An exciting addition to our clinic will be the readily available option to perform Isometric Strength Testing. Our new Force Hooks give us the ability to measure force (n) and weight (kg). The test can be performed in a matter of seconds as opposed to having to warm up and do multiple sets to find our maximum strength during an exercise.
Isometric Strength Testing gives us the ability to:
- Test strength and asymmetries through intricate joint functions, which will assist in piecing together pain/injury presentations in the physiotherapy rooms.
- Test baseline strength and progression over our training journey.
Isometric Strength Testing involves setting ourselves up at a desired joint angle that is either specific to our sport or that effectively isolates the muscle/joint that is being rehabbed. We then push/pull at maximal effort or within our current pain-free capabilities.
Isometric Strength Testing is an accurate and reliable means of measuring strength and progress due to the elimination of the ability to cheat, compensate, or improve in the ‘skill’ of the test being performed.
Numerous studies have backed the reliability of Isometric Strength Testing as a means to track improvements in strength exercises such as the back squat. Blazevich et al. found a strong correlation between Isometric Squat Tests at 90º knee flexion, with 1RM back squat attempts also at 90º knee flexion. Isometric Strength Testing was found to be a safe and fast way of testing maximal effort and an accurate tool for programming and progression.
The same study also backed Isometric Strength Testing as a means for testing explosiveness by reviewing the rate at which we produce force at sport-specific joint angles.
Additionally, it may be quite daunting to lift as much weight as possible as a means of testing strength. Our new testing equipment will eliminate the need for this therefore we can test more regularly without increasing the risk of soreness or potential for injury.
Blazevich, AJ, Gill, N, and Newton, RU. Reliability and validity of two isometric squat tests. J Strength Cond Res 16: 298–304, 2002.