The total distance across which a joint can move in a specific direction is called the range of motion (ROM) in strength training. The structure of a joint and the soft tissues surrounding it, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments, dictate the whole range of motion for that joint. Strength training requires understanding proper ROM, since it impacts workout effectiveness and injury risk.
A good ROM can work the entire length of the muscle fibers, which maximizes muscular activation and stimulates growth. Exercise is less effective and can cause imbalances and even damage if your muscle fibers are not fully stimulated. For instance, the whole ROM for a bicep curl is from a fully extended to a fully flexed arm. A person is not using the full ROM and is reducing the exercise's effectiveness as a result if they only lift the weight halfway up.
It's crucial to keep in mind, though, that having too much ROM can be harmful. Going beyond your joints' natural ROM increases the risk of injury, joint instability, and ligament stress. Additionally, different people have different ROM due to conditions including age, injuries, and genetics. Working within your own ROM is crucial, and your specific ROM should gradually increase over time.
You can use equipment like foam rollers or blocks to adapt strength training routines to meet a specific ROM, helping to preserve perfect form and lowering the risk of injury. Before strength training, it's critical to warm up to promote blood flow and flexibility, which can improve your range of motion.
The Alpha Progression app uses exercise videos to show you the optimal range of motion for all exercises. In addition, you can create training plans individually adapted to your goals and thus achieve the best possible results.