The Important Of Range Of Motion In Weight Lifting

By | 12:30 AM Leave a Comment

Just a quick post today about exercise.

I wanted to talk about the range of motion you take your body through with exercises.
I think a lot of people don't know how far they should be taking their range of motion with certain exercises, this is very evident when you look around people in the gym today.

Most common ones I see:

Not going to 90รข° angle at the knees and hips in the squat
Not bringing the bar/DBs to the chest during a chest press
Bicep curl (not my fave exercise) not straightening the arm at the bottom
A limited range of motion with your exercise = Limited results

Maximum range of motion with you exercise = Maximum results

The Important Of Range Of Motion In Weight Lifting
The Important Of Range Of Motion In Weight Lifting

Back to the squat example I see so many performing this exercise wrong, it's sad as squats are definitely up there in the top 3 exercises you can do.
Bad posture, tight hamstrings and stiff ankle = very restricted squat. These people will only be able to go half way down, if they go lower they will lose balance and come too far forward and the heels come up or vice versa.
Good posture and fully flexible = Perfect squat. Doing this through the full range of motion will allow them to work their muscles and burn more calories on every single exercise, they will have travelled twice as far plus they will reduce their chances of getting injured.
The problem is most people's muscle are too tight and restricted which really limits their motion.
If we put our muscles through the correct range of motion our muscles will be firing correctly and working in the right places, this will ensure we get the most out of our training.
So you should apply this principle with all exercises, if you are unsure of how far to go then look on the internet.
Often the reason that people don't go through the full range of motion is simply because their muscles won't allow it. Tight muscles get to a certain point and say 'Right no more!' and restrict the movement.
Regular stretching, yoga, massage and foam rolling will help you out with these problems. Neck, back and shoulder tightness is extremely common, especially for people who work in desk jobs or who drive around a lot.
One word of warning is when you do your stretches make sure your muscles are warm. If you stretch cold muscles they will be inflexible plus you could end up injuring yourself. I would keep your main stretches for when the muscles are warm and full of blood which is after your session.
Before your session try some dynamic stretches and add some which will mimic the movements you will be making in the session. Exercises like walking lunges, skips, high knees, side to side with the arms moving and heel flicks are good ones to start with.

I hope this advice will help you get the most out of training.

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