Along with nutrition and recovery, training is one of the three most important pillars for building muscle. To get the most out of your training, taking a closer look at the topic of range of motion (ROM) is recommended. In this article, you will learn everything about the correct range of motion for exercises and how to stimulate muscle growth!
- The targeted application and efficient ROM training
- Positive effects of ROM
- Training technical requirements
- Benefits for muscle building
What is range of motion?
Range of motion (ROM) refers to the amount of movement during the execution of an exercise. This relates to both the body's biomechanics and the training weight.
The greater the distance the joint or weight moves, the greater the range of motion. The concept can be illustrated well with the help of the squat. The deeper you go, the greater the distance your body has to move the weight.
Advantages of a large range of motion
First, training with full ROM provides greater mobility and long-term flexibility of the joints. Conversely, this means greater resilience of the body.
Tendons and ligaments become increasingly durable when trained with a full ROM. This reduces the susceptibility to injury.
A full ROM can also lead to greater damage to muscle cells. A large ROM is more demanding than a short ROM and puts more stress on the joints and muscles. The result here is increased hypertrophy due to more microtrauma in the musculature.
This means more muscle growth. Furthermore, a large ROM forces the muscles to do more work! Even with less weight, a larger ROM is beneficial for muscle growth.
The body's biomechanics are often the limiting factor. Depending on anatomical conditions, certain exercises allow for greater ROM than others.
Our example of the deep squat forces the body to activate more muscles. This provides a more intense stimulus compared to a shorter ROM. A more intense stimulus here also means improved muscle development.
Risks of an excessively large ROM
Training with the highest possible ROM makes sense, especially as the muscles are activated to a greater extend. However, this should also depend on the selection of exercises.
Take the shoulder press with dumbbells on the incline bench as an example. This is an effective exercise, but it requires a high level of coordination, core stability, and flexibility of the joints. Undoubtedly, here, too, can be trained with a wide range of motion.
However, it is necessary to work on the corresponding mobility beforehand. Increasing the ROM by too much carries some risks. The shoulder joint is responsible for many movement sequences in strength sports.
Unfortunately, the joint is also often susceptible to injury, as it is often incorrectly loaded. If the shoulder joints are stretched to the maximum or overstretched when doing shoulder presses with dumbbells, you expose yourself to a high risk of injury!
Listen to your body! If a movement with a large ROM feels uncomfortable or hurts, you should shorten the distance again.
A good technique is a prerequisite!
As beneficial as an increased ROM can be, it is first important to master a good technique. Stability and control during the exercise are elementary for safe execution.
Those who do not have good trunk stability during the squat thus increase the risk of injury and further limit their mobility. Accordingly, working on a good technique and increasing the ROM step by step is important.
However, this does not mean you should work with a short ROM. Instead, it is important to refine the technique and approach it slowly. Use less weight and work on a deeper execution of the exercise.
Here it is necessary to internalize the movement sequence as well as possible. This way, you can work on the technique as well as on a larger ROM. Safe training with a ROM improves mobility and flexibility and makes us less susceptible to injury.
A greater ROM can lead to an increase in muscle growth. The greater the distance moved during an exercise, the greater the activation of the corresponding muscle.
This means that you can set a more effective stimulus and thus stimulate hypertrophy more efficiently.
However, it is recommended to work on a good technique to use the full potential of a large ROM. It is also essential to keep an eye on one's biomechanics and anatomy and to take advantage of this in terms of safe exercise execution.