Full Range of Motion is KILLING Your Gains!


What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. So, I said it: full range of motion is killing
your gains, and it actually is true. There’s no bigger believer in the benefits
of full range of motion on an exercise for getting, not only maximum strength gains and
size gains, but also for keeping you safe. As a physical therapist it matters to me that
you’re not just gaining, but that you’re staying healthy in the process. But if you’re confusing full range of motion
of a joint with full range of motion of an exercise I can promise you’re leaving gains
on the table. Here’s exactly what I’m talking about. I’m going to demonstrate first and foremost
with a pretty easy exercise to demonstrate on. It’s actually one of the better tricep exercises
that people tend to skip. It’s a tricep kickback. Now the issue is, what is the range of motion
of the joint that’s doing the work here? The joint that’s doing the work now, is
the elbow. It can fully flex, and it can extend all the
way back. But that doesn’t mean that the tricep kickback
requires that you go through full joint range of motion to do it. It requires that you go through full exercise
range of motion on a tricep kickback, which is a lot different. Some people call this ‘half-repping’,
but I’m telling you it’s a full rep. You don’t want to go past here. You start here, you go back into contraction
here, and you come back to here again. Where the dumbbell is parallel to gravity. Then you go back up again. Then you come down. It’s a short range of motion. This is a contracted position exercise where
peak tension occurs here, in the contracted position. What most people do is keep going all the
way to here, and then they go up. Then they go here, and they go up because
they think that full range of motion of the elbow is what’s necessary. But really, all I’m doing is a hammer curl
from here, to here. I’m not working my triceps. But there are other places this rears its
ugly head, too. One of them is a surprise to a lot of people. It’s a shoulder press. When we shoulder press a lot of us will go
like this. First of all, don’t go with your elbows
back, behind your head. The elbows traveling behind your head, for
a lot of reasons we already talked about on this channel. How that’s not the safest position by a
long shot for your shoulders. You always want your elbows in front of your
body, but how low? A lot of people will come all the way down,
then press up, and all the way down, and press up. But what you’re doing by doing that is giving
the muscles a break for the bottom 20, or 30 degrees of that press. Where you really want to be is right here. You can see from the back that middle delt
doesn’t really kick in until I get to where my elbows, and upper arms are pretty much
perpendicular to the ground. Down here they’re pretty much in a more
relaxed position, and then they kick in right here. They’re relaxed at the bottom, they kick
in right here. So, what you want to do is start pressing
from here, if you want to keep the tension on that middle delt. You can see it contracting every, single rep
without taking a breather. These are a lot harder, and you’ll probably
have to decrease the amount of weight that you’re using to accomplish this, but at
the end of the day we’re not getting that brief rest at the bottom every, single time. Now I want to get a little trickier. That is on a side dumbbell raise. On a side dumbbell raise this shows you how,
even the same exercise done with different equipment, can have a different impact. But full range of motion on this exercise
is not this. Why? Because from here to here, the arm is pretty
quiet. If I want to keep the tension, have constant
tension on the delts here, then what I want to do is start here, and then come up to here. Then back down to here and come up to here. Instantly, why did this 15lb weight become
that much more difficult? Because I’m keeping constant tension on
the muscles there in the shoulder. Now if the purpose of your training is for
overall strength, or power, even in the press coming down, and using your legs, and using
your upper chest to press off of, and recruited more muscles is a different goal. That’s a different purpose. If hypertrophy and gains are what you’re
after, then you need to start considering that full range of motion of a joint is not
always necessarily full range of motion. What’s the twist here with this one? Well, we know that the shoulder can go across
the body. We saw how once you get down the midline here
you’re losing the tension on the bicep – on the shoulder. But not if I was doing it with a cable. So now if I do it with a cable – come around
this way, Jesse. I’m over here. Now there is tension and stretch on this muscle
at the same time. As long as I’m pulling in this direction
a little bit I’ve got adduction, which is stretching the shoulder here, but I’ve got
tension, too. So, the increased range of motion on a cable
side lateral raise is here, to there, and back down. You can see all that tension down, down, still,
still there, and lengthened. And up, and then down, down, tension, tension,
tension. So, you can see that even something that’s
supposed to be the same is different, in terms of range of motion, and it always varies from
exercise to exercise, in terms of what that range of motion is with the actual joint’s
range of motion. So, don’t get confused. Stop just doing everything through full range
of motion. Learn what the actual full range is on that
exercise, and I promise you’re going to get more out of it. I say it all the time guys. It’s not what exercises you do, it’s how
you do them. I’m happy to show you how to do all of it,
step by step in our ATHLEANX training program. Click over here, make sure you head over there
and start training with me every, single day. And if you haven’t already, subscribe to
the channel so I can make sure you see every one of our videos. I said it in the last video. If you don’t do that you’re going to hate
yourself, I promise you. In the meantime, if you haven’t seen our
latest video, you can click up here and watch that, too. All right, guys. See you soon.

46 thoughts on “Full Range of Motion is KILLING Your Gains!

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  2. These "little" but very important details is why Jeff stands ahead of the rest… Those details change EVERYTHING when it comes to efficiency of the movement thus, creating better opputunity for gains and Neuro muscular connections… Thanks

  3. he doesn’t mean full range of motion is killing your games persay, he’s saying incorrect full range of motion is

  4. Iv seen lots of steroid bodybuilders always doing half reps, Iv started doing it myself some yesterday will see what difference I see.

  5. About the side dumbbell range, doesn't your elbow only have to go near parallel to your shoulder? If it goes higher, you're using your traps to get it up.

  6. What about for bench press? Do we touch slowly to the chest or lower to a couple cm’s off the chest?

  7. I agree with jEFF BUT IF "RESTING" ALLows you to use heavier weight than the result would be the same imo or possibly greater

  8. Following your tips sure are a bitch for all muscles groups! Seeing people at the gym using 45-50 lbs to do hammer curls ohhh man i was like your deltoids and back are working it. It makes a difference when you put in for quality reps not BS reps. Thanks ! My lady said you have gotten bigger within 4 weeks following, Jeff. Thanks to him she said!! Hahahahaa

  9. Thank you Jeff and co at Athlean-X

    New to weight loss, fitness and weight lifting but learnt so much from you guys and made great advances in just a few months.

    35 years old and started at just over 17stone, got down to 14 with better eating(and no exercise) and now knocked it up a gear and at 11.5 stone thank to all the knowledge you share with us for free. Weight is droping and the gains are building.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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