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Thread: Full ROM or not???

  1. #1
    ~SkinHead~ Fuel's Avatar
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    Full ROM or not???

    specific to squats, is it safer for the knee joint to go ATF or half way down?

    yes, genetics come into play here but generally speaking......

    i think working for half ROM will create weak points in the movement, which could lead to injury, but i would love to hear other opinions on this.
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  2. #2
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    going lower would put more stress on the joint, but you will develop more power and strength the lower you go.

  3. #3
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    Opinions vary on this subject with some believing that parallel squatting is safer than full squatting, and some believing the opposite. This really is an individual matter, and also, the ROM will be determined by your goals. The main thing to remember is to always keep your quads tensed on the decent, otherwise you will allow the knee joint to open up too much inviting injury.

    Personally I prefer squatting to parallel, however, I also hack squat quite a bit, and prefer to go further than parallel on these. I have had zero knee problems (knock on wood).

  4. #4
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    It is 'safe' to squat deep, unless you have a knee injury, assuming you use proper form.
    Squats work better than supplements.
    "You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
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    Originally posted by Paul Stagg
    It is 'safe' to squat deep, unless you have a knee injury, assuming you use proper form.
    I personally agree.

  6. #6
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    The knee is no different from any joint. It is no less safe to take it through a full ROM than it is a half ROM. So long as you do it with proper form there should be no problems.
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  7. #7
    ~SkinHead~ Fuel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ozzymt
    going lower would put more stress on the joint
    i would say going lower than parallel takes stress OFF knee and onto hip/butt, as long as you keep knee from going beyond feet. force is pushing INTO knee joint when hips are above knee, but force is pulling down and away from knee joint when hips are below knee, thus actually reducing the force felt by knee joint. the only problem is the kneecap will be pulled into the joint severely by going low because of more ROM and quad pulling on it harder. so it's not really an issue of weight on the knee at this point but just the quad pulling kneecap in.

    i have no references to back this up, just something i thought of. is this correct???
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  8. #8
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    You're not to far off, actually.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

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  9. #9
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    As full a ROM as is possible is not necessary to achieve muscular hypertrophy. Sergio Oliva is a prime example of this. He is said to have used a lesser ROM on most of his exercises. If you ever have seen, or get to see, a professional bodybuilder train, you will note that they use a partial ROM on nearly every exercise. This goes for the vast majority of them, including those who claim a full ROM. I think it has something to do with their sheer size. Their size literally prevents a full ROM with some exercises. There is also something to be said for that level of development somehow dictating that sort of a training style (for other than size making a full ROM impossible reasons). I don't have a solid explanation for this phenomena, other than to say I hav observed it.

  10. #10
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Sounds reasonable to me.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

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  11. #11
    ~SkinHead~ Fuel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by chris mason
    As full a ROM as is possible is not necessary to achieve muscular hypertrophy. Sergio Oliva is a prime example of this. He is said to have used a lesser ROM on most of his exercises. If you ever have seen, or get to see, a professional bodybuilder train, you will note that they use a partial ROM on nearly every exercise. This goes for the vast majority of them, including those who claim a full ROM. I think it has something to do with their sheer size. Their size literally prevents a full ROM with some exercises. There is also something to be said for that level of development somehow dictating that sort of a training style (for other than size making a full ROM impossible reasons). I don't have a solid explanation for this phenomena, other than to say I hav observed it.
    that was a little off subject, but yeah i have seen that too. i was wondering about safety though, not hypertrophy.

    what you are talking about is the other half of the range of motion, the contracted part. i am speaking of the stretched part, such as the decented part of the bench or curls or OH press or squat. yes, these guys don't go all the way up because their mass simply impedes their motion, but do they go all the way down???

    specifically, since you say you have observed top BBs training, do they go all the way down on squats? besides Oliva, i'm willing to bet they DO on at least some of their sets or at certain periods in their training program. OR they at least say that it is safe to go all the way down. that's the issue here, SAFETY.

    at any rate, the issue here is very detailed and anatomical and physics oriented, we shouldn't spend too much time talking about what certain individuals do and don't do but rather factual medical or historical information. any logical, factual help would be much appreciated, as well as opinions!
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  12. #12
    ~SkinHead~ Fuel's Avatar
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    Safety!

