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Using full range of motion is the act of moving as far as anatomically possible during a given exercise—to the end range. The problem is that going full-end range of motion causes joint-jam.
In Dr. Zoe’s office, we often see patients with joint injuries as a result of cartilage breakdown, joint-jam being the main culprit. This is why Dr. Zoe recommends avoiding FEROM to protect yourself, even for those looking to body build the most, as modified and partial reps can challenge your muscles with increased load without risking long term injury to the tendons and cartilage between your joints.
On videos advocating for FEROM, they make a case that is actually dangerous for general population to practice.
1) Claim: “. . . though it is a small amount of difference in one rep, over time that adds up”
The small difference in range of motion missed by doing it with healthy form can not only be made up by simply including more reps into your set, but that final range of motion locking in the joint isn’t necessary for the strengthening of the motion itself.
2) Claim: “. . . full range of motion is very important because straight arm strength is very important for more advanced exercises” “. . . those who don’t do a full range of motion tend to have a harder time doing a full range of motion in other pushing exercises”
From advanced exercises to general athletics to putting dishes up on the top shelf, there is no need to extend to the end range of motion. Less than an inch more of extension isn’t worth paying the price with your connective tissue. This is because the tendons and cartilage do not contract like muscle fibers do. While it is important to have strong tendons to support muscle contraction and joint movement, the tendons can strengthen without putting them at End Range of motion stress.