What Is Range of Motion and How Does It Elevate Your Workout Game?

Soniya
Range of motion (ROM) plays an important role in your workouts. (Image via Pexels / Gustavo Fring)
Range of motion (ROM) plays an important role in your workouts. (Image via Pexels / Gustavo Fring)

Ever wonder what range of motion (ROM) is or how it affects your workouts? ROM has to do with how much you can move or stretch a moved or stretched muscle. In general, a slow ROM will allow the muscle to relax and is thus more beneficial than higher ROM. If a muscle has low ROM, it will not be able to relax effectively after exertion.

Since everyone's body is different, the types of range of motion are also different. For some, that may mean you have a normal range of motion, while others might have a limited range of motion. Without being able to move your body properly and safely, many people suffer from overuse injuries.


What is Range of Motion?

When it comes to your workouts, having good ROM can help you elevate your performance and protect yourself from injury during training. If your joints are stiff or locked in place due to poor mobility, they will be less efficient and may cause pain.

(Image via Pexels/ Ketut Subinyato)
(Image via Pexels/ Ketut Subinyato)

For example, if you have poor hip flexor flexibility and want to squat with proper form, you may need more ROM than someone who has better hip flexor flexibility.


Why is Range of Motion important in your workouts?

Improving your range of motion is the best way to improve your ability to work out, play sports, and perform daily living activities.

There are some simple exercises you can do to increase your mobility, so you'll be able to move more easily as you get older. Make sure you exercise each major part of your body equally; add resistance as you improve with small weights or resistance bands, and don't overdo it — increase flexibility and mobility gently.

Here's how having an optimal ROM helps:

(Image via Pexels/ Andrea Piacqudio)
(Image via Pexels/ Andrea Piacqudio)

Helps with the workouts

Getting a full range of motion for certain types of workouts can help you perform the exercises more effectively and safely.

Exercise that places heavy loads on your shoulders, back and knees can lead to injury if you cannot get low enough to fully extend your joints. Range of motion limitations can impair your overall fitness and performance.

Makes everyday activities easy

Reduced range of motion and mobility might make it difficult to handle groceries or carry a suitcase, as well as plowing the driveway or raking leaves.

With improved range of motion you are actively increasing your ability to perform effectively and feel well during your daily activities, regardless of the type of exercise you are performing, whether it be cardiovascular exercises, strength, or mobility work. Physical ability influences a lot of what defines autonomous aging and healthy functioning.


Effective ways to improve range of motion (ROM)

1) Warm-ups

Warm ups are essential before any workout. (Image via pexels / Andrea Piacquadio)
Warm ups are essential before any workout. (Image via pexels / Andrea Piacquadio)

Instead of stretching before a workout, consider some short warmup activities to get your body relaxed and ready. Muscles that are loose and primed move more easily, providing you a wider range of motion—and the lowered chance of injury isn't bad either.


2) Reduce your anxiety

Maintain positive mentality. (Image via pexels / Kat Smith)
Maintain positive mentality. (Image via pexels / Kat Smith)

When you want to achieve a full range of motion, the last thing you want is to deal with knots and stiff muscles. While it's impossible to anticipate all of life's hiccups, you should make relaxation and maintaining a positive mentality a priority—both for your physical and emotional health.


3) Keep yourself hydrated

Keeping yourself hydrated is crucial. (Image via pexels / Daria Shevtsova)
Keeping yourself hydrated is crucial. (Image via pexels / Daria Shevtsova)

Hydration is very important, not obtaining enough water can lead to cramps and a variety of other health issues, limiting your mobility. Furthermore, if you're dehydrated, you're more likely to damage yourself when pushing the limits of your range of motion, so don't go too far until you've had plenty to drink.


4) Breathe properly

Incorporate proper breathing techniques. (Image via pexels / Mikhail Nilov)
Incorporate proper breathing techniques. (Image via pexels / Mikhail Nilov)

When you're under stress and breathing heavily, poor breathing technique can severely limit your range of motion. You should concentrate on breathing properly during workouts by moving your diaphragm and filling and emptying your lungs rather than moving your ribcage, even when taking full, deep breaths.


5) Get a massage

Massage helps in relising the muscle knots. (Image via pexels / Pixabay)
Massage helps in relising the muscle knots. (Image via pexels / Pixabay)

Deep tissue massages or massage guns are game changers for post-workout treatment for a variety of reasons, including range of motion concerns. If you can't or don't want to pay for a massage, you can always get similar results with a massage tool available online.


6) Post-workout stretches

Post-workout stretches are important. (Image via Pexels / Gustavo Fring)
Post-workout stretches are important. (Image via Pexels / Gustavo Fring)

Post-workout stretches after a heavy workout are a great method to enhance your range of motion, so plan one and stick to it once you've completed the remainder of your workout. Stretching may also help you recover faster and decrease post-workout muscular discomfort.


The ability to move through a wider range of motions than you're typically able to is an important area of improvement for those who want to build inner strength and work towards improving their health. The key here is mobility work. The more you can do, the greater your physical potential and the more optimized your body will be.

You must be able to perform the movements that move you closer to your goals, so that you can ultimately have full access to your entire range of motion.

Poll : Were you aware about the importance of ROM?

Yes

No, hearing it for the first time

64 votes

Edited by Sabine Algur