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    What exercises do you prefer to use partial ranges of motion?

    Just curious to get everyone's thoughts. In general research favors using a full range of motion for hypertrophy but I think it's completely viable to use a full range of motion for some movements and a shortened range of motion for others, particularly when it will allow heavier loads to be used. This can be helpful for people with pain issues due to osteoarthritis or recovery from injury, to work more on acceleration/ballistic components for athleticism, to overload certain portions of a movement to bring up a weak point (ie, board presses), to train more functionally specific movements (ie, partial range of motion curls for arm wrestling), etc. If and how do you all incorporate them into your training?
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    “Full rom” depends on the individual. I prefer the term “active range of motion”, not going into passive or active insufficiency.

    Not knocking your question, but a lot of people don’t understand “full rom” and knock anything that they perceive to be a partial rom.

    As far as using partials in my own training, I use them from the time to time when the mood strikes, usually for free weight chest, hamstring and delt exercises, and leg presses to keep tension on the target musculature.
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    I keep a bend in my knees at the top of sissy squats and stop chest flyes above my shoulders. Tension is lost if I use a more complete ROM for those two. I used to not lock out OHP/Arnold press due to shoulder discomfort, but since I switched to doing them one arm at a time, lockout is no problem. No clue why.
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    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I try to use a full range of motion where possible / safe.

    I'm happy to let it shorten towards the end of the set for the sake of overloading all parts of the ROM
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    Registered User EliKoehn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    I try to use a full range of motion where possible / safe.

    I'm happy to let it shorten towards the end of the set for the sake of overloading all parts of the ROM
    Me too.

    I suppose squat is one major outlier, since full range of motion there is technically ATG so parallel would be partial against that by definition.

    Currently I'm debating whether OHP should stop at the low end just underneath the chin or touch the collarbone.

    Everything else I've always tried to do a complete RoM with as a conscious point.
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    In my head I go full ROM for all exercises. More realistically, I probably lose ROM at the end of a set. I used to stop when I cannot get full ROM, but lately I've been pushing for a few extra reps even if they're not full ROM (e.g. cable rows) for accessory exercises since the cost of failure is low. I wouldn't do it for squats for example - once ROM shortens I stop the set.
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    Sarcastic Sage PTzFree's Avatar
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    I've seen/read some valid videos/articles on using modified ROM to overcome plateaus. It loads the portion of muscles that are ready for the weight and allows you to mentally get used to the weight.

    So, to answer your question: primary lifts like squat or bench
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    Rarely when I do :
    - barbell bicep curls; second part of the movement
    - dumbell lateral raises; standing - second part of the movement, lying - first part of the movement
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    The only time I’d ever intentionally use a partial ROM would be in a metabolic type sequence at the end of a workout with the specific goal of overloading certain parts of the range

    Ie:

    A1 Cable Fly top half (overload short position)
    A2 DB fly bottom half (overloads lengthened)
    A3 smith floor press in the mid range with whatever is left
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    I have seen one fella doing upper range of motion on bench press by incorporating rack, which was set up high. I asked why, and his "hypothesis" was that this is where knockout power comes from, for his punches. From strength in this last portion of rom. He is in martial arts of some sort, seen him in boxing gym, but I think he was more of MMA kind.

    I asked one physiotherapist/kinesiologist about whether strength in any particular portion of rom can be trained independently, but the fella mumbled something incoherent in response, all I could make up from it that there is no straight answer. Or he didn't know and was shy to admit it.

    I myself was trying to train the strength in lower rom for squat and bench press. Basically for both it involved going light and oscillating near sticky point where I usually fail. There is more freedom on BP, up and down and also let the bar wonder closer to chin and lower to end of rib cage. Painful, and long sets of bouncing around failure point. Was fun, and I still do it sometimes because it looks cool. Questionable results though.

    Another partials come to mind, is bicep curls on incline bench, but I bet it can be setup for tri's or any other muscle group. Basically, it is partial because force curve is such that it is hardest at near end of rom, one way or the other. Triceps kickbacks are bone fide partials, it doesn't matter that forearms makes a full rom, there is no resistance at one end and max out on the other.
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    Originally Posted by weiss1967 View Post
    Another partials come to mind, is bicep curls on incline bench, but I bet it can be setup for tri's or any other muscle group. Basically, it is partial because force curve is such that it is hardest at near end of rom, one way or the other. Triceps kickbacks are bone fide partials, it doesn't matter that forearms makes a full rom, there is no resistance at one end and max out on the other.
    It's not really at the "end of the rom" but with the same motion generation of the biceps that pulls at that broad of an angle. The general dumbbell curl motion at standing gives it much more precise leveraging from the external rotators and surrounding back muscles to be able to control and grip with a lot more attention using power from the biceps. I think you lose upper trap stabilization with the incline bench.
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    Ive done it for bench, incline too. Saves the joints.
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    good
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Ive done it for bench, incline too. Saves the joints.
    Keeps the focus on the chest too
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Ive done it for bench, incline too. Saves the joints.
    How does it save the joints?
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    I like to do partial reps for the plank.
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    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jaxqen View Post
    How does it save the joints?

