Why You Should Always Use A Full Range Of Motion

One reader asked:

I’m doing StrongLifts 5×5 for some weeks now. I think I’m going to stall soon on the Squat. I’m at 45kg.

Should I stop going so low? Or should I back off the weight? How far do you need to go down to involve all muscles?

Never Decrease the Range of Motion Because the Weight is Heavy. Put this between your ears. Go for a full range of motion:

  • Squat: go bellow parallel.
  • Bench Press: the bar touches your chest.
  • Pull-ups: arms straight between each rep.
  • Deadlift: lock knees & hips.
  • Etc…

Squat Deep.
Partial & Quarter Squats have their place in strength training. But only when it’s on purpose. In all other occasions: squat deep. As deep as you can. Squatting deep:

  • Strengthens your whole legs
  • Strengthens your knees
  • Increases flexibility

Doing half squats because the weight is to heavy is cheating. It can also lead to knee pain & injuries. To quote Mark Rippetoe: “if it’s too heavy to squat below parallel, it’s too heavy to have on your back”.

Here’s what you should do when the weight starts to get heavy on StrongLifts 5×5.

  • Be confident. What feels heavy today can feel light the next session.
  • Aim for 5 sets of 5 reps with the same weight.
  • If you don’t achieve 5×5, try again for 2 more times.
  • Continue adding weight every session as long as you have 5×5.
  • If you still don’t have 5×5 after 2 attemps, deload.

Never decrease the range of motion.

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