your power generation ability and try to replicate them as closely as possible. Strength gains are usually fairly specific to the trained angle (+/- 15 degrees), although this can be somewhat minimized if you put the muscle in an elongated state (i.e., performs an isometric contraction on a muscle in an elongated state) much greater power transmission to other joint movement areas).

When working on strength training, place the contraction around your usual sticking point. If you are working on a dynamic lift, you are approaching the point of maximum acceleration. Alternatively, you can find a position that is weak / unstable for you and attack it to build better strength and control.

When you make a maximum effort to overcome the isometry (like the one shown above, in which the athlete is bumping hard against a stationary object), take 1-2 seconds to reach your maximum force contraction and hold it then pressed for the duration of your repeat take 1-2 seconds to shutdown. Don't just hit the resistance, this can affect both position and balance and you lose the advantage.

After you've completed your isometric overcome, do a few repetitions of your target movement pattern to "lubricate" the groove of power production in the pattern that directly affects your athletic performance.

Banded add-ons

If we move away from the isometry, there are some additional options that we have by including some bands for those who have access to them. When I put this together, I noticed the similarities to other minimal products on the banded hipbuttons market.

By attaching a few extra eyebolts to the sides of the 4×4 parts, you can create a simple station to perform band-resistant hipbuttons, and it's easy enough to change the height and appeal of them by walking off the floor or upper back put on a bench / chair / couch.

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The same ribbon setup can also be used for banded glute marches. Using the chains and carabiners, we can make a belt attachment that the strap can hook on.

We can also do banded pushups, banded overhead presses, band-resistant squats, band-resistant pulls, etc. The options increase very quickly with the addition of some tapes.

<img load = "lazy” alt=”Banded isometrics” class=”imagecache-full_width” src=”” title=”Banded isometrics”/>

Additional isometric setup add-ons

Another addition that has been planned but not yet implemented is the use of a PVC pipe to attach it to all-wheel drive vehicles and to create some highly parallel rods. These can be used for horizontal pulling, vertical pulling, diving / support handles and L-Sit variations.

I will either update this form or my social media posts to include details after we add them. I hope that we can find a cheap, simple and effective facility Anyone with access to a hardware store can build up their training opportunities and improve them immediately.

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