HGG Isotib Review Summary
I was originally extremely skeptical about the Isotib, but after having used it every other day for the last couple of weeks, it has quickly become one of my absolute favorite pieces of training equipment.
If it weren't for the extremely slow adjustable foot clamp, which we'll discuss shortly, the Isotib would be almost perfect!
Is the best way to train peroneals and tib posterior (ankle inversion/eversion).
Unilateral training irons out muscle imbalances.
Best option for rehabbing injuries or regaining strength after surgeries.
Gorgeous build quality – beautiful stainless steel weight sleeve and immaculate finish.
Very comfortable and easy to use.
Expensive! These things cost more than a regular tib bar at around ~US$167.
Foot clamp is quite slow to adjust.
The Isotib is ideal for anyone who wants to work all of the lower leg muscles, not just the tibialis. It’s also great for injury/surgery recovery.
Make sure to use my discount code “A1ATHLETE” for 10% off your entire order!
Why The Isotib Is The Ultimate Lower Leg Training Tool
When I first heard about this product, I couldn’t understand why anyone would pay more money for a tib bar that only trains a single leg at a time…
Now that I’ve actually used it, it’s super clear to me where the value lies…
To fully understand why this tool is so powerful, we’ve got to look beyond just the tibialis anterior…
The Isotib Is The Best Way To Strengthen Crucial Lower Leg Muscles
Regular tib bars can really only train the muscles involved in ankle dorsiflexion (primarily the tib ant).
While that’s useful, it’s not a comprehensive lower leg workout.
In addition to the tibialis anterior, the Isotib is able to develop the tibialis posterior, peroneals, hallucis muscles, and FDL.
These are the muscles primarily responsible for ankle inversion and eversion.
The Isotib is able to target these muscles in one of two ways: rotations or lateral raises.
Instead of dorsiflexing your ankle, simply rotate your foot around in a circular motion.
This is the simplest way to hit all of the muscles involved in eversion/inversion. Make sure to move in both directions.
Isotib Inversion Raises
If you wanted to be more deliberate, you can tilt your leg so that your outer lower leg is supported, allowing you to perform inversion raises to target your tibialis posterior, FDL, and hallucis muscles.
Isotib Eversion Raises
If you internally rotate your leg, you can perform eversion raises using the Isotib which will focus more on your peroneals.
Ankle Inversion/Eversion Ability Is A Game Changer For Athletes
Why is any of this important?
Going out of your way to deliberately train the muscles responsible for inversion/eversion isn’t just another way to bulletproof both your ankles and knees, but it can give you a competitive advantage…
Your Invertor/Evertor Muscles Are Central To The Vertical Jump
Let’s take a look at how fundamental this inversion/eversion movement is in the vertical jump.
As the athlete in the above clip punches his block foot out in front of himself horizontally, there is a tremendous amount of force being transferred through the lower legs.
There’s actually large amounts of inversion/eversion occurring in both ankles during the jump approach.
There’s also some natural coiling of the lower legs which helps us explosively transfer force from our feet through to our knees.
Really strong invertor and evertor muscles are going to help us be as stable as possible throughout the jumping motion, which means improved efficiency (i.e. leaking less potential energy), which results in more force output.
The Isotib Can Improve Balance Massively
One of the other major benefits of actually training inversion/eversion with an Isotib is hugely improved balance.
If you stand on one leg and look down at your ankle, you’ll see lots of tiny movements at the ankle joint as you try to balance.
Balancing on one foot is nothing more than tons of really quick micro-corrections being produced primarily through your invertor/evertors (coronal plane) as well your dorsi/plantar flexors (sagittal plane).
Building these muscles up is one of the quickest ways to improve your balance which is beneficial for a whole host of athletic pursuits.
How I Tested The Isotib
I train my tibs every other day and I’ve been using the Isotib exclusively for the past couple weeks.
Usually when testing a tib bar I’ll just do ~6 sets of tib raises til failure, but there’s a lot more you can do with the Isotib so I had to switch it up a little to include all of the movements discussed above.
I’ve found that starting out with 10-15 regular tib raises is a great way to tire the leg out before jumping into a few rotations.
