Range of Motion and Muscle Building


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Getting Range of Motion Right for More Muscle Growth

Being able to stimulate more muscle growth is a key desire for most guys who train. Unfortunately many shoot themselves in the foot by the way they train. And that is what? That is a tendency to use a less than full stroke when performing an exercise. Many guys pump out reps that are somewhere beyond a partial but nowhere near a full extension. And that’s a big mistake.

Why is the shorter stroke a mistake when it comes to building muscle? Research published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (January 2014) indicates that range of motion (RO "should not be compromised for greater external loading." What they are saying is that it is a mistake to go with a short range in order to use heavier weight loads. This short stroking occurs frequently in the gym – people get away with putting up big weights but only do so because they cheat by using a short range of motion.

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research study found that the longer range of motion was much more beneficial where "muscle strength and size are the objective." And of course they are the objective if you are aiming at becoming bigger and stronger. So are you simply trying to pump out some mini reps, or are you trying to build muscle strength and size? If you want the size and strength, you need the full rep.

Previous studies have shown that "muscle strength and muscle thickness can be improved with both FULL and PART resistance training, but FULL may lead to greater strength gains" (Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, August 2012).

When it comes to training the muscles, make sure to get a full range of motion for rep after rep.

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