Benefits of Flexibility in Strength Training
Muscular hypertrophy is something you have seen and know about. It is muscular growth. There is myofibrillar hypertrophy, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, and connective tissue hypertrophy. Connective tissue hypertrophy is about 10-15% of your hypertrophy level. It occurs with an increase in the size of your tendons and ligaments for better structural integrity to become more muscular. Hypertrophy occurs through muscle damage and mechanical tension.
Flexibility is the ability of a joining or series to move through a pain-free range of motion of unrestricted without any inhibition. In the strength world, flexibility tends to get a bad rap.
The negative connotation around flexibility can remind you of the other opposite end of the argument, “Don’t get too big and bulky!!” Neither is good.
Ranges Of Motion
Bloomquist and Karlsen did an entire research project comparing a short-range-of-motion back squat to a full-range-of-motion back squat. Many people see a loss of flexibility when you train in a short range of motion. Over 12 weeks, the researchers had some people squat to 60 degrees and others squat to 120 degrees.
The researchers looked at strength gains, muscular structure, and even jump performance. The deep squat group got swole in most of the tests. The shallow squat group didn’t see much improvement. What is interesting is that training through a full range of motion and being more flexible led to bigger quad development.
The longer range of motion group showed better benefits because they achieved greater levels of muscular damage from being under mechanical tension longer through a greater eccentric period.
Partial Range Of Motion, Full Range Of Motion
Activation of muscles can be different through various ranges of motion. That is why it is important to train partial ranges of motion and a full range of motion for different types of adaptation depending on what you are working for.
Another study by Kubo and Yata analyzed different squat ranges of motion and what muscular stimulation looks like. Some went to a half squat and some went to a full range of motion. The researchers wanted to see the activation in the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
In the research, the full squatters saw a greater improvement in their overall strength. The interesting part is the rectus femoris and the hamstrings increased in size in either group. There are other muscles, known as knee extensors, and in the full range of motion group, the researchers saw a substantial increase in muscular strength and size compared to the partial range of squatters.
Also, the full range of squat groups saw an increase in size and strength in the adductors and glutes.
With leg muscle hypertrophy, training through a full range of motion leads to better leg development.
Here are three specific keys you can use to lengthen the muscle:
1. Train full range of motion
2. Do 10-15 minutes of mobility to work to keep muscle tone limber
3. Absolutely wild hypertrophy-based training sessions followed by Yoga the next day to help with recovery and lengthen the muscle belly
To stop being small, you need to train through full ranges of motion. You need to focus on your flexibility to have a longer range of motion to have a greater range of mechanical tension to have greater muscle damage for bigger and bigger muscles.
Yo, It's Dane
Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!
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