We’ve all seen it before, some of us might even be guilty of it ourselves without even knowing it! I’m talking about “half-repping” an exercise. Too much weight, poor technique, and not using full range of motion.
This is usually due to one of three reasons:
- Simply not knowing the correct way to perform the exercise
- Trying to impress people with how much you bench
No matter which of these three reasons it is, the bottom line is it’s dangerous and you risk potential injury. You also short change yourself and your results because when you half-rep, you recruit only half of the muscle fibers. If you’re going to take the time to do something, why not do it correctly?
Technique should always be the primary focus of any lift. Using correct form and a full range of motion will:
- Build strength throughout the entire movement
- Allow you to lift heavier weight over time
- Result in better muscle balance
- Increase stability and joint strength
- Decrease the likelihood of injury
Full range of motion is defined as the act of moving as far as anatomically possible during a given exercise. Focus on moving as far as your joints will comfortably allow.
For example, when you squat, in order to achieve full range of motion you lower down as deep into the squat as possible while keeping your heels flat on the ground. How far a person is able to come down into their squat will vary based on things like flexibility and joint mobility.
If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself that you may not be using a full range of motion on some of the exercises that you do, my advice would be to start by going lower in weight until you feel comfortable and confident that you are performing the exercise correctly before progressing back up to a heavier weight.
Don’t worry about whether the weight you are lifting doesn’t look heavy… no one gives a crap I promise. Fully extending and feeling the stretch before each contraction will make you stronger than half-repping ever could and will also give you a more well-rounded physique.
Study videos of the exercises you do before performing them. If you need help with that, you can find the exercise you are looking for inside of my full exercise video library HERE.
Committed To Your Health,
Brian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach, LLC – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personally tailored training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, and The PTDC as well various other health and fitness blogs.
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