Range of Motion

There is some debate out there as to whether or not you should train through a full range of motion. In my opinion, I think there are only select, very specific times where less than range of motion training should be emphasized – either injury or sport specific reasons. So when it comes to training full range of motion, there is a good amount of research to suggest that training through a full range might be most beneficial for hypertrophy gains and strength gains (across a full range of motion). These outcomes are also supported by isometric training studies. While isometric training involves no movement, like a dynamic contraction, it does allow researchers to study outcomes of muscle activation at different muscle lengths. Studies suggest that both hypertrophy and strength gains through full ranges of motion are greatest with muscles at long muscle lengths (when it is fully stretched). This suggests that if we do not train a full range of motion where the muscle is fully stretched, then hypertrophy and full range of motion strength gains might be limited. However, this does not mean shortened range of motion exercises don’t have specific benefits for specific reasons.