Try to flex your biceps as hard as you can. It feels like if you were lifting right? So does this mean that microtears are getting broke and therefore we are having the same effect as lifting(Muscle growth)?

Simple question but I was wondering this, maybe I can get out my non-lifting program, lol.

2 Answers 2


What you are describing is called Isometric training. It’s a little used, and much misunderstood, form of training in which the muscle tenses without changing its length. Each contraction is typically done for 6 to 10 seconds at a specific angle. For example, think of a bodybuilder holding a front double biceps pose.

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During a competition, poses are typically held for quite a long time. That’s why most competitive bodybuilders practice static (isometric) posing. Isometric training assists in holding a pose for a long time without shaking from muscle fatigue.

While isometric training is not popular, it does have its merits as evidenced by a 2005 study titled “Strength training: isometric training at a range of joint angles versus dynamic training” by Folland JP1, Hawker K, Leach B, Little T, Jones DA. That study concluded that:

Isometric training at several equally spaced joint angles can produce similar full-ROM isokinetic strength gains as full-ROM isokinetic training. This could be useful for training with minimal equipment or for designing bodyweight training programs for building strength through full ranges of motion using only static positions.

Both isometric and isokinetic training do not build strength equally at all joint angles. Therefore, if your sport or task requires strength at a specific joint angle, it might be necessary to look at targeted methods of increasing the strength at that specific angle, either by partials, eccentrics, isometrics at long or short lengths, or dynamic exercises that stress a particular ROM.

Isometric training will not provide the mass gains that resistance training will provide. But, it does have some value and should be thought of as an additional tool in your training arsenal.

  • @hamstergene Per the question text, "flexing" is not the same as stretching.
    – rrirower
    Oct 12, 2015 at 18:54

Short answer: Yes. But don't.

Long answer: It is a huge waste of your time, because you're not going to be doing more than 1-2 muscles at a time. And the set of muscles that can be worked like this is very slim. For instace, how are you going to train your lower back?

Seems like the only reason you'd do this, is because you don't want to go to the gym. Obviously, you should go to the gym if you want to build muscle.

  • Lol, I do go to the gym but I wasn't sure if that was a thing Oct 13, 2015 at 23:41
  • @AntonioAguilar - In that case, I wouldn't say it's a bad thing. If you watch some videos about today's most prominent bodybuilders, you'll find that a small part of their training is the actual posing and flexing in front of mirrors. This serves more than one purpose; while preparing to pose in front of judges, it also contributes to chiseling their muscles even further. (Source: youtube.com/watch?v=TRGCNlk4RS0)
    – Alec
    Oct 14, 2015 at 6:16

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