Use Range Of Motion To Your Advantage


Squats performed with full range of motion (ROM) should be a principle exercise in any resistance training programme; they produce superior results for the following reasons:

  • Deep squats will train the quads better compared to partial-range squats. Squatting low and using heavy loads is necessary to maximally train the posterior chain

  • You can increase speed and jump height more by using the full-range-of-motion squat as a fundamental training lift instead of a partial-range, heavier squat

  • You will perform more work doing full-range squats. If you programme your squats properly (more sets, fewer reps per set), squats can anchor a body composition/fat loss training programme

  • Full-range squats require and support flexibility. If done exclusively, partial-range training can produce structural imbalances and reduce flexibility

Healthy trainees should use full-ROM squats to a depth where the hamstring covers the knee. It is a misperception that deep squats are bad for the knee because they put too much shearing force on the knee; in fact, the greatest shearing force on the knee occurs at the start of the squat when the lifter initiates the bend in the knee. In addition, the pressure on the knee decreases as the knee flexion angle increases parallel a point where the hip is below the knee. Further, just because there is shearing force on the knee does not mean that the knee cannot handle that force.

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