Often lost in the world dose-dependent relationships in the fitness industry is the nuances approach to training muscles in isolation.

Especially coming from a strength background where range of motion is KING and you’re not worth the ground you stand on if you’re not hitting depth on your squats or not touching the bar on your chest with your bench press.

But execution In Isolation movements does not, and should not follow this full range of motion principle. There is a fundamental difference between a range of motion of a muscle and a range of motion of a joint.

Take for example the medial fiber of the deltoid, one of our primary abductors of our glenohumeral joint, but only within a certain range in that range depending on the type of low that we use , The strength curve changes when matched with a different resistance profile (a concept we delve deeper into in coming articles).

Simply put when people realize the Delt is an abductor of the shoulder they think of some abduction is good then more abduction is better. Not realizing the Deltoid It’s just a contributor to the overall arc of glenohumeral abduction, and that the supraspinatus and the traps also play a role in completing this movement, but unlike powerlifting, where completing movements is the name of the game, These isolation movements need to be looked at through a different lens than our compound lifts. Because the stimulus and subsequent desired adaption are different.

Hypertrophy style or isolation movements are centered around the idea of making the muscle group as disadvantaged as possible throughout the entire range of motion. Where compound movements, like the power-lifts, Are all about being as efficient as possible.

So matching the desired principle with the desired becomes a cornerstone of exercise programming and execution. Granted there are a ton of training stimulus that needs to resonate in harmony in order to make expedited progress in training, but this concept is a great jumping-off point for people looking to take their training to the next level.

Stay Strong,

Jordan Shallow