Muscle Growth Series #1: 3 Reasons Why Range Of Motion is KEY for Muscle Growth
I was inspired to create this 10 part series for muscle growth because as I've trained more clients and worked with more people through online coaching, I've noticed small but VERY effective concepts that helped my clients build more muscle. The hope is that you take this information and actively apply it to skip all the upsets and brick walls in your journey toward fat loss and more muscle!
Today we start with Range of Motion and its importance in building muscle and mobility!
There are multiple studies out that actually prove you can see similar results with partial range of motion instead of full range of motion on certain exercises. These studies though focused on very isolated movements like a bicep curl which you definitely could use partial ROM with and see gains. In this context, I definitely agree that partial ROM is viable for muscle growth. However, I’m going to disagree with these studies because there’s a huge limitation they’re leaving out: execution. If a mover, especially an inexperienced one, trains with partial ROM often, they’re mechanics will most likely be shot, they won’t know how to move effectively and they won’t grow because they’ll trade weight on the bar for quality of movement. In a movement like a squat I see it all the time: the quarter squat kings and queens.
Now don’t get me wrong, quarter squats have their place in a program. If they are done INTENTIONALLY and with proper mechanics, they can be very effective. However, I’m willing to bet most of those people are ego-lifting with too much weight on the bar and can’t break depth because they’re actually moving too much weight. If that person continues down that path, not only will they not build muscle long-term, but they will also hurt themselves.
Moving with full ROM teaches you how to have stability in your end range of motion. It increases the integrity of your joints because you gain more control between A and B of a movement. It also recruits MORE muscle fibers that won’t even be touched should you partial ROM everything so you’re LITERALLY building more muscles the deeper your ROM is. If you never reach those depths, you won’t achieve control, hypertrophy or strength in those areas.
So I’m here to say that full Range of Motion should be HIGH on your priority list when trying to grow muscle. You’ll better prepare your joints for heavier weights, recruit more muscle fibers, challenge your body to a greater extent and elicit a great stimulus for adaptation and growth.
Especially in mobility training range of motion is ESSENTIAL. Learning how to move through YOUR full range of motion is the key to gaining control over that range. I say YOUR range in all caps because everyone has a different end range where they start to lose control. You have to identify this range, move through it, gain strength and stability there and THEN you can load it with weight.
You’re probably like, what does mobility have to do with muscle growth? Let’s dive into these 3 reasons:
By now you can see the importance of mobility and range of motion for hypertrophy. We have to learn HOW to move and HOW to activate certain muscles in our body to achieve hypertrophy in the areas we want. When other muscles take over an exercise they receive the work, not the muscles we’re targeting. The source of this dominance is usually a lack of stability, control or strength aka Mobility. If you’re ready to own your range of motion and makes gains pain free, click HERE to apply for Online Coaching with me.