    powerman: not too far off? so, not completely right? why not?
    Last edited by Fuel; 10-15-2002 at 02:53 PM.
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  13. #13
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Ok, let's try this. First, if a lifter squats as far down as is possible, i.e. the knee is flexed to the greatest degree possible, then the joint is in a compromised position so far as the tendons and ligamants are being stretched. This can present a problem if the lifter "bounces" through this portion of the ROM. The bounce creates greater force than would occur without bouncing, greater force when the structure of the joint is in a compromised position. Thus, there is a certain degree of danger involved in a full ROM squat. When the lifter is in the full squat position it is possible to relax the muscles of the upper thigh (to a certain degree). This too can be problematic as the musculature can help to protect the connective tissues of the joint. All of that being said, a full ROM squat dictates that lighter loads are used and if the trainee takes care to not "bounce", and to keep the muscles under constant, conscious, tension throughout this portion of the movement, full ROM squats are quite safe in my opinion. Partial ROM squats allow for much greater loads, thus placing other musculature at risk such as the erector spinae.

    The moral of the story is that if the squat i(of any type) is performed with control, the movement is quite safe.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by chris mason
    As full a ROM as is possible is not necessary to achieve muscular hypertrophy. Sergio Oliva is a prime example of this. He is said to have used a lesser ROM on most of his exercises. If you ever have seen, or get to see, a professional bodybuilder train, you will note that they use a partial ROM on nearly every exercise. This goes for the vast majority of them, including those who claim a full ROM. I think it has something to do with their sheer size. Their size literally prevents a full ROM with some exercises. There is also something to be said for that level of development somehow dictating that sort of a training style (for other than size making a full ROM impossible reasons). I don't have a solid explanation for this phenomena, other than to say I hav observed it.
    From what I have seen (in videos not in real life though) they don't lock out. Squats for example: going atf but not all the way up, keeping tension on the muscle.

    I like this alot, usually I go a few reps like this, lock out for a sec or two and do a few more reps. Doesn't work for all exercises, but barbell BP, squat, legpress work nice.

    *sorry somehow it took me like an hour to write that so I missed your later post.
    Last edited by big; 10-15-2002 at 03:44 PM.
    big.

  15. #15
    Mike Henley MonStar's Avatar
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    I agree---if when safe and possible, a full ROM is the way to go. I learned this from experience with squats. And heard a lot of sh*t for it.

    I was squatting around 4-6 inches above parallel and worked my way up to 515 for a single. It was getting EXTREMELY hard on my knees, ankles, and lower back. Now that I am squatting to parallel or a little lower I have decreased my squat strength about 100 lbs. give or take---but barely feel the stress in my lower back. So I think a full ROM is the way to go.

    I honestly feel like I would have eventually got injured training with a shortened ROM.

  16. #16
    ~SkinHead~ Fuel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by chris mason


    Ok, let's try this. First, if a lifter squats as far down as is possible, i.e. the knee is flexed to the greatest degree possible, then the joint is in a compromised position so far as the tendons and ligamants are being stretched. This can present a problem if the lifter "bounces" through this portion of the ROM. The bounce creates greater force than would occur without bouncing, greater force when the structure of the joint is in a compromised position. Thus, there is a certain degree of danger involved in a full ROM squat. When the lifter is in the full squat position it is possible to relax the muscles of the upper thigh (to a certain degree). This too can be problematic as the musculature can help to protect the connective tissues of the joint. All of that being said, a full ROM squat dictates that lighter loads are used and if the trainee takes care to not "bounce", and to keep the muscles under constant, conscious, tension throughout this portion of the movement, full ROM squats are quite safe in my opinion. Partial ROM squats allow for much greater loads, thus placing other musculature at risk such as the erector spinae.

    The moral of the story is that if the squat i(of any type) is performed with control, the movement is quite safe.
    isn't it assumed that no one would "bounce" weight while doing squats??? well, i assumed it. i would never use an ounce of momentum in the weight room period...... no reason to. you brought up a good point about quad tension, very important with ATF's.

    thanks for your replies, chris et al. monstar i feel exactly how you do. in fact, i injured my knee a year ago going half way down with too much weight.

    i think the moral of the story is that going down to parallel is actually MORE dangerous than full ROM when taking into account extra weight used AND ALSO because it creates weaknesses (kneecap sliding, tendon flexibility....) in the range not used....... i have spoken.
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  17. #17
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gopro
    The main thing to remember is to always keep your quads tensed on the decent, otherwise you will allow the knee joint to open up too much inviting injury.

