How Training Full Range Of Motion Can Help You Gain Strength Faster

The range of motion is defined as the distance that a lever can move while attached to a fixed point. Think of your bones as levers and the joints that they are attached to as the fixed points. Your muscles are what move those levers in order to create motion and movement. Most people will tell you that using full range of motion when you are training will give you the most benefit. If you watch my training videos I mention full range of motion for many of the exercises. I feel that this is very important especially for beginners. Although there are some cases in which it should not be used, most of the time training full range of motion can help you gain strength faster and give you better results.

One of the main reasons for training in general is injury prevention. The strength of your tendons and ligaments are dictated by the stresses that you put on them. Training in the full range of motion will place positive stress on that connective tissue and decrease the chance of injury. In some exercises, however, especially if you are using heavy weight, going in the full range of motion may not be a good idea. If you are doing dips, for example, normally the full range of motion is getting your shoulders below your elbow. If you are using additional weight on top of your body weight, you may want to stop when your shoulders are even with your elbow. You almost never want to completely lock out your joints. If you are doing a squat or leg press never completely lock out your knees. On the bench, chest press, or dips, you never want to completely lock out your elbows. That puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on your joints.

Aside from injury prevention training your muscles in the full range of motion will also increase your efficiency of movement. Your muscles should be able to produce force even in awkward positions. This is especially important for athletes. If you train in the full range of motion, your muscles will be used to producing force even in the farthest point of mobility. If you only train one segment out of the whole range of motion, you can only expect your muscles to work efficiently when they are in that specific range that you train.  Flexibility can be decreased if you only train in a short range. This is very important for beginners to understand. Many people have very inflexible hips which makes it hard to get into a full squat. If you only practice a partial squat, your hips will tighten and it will be harder to improve the technique in the full range of motion. If you force your hips down, you will eventually loosen up your hips and get more flexibility. When you are first starting to learn the proper techniques of an exercise always learn the full movement pattern. Never sacrifice the full range of motion just to add weight to an exercise.

Another reason to train full range of motion is that you will burn an extra calorie or two. In order to burn more calories make your muscles work harder by making them move your joints farther. If you are only doing quarter squats, your muscles are not doing as much work as they would be if you got your hips below your knees. The farther you have to move, the more work you are doing and more energy you are expending.

Finally, training the full spectrum of movement increases overall muscular strength. There have been studies done that support the fact that when weight training is done in the full range of motion there are greater strength gains and more muscular growth when compared to training partial range. Don’t get me wrong, even if you train in a partial range of motion you will still get stronger and bigger. It just won’t be as effective. Share this on your facebook if you train full range of motion and you think it can help others out. If you want to test it out comment below with your results.

Adam Pegg About Adam Pegg

Adam is an athlete with a serious passion for fitness and health. He played basketball at University of Delaware and Stetson. His degree is in health science and he's a certified personal trainer who loves helping people reach their goals.