Individual Range Of Motion


If you look at this video I'm doing everything wrong by the form rule book some people have in their head who lift weights. 

Here's a breakdown of what's going here:

- Barely if at all retracting shoulder blades,
- no arching of the lower back,- elbows flared out,
- bar not touching the chest, i.e. not going "full ROM",
- feet loosely placed on the ground.

What a noob!

Here's another way to look at this video:

- Zero elbow pain,
- zero shoulder pain,
- controlled eccentric to allow for natural elbow tracking,
- no distraction from uncomfortable back arching,
- working the pecs in their active ROM by not going down all the way.

Now that sounds much better. Custom fitting form to individual structure and needs is impeccable. Don't adhere to a dogmatic rule book. Forcing your body into positions it is not made to be in calls for injury. This is the first time in 3 years I can bench press pain free, be progressive with weights and feel the target muscle. That fits MY rule book - and that's all that matters.


ROM has to be custom fit to the individual and the exercise. ROM does not describe how far the bar travels but joint angle. ROM is not arbitrary. 

A lot of people try to standardize ROM for certain exercises and put everybody in the same basket.

Not everyone can or should squat ass-to-grass. Not everyone can or should pause the bar on their chest when bench pressing.Not everyone can or should deadlift from the floor.

ROM is often used as a sign of expertise. It sure looks impressive when somebody can squat down with a ton of weight on their back and touch butt to calves. That's a beautiful looking squat.

But more often than not, people who can do that are built for that specific exercise. They are not experts because they can achieve a certain ROM.

The same goes for pressing movements.

"He didn't go all the way down! You have to touch your chest! Zero Reps!"

If you're training for hypertrophy there are no rules. There is no governing body in the gym overlooking your exercise execution. This is not a powerlifting competition.

In my specific case, if I go all the way down during a close grip bench press my shoulder roll forward and I lose tension in the target muscle (triceps). With a wider grip I can go down almost all the way since my elbows are more flared and I can open up more.

Custom fit ROM to the individual and the exercise - not the other way around. ROM cannot be standardized for everybody. Outside of iron sport competition there is no ROM you have to adhere to.

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