Pain, strain, tightness, limited range of motion are no longer a reason to avoid working out or even to avoid certain exercises.
Today I will talk about range of motion (ROM). So many of my clients, and likely many of you, have positions that you avoid because something hurts: deep squats? Lunges? Deltoid flies? But here’s the thing: you can do that exercise…you can develop strength in the related muscles….you just need to think about the range within which you are working.
This is best illuminated by a real-life example. I have a client who’s has early stage arthritis in her knees. Not a good recipe for lunges or squats, two great exercises for developing glute and quad strength, and two exercises that she really wants to do.
Picture this: I get her into position for a stationary lunge - one foot forward, one foot back. I ask her to slooooowly drop down into a stationary lunge, stopping just before she knows she will feel pain.
Keep holding that.
Maybe do small pulses up and down within that range. Maybe hold it isometrically while pushing into your rear toe and your forward heel.
No, it is not glamorous. She’s not grunting through walking lunges down and back in the studio. But what she is doing is getting those muscles firing. You can bet she is feeling the work. Trying holding a stationary lunge with total focus for 60-90 seconds. You will feel that work.
Being thoughtful about the range of motion your body has available to it can make your exercises much less frustrating and more fruitful. And the added bonus is that it requires you become more in tune with your body, something that we all need a little more of.