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March 23, 2023

Full Range of Motion

I am following up on last week’s article on tempo with something equally as important: working through full range of motion (ROM).

Many people lift with partial ranges of motion. Some of the reasons are warranted - injury, pain or limited joint movement. However, some people lack awareness of good technique or prioritize the weight being lifted over proper form (ego).

If you know us, you know we are sticklers for proper ROM, expecting our athletes to strive for perfection in a movement.

Why? Proper ROM allows for:

Flexibility - when you keep your joints strong at all angles, you can increase flexibility with weight training.

Joint health - a full range of motion can improve joint health, making joints more stable.

Muscle activation - full ROM allows for proper activation of the muscles being worked (you get better results!).  

More strength and more muscle.

Better movement quality.

Overall function - working through a full range of motion allows you to move well and keeps you functioning optimally for longer.

Some notes:

The Full range of motion for some is different than for others. Say you have a hip replacement and cannot yet squat below parallel. Your squat will be more shallow now, but you should also work towards full ROM using lighter weight and approaching the squat as a skill, improving over time.

There is a time and place for partial reps. For instance, say you have a “sticking point” in your life and want to strengthen that portion. Partial ROM can be an effective tactic and the partial ROM lift can be used as a drill. Or if you are injured or have pain, that fact may require you to use partial reps, advancing as you heal.

Mobility helps big time! Don’t just go through the motions on our mobility work. Think about the areas you are targeting and notice progress over time. Spend extra time on the movements that you struggle with. Better mobility = the ability to perform better ranges of motion.  

Final word: If you’re not there yet, strive for progress. Drop the ego and let full ROM dictate the weight. If you don’t put yourself in proper positions, you’ll never get there.

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