    When you lock out, the shoulders and elbows support the weight, not the pecs.
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    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Everything has a place... At the right time.

    But first one that comes to mind isusually JM press or spoto press which inherently can't be full rom.

    But I have zero issue locking out anything, joints are designed to lock, just Basic physiology and experience.
    From leg press to bench, it's often easier on your tendons to lock out, and there is no reason for constant tension. No more gains.

    That's one of the reasons why we see so many pec and quad tears in bodybuilders (they NEVER train the rom and connective tissues, and they give out when stressed at joint angles) I'm down for it if it feels good on occasion tho for sure, but understand full that it's purely variation and not superior.

    I'm not talking about hyper extension of joints or people with hyper mobility or old injuries.
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    Registered User jaxqen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    But I have zero issue locking out anything, joints are designed to lock, just Basic physiology and experience.
    From leg press to bench, it's often easier on your tendons to lock out, and there is no reason for constant tension. No more gains.

    That's one of the reasons why we see so many pec and quad tears in bodybuilders (they NEVER train the rom and connective tissues, and they give out when stressed at joint angles) I'm down for it if it feels good on occasion tho for sure, but understand full that it's purely variation and not superior.
    Originally Posted by MyEgoProblem View Post
    But I have zero issue locking out anything, joints are designed to lock, just Basic physiology and experience.
    From leg press to bench, it's often easier on your tendons to lock out, and there is no reason for constant tension.

    That's one of the reasons why we see so many pec and quad tears in bodybuilders (they NEVER train the rom and connective tissues, and they give out when stressed at joint angles) I'm down for it if it feels good on occasion tho for sure, but understand full that it's purely variation and not superior.
    I don't know if joints are designed to completely lock out hundreds of kilograms on leg press, for example. I never lock out completely on this. I don't consider it partial ROM, though, but my knees are not completely straight at the top. ​

    Seriously? Not arguing, but from what I've seen, most bodybuilders (like 99%) train the full ROM. Squats, deadlifts, presses, rows.
    I thought the reasons are:
    - bad weight management and going for 1 rep max;
    - steroid use - muscle can handle the weight, but the joints cannot (plus they dried out a lot in certain cases);
    - just happens now and then for professionals - this guy explains it here, his form looks good, everything is in place, **** happens - Maybe because joints are not really designed for benching that much? https://youtu.be/uNnzvtmF4CI
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  20. #20
    CEO 10k/year Ironface's Avatar
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    Just please for the love of god don’t start doing partial bench presses
    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    Currently I'm debating whether OHP should stop at the low end just underneath the chin or touch the collarbone.
    From a deadstop on the chest, always.
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    Originally Posted by jaxqen View Post
    I don't know if joints are designed to completely lock out hundreds of kilograms on leg press, for example. I never lock out completely on this. I don't consider it partial ROM, though, but my knees are not completely straight at the top. ​

    Seriously? Not arguing, but from what I've seen, most bodybuilders (like 99%) train the full ROM. Squats, deadlifts, presses, rows.
    I thought the reasons are:
    - bad weight management and going for 1 rep max;
    - steroid use - muscle can handle the weight, but the joints cannot (plus they dried out a lot in certain cases);
    - just happens now and then for professionals - this guy explains it here, his form looks good, everything is in place, **** happens - Maybe because joints are not really designed for benching that much? https://youtu.be/uNnzvtmF4CI
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    Registered User pondman's Avatar
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    I've seen some really big dude doing partials-- constantly.

    Do what feels right to you and don't worry about other people. I do inclined benching closer to my throat and don't bring it all the way down. Probably leave 2 inches. I'd crush my shoulders if I did. Great workout for upper pecs.
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    You can’t say the S word here, that is a bad word!

    Squats?


    I know it is a sado-masochism exercise, but it shouldn't be forbidden.
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