    *** What do you mean by "tensed?"
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    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
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  18. #18
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    Originally posted by Maki Riddington


    *** What do you mean by "tensed?"
    Read Chris' post above...he basically said the same thing as me...you can ask him that question.

  19. #19
    ~SkinHead~ Fuel's Avatar
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    he means support the load with your quads. don't relax them and let the load just hang from your knee joint. keep "tension" in the quad, tensed is past participle form of the word.
    Last edited by Fuel; 10-16-2002 at 11:25 AM.
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  20. #20
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Originally posted by chris mason
    :All of that being said, a full ROM squat dictates that lighter loads are used and if the trainee takes care to not "bounce", and to keep the muscles under constant, conscious, tension throughout this portion of the movement, full ROM squats are quite safe in my opinion.
    *** Go, do you mean this part of his post? Because I don't think what Mr Mason said is what you were saying?

    There is a difference between "keeping the quads tensed" and the muscles under "constant conscious tension."
    Please help me understand what you were trying to say.
    Thank you.
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    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
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  21. #21
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Fuel
    he means support the load with your quads. don't relax them and let the load just hang from your knee joint. keep "tension" in the quad, tensed is past participle form of the word.
    *** How could one not support the load without using the quads?
    It's a natural porcess of the nueromuscular system. Again this would be dependant on what ROM he is talking about. Forgive if I'm too lazy to check.
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    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
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  22. #22
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    Maki, yes, Chris and I were saying the same thing. Maybe I did not say it in a way that you understood properly...or maybe you just choose to give me hard time. Anyway, to clarify...IT IS dangerous to your knee joint to squat to rock bottom and RELAX your quads somewhat at this point in the range. You must consciously and forcefully contract your quads to keep the integrity of your knee joint intact at the bottom of a full squat.
    Last edited by gopro; 10-16-2002 at 06:07 PM.

  23. #23
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gopro
    Maki, yes, Chris and I were saying the same thing. Maybe I did not say it in a way that you understood properly...or maybe you just choose to give me hard time. Anyway, to clarify...IT IS dangerous to your knee joint to squat to rock bottom and RELAX your quads somewhat at this point in the range. You must consciously and forcefully contract your quads to keep the integrity of your knee joint intact at the bottom of a full squat.
    *** Do you mean you would want to contract the rectus femoris?
    That's the only muscle of the quad involved in hip flexion?

    In the bottom of the movement the quads are not involved in knee flexion.
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    "Soli Deo Gloria"
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
    Romans 7:14-25

    "Judo is not about strength. Yet in the learning curve, all Judokas get strong. Only with time do you learn where to apply that strength."
    The Art of Judo

  24. #24
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    actually i would argue that going as far down as possible, ie where the calves and hamstrings are being compressed against each other to a significant degree, would be extremely risky due to lever forces causing separation and stretching of ligaments. In addition, as the butt gets extremely low, i notice that regardless of how much tension i can command the quads to maintain, neuromuscular coordination demands the tension greatly diminishes in the quads, thus further stretching ligaments.

    As for squatting much shorter than parallel, this leads to the cartilage having to absorb tremendous sheer forces as well as large compressions. Also the ligaments come under great foward forces. Over time this will lead to painful motion in the joint.

    Now of course one could argue that we partially bend over and also bend all the way down in everyday life. However, we are not doing this with 300 additional pounds on our backs!!!!!

    THus imo one should squat just to the point where the hams and calves begin to compress WITHOUT ANY TYPE OF BOUNCE. THis is below parallel and will depend on the individual build

  25. #25
    ~SkinHead~ Fuel's Avatar
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    calves *touching* hamstring

    yes, i should have clarified that there is a point that is going too far down that *could* be considered part of the full ROM. this grey area should be identified with common sense. just sit down and flex your hamstring until your calf and hamstring *touch*, without flexing really hard. this is full ROM. going "all the way down" with 300lbs on your back will take you farther down than this point because you have the extra force cramming your calve farther into your hamstring. this can be dangerous, because this is technically not full ROM but far and beyond it.

    calve and hamstring touching is the way to go, with the obvious controlled, no-bounce pause at the bottom.

    MAKI: yes, he means rectus femoris, as well as any other muscles that could take stress off knee joint..... i presume.
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