What does range of motion mean

In the specialised world of personal training, as with all other disciplines, there are a number of terms that are specific to that field and industry. In this article, we’ll have a look at what ‘range of motion’ means and how it fits in with the world of personal training and the fitness industry in general.

What Does ‘Range Of Motion’ Mean?

The term ‘range of motion’ refers to how far a joint can move. This is usually expressed in degrees. Each joint in your body has typical ranges of motion.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons the range of motion for:

  • The elbow in flexion is between 0 and 150 degrees while in extension it is 0 degrees, and
  • The hip in flexion is between 0 and 120 degrees while in extension it is between 0 and 30 degrees.

Range of motion can be limited owing to a mechanical problem or diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

How Can Range Of Motion Be Improved?

Strength and conditioning coach, Doug Durand, says that there are two ways to improve range of motion:

  • Passive range of motion exercises where someone helping you to improve your flexibility.
  • Active range of motion exercises which you can do yourself to improve your range of motion.

What’s The Connection Between Range Of Motion And Prime Mover Exercises?

There are certain muscles in your body, says certified strength and conditioning specialist Brian Bowden, that are responsible for activating the major joints.

These are prime movers are the:

  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Pectorals
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Deltoids
  • Biceps and triceps

There are a number of exercises that sculpt these muscles. Watch the next couple of videos to see how these exercises work.

Latissimus dorsi: Lat pull-down

Pectorals: Push-up

Quadriceps: Leg press

Hamstrings: Leg curl

Deltoids: Seated dumbbell shoulder press

Triceps: Push-downs

Biceps: Standing bicep curl

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