For some strange reason, range of motion in the fitness world seems to be completely misunderstood with trainers having their clients only do partial range movements saying its full range (partial does not mean full) and trainees performing these ranges. So with this in mind I will quickly explain what Range of Motion or ROM actually is in a human movement setting:
WHAT IT IS
Range of motion (ROM) is as its name suggest, the range to which a body part can move properly in space while attached to another. Typically what this means is how many degrees of flexion or extension a joint can go thru. Here are 3 prime examples of full ROM:
- Squats: While maintaining a flat/neutral back position, bending at the knees, hips and ankles one lowers their buttocks until the hamstring covers the calf while the feet remain flat on the ground.
- Bench Press (any barbell variation): Keeping the shoulders and glutes on the bench, one bends their elbows and shoulder joint lowering the bar until it is in contact with the chest
- Pull/Chin-up: Starting from a full hang (elbows are not flexed), pull the body up by bending the elbow and shoulder until the chin has passed the bar and until the forearm and bicep have made contact.
So what does this mean?
First take a look at any joint in the human body, the joint has a range of motion that it was designed to be able to go thru whether under additional external resistance or not. Many people will advocate that full ROM training will damage the joint and these people are what I like to call……..WRONG!
By training the joints thru their entire range of motion, this will actually make the joint healthier than continuous partial range training………….
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