The bloodflow you get doing these is absolutely insane! Your entire leg from the knee cap down is just completely on fire!
I also used a variety of different types of weight plates, all of which fit on the beautiful stainless steel weight sleeve perfectly.
I threw it around the gym pretty recklessly and had zero issues whatsoever.
The only thing worth noting is that the clip wouldn’t stay completely flush up against the weights on the sleeve unless I was really gentle.
This means the weight plates may slide around a tiny bit, but we’re talking a few millimeters here, and that’s more or less unavoidable when you’re being rough with it – the clip and collar are actually top notch!
How Did The Isotib Feel To Use? & Usage Tips
At first I spent waaay too long messing around with the foot clamp, trying to get the device to secure snugly around my foot.
After doing my set, I couldn’t get my foot out of the device and had to spend another 5-8 seconds adjusting the clamp so that I could release my foot!
Don’t Overadjust The Foot Clamp
I quickly realized that the best way to use the Isotib is to keep it just tight enough that it doesn’t fall off your foot while using it.
You want to be able to wiggle your foot out of it after each set without too much struggle, and without having to mess around with the foot clamp.
Yes, the device will flop around on your foot a bit when it’s not secured tightly, but it still does exactly what you need it to.
The Isotib Works Great Barefoot!
I wasn’t sure if the metal frame would dig into the sides of my ankles while using it barefoot, but I had absolutely no issues.
Even doing the inversion/eversion work, there was no uncomfortable digging or rubbing.
Foot Padding Is Super Comfortable
Whether you’re going barefoot or with shoes, the padded part that sits on top of your foot feels incredible.
I noticed that with the regular tib bar, the padded bar could use a little more padding, as the bones on the top of your feet stick out when you dorsiflex your ankle.
But the padding on the Isotib is much better and it is super comfortable.
Sleeve Detaches For Increased Portability
One of my favorite features of the HGG tib bars is that the stainless steel weight sleeve unscrews in just seconds
This can make it a little easier to fit in your gym bag when it’s particularly full.
It’s not that big of a deal with the Isotib since it’s got a fairly small sleeve, but still a nice feature to have.
Doesn’t Take Too Long To Train Both Legs
One of my initial hesitations about single leg tib bars is that you’d end up spending twice as long to train your tibialis anterior, since you’d only be able to train one leg at a time…
But this didn’t really end up being the case.
If you’ve ever done a brutal set til failure using a regular tib bar, then you’ll know you’re going to need at least a couple minutes to recover before beginning your next set.
When I’m using my regular tib bar, I usually just walk around and try to get some active recovery in…
But when you’re using the Isotib, you can train your second leg while your first leg is recovering, so it’s not actually taking anywhere near twice as long to get through your tib workout!
Isotib Vs Tib Bar
So which is better?
Honestly, I’m really on the fence with this one…
Sometimes I just want to get a quick and easy tib workout in and I’ll just throw my tib bar in my bag and head to the gym.
Be sure to check out my full HGG tib bar review to learn more about what I think about this product!
When I’m in the mood to completely annihilate my lower legs, I’ll grab the Isotib so I can get the most comprehensive workout possible.
Unilateral Training Is Superior
One thing you can’t overlook is the importance of unilateral training (training one leg at a time). This reveals and remedies any muscle imbalances you might have.
Just like with squats, when you use a regular tib bar, you’re probably going to heavily favor one leg which is something I definitely noticed – it can be quite hard knowing whether both legs are working as hard as each other.
So, gun to my head, I’d recommend most people go for the Isotib because it’s going to train all of the muscles in your lower legs (not just your tibs), as well as iron out any muscle imbalances you might have.
What’s The Verdict?
Overall I have been pleasantly surprised by the Isotib, to the point where I’m favoring it more than the regular tib bar!
Fantastically designed product overall but it is quite expensive, so I would recommend taking a look at my FAE Tri-Flexor review, which is what I believe to be the best single leg tib bar on the current market and it’s considerably more affordable.
USE DISCOUNT CODE “A1ATHLETE” FOR 10% OFF YOUR ISOTIB!