Hey Vic City,
In CrossFit coaches really stress the importance of completing reps to a full range of motion. In my opinion there are two main reasons why we do this, and I think we could all use a little refresher on both of those.
CrossFit workouts are almost always scored. The score is sometimes by weight lifted, often by time, or reps completed. All the above can be good indicators of our overall fitness, but it needs to be measurable and repeatable. Coaches emphasize range of motion, primarily so that if you were to repeat a certain lift or WOD, you would have an accurate idea of what to compare to in the future.
If you have no ROM standard when doing a 1RM back squat, for example, one week you could descend to 45 degrees of knee flexion and lift 500 lbs, but 6 weeks later you might only lift 300 lbs but achieve 100 degrees of knee flexion. So which is better?
Strength is limited to the range of motion that is trained. If you do partial ROM on your squats your legs only get stronger in that specific, partial range. If you do full ROM squats, your legs get the maximum benefits of each repetition and you build strength in that full range.
How many hours are we in the gym a week? 3, 5, 10, maybe 15. Even if we are in the gym for 15 hours a week that leaves you with 153 hours we are NOT at the gym. In that time you are doing natural movements; getting off the toilet, deadlifting things off the ground, grabbing snacks from the top cupboard, etc, etc.
Those 153 hours don't care what you can partially squat. It might not seem important in your younger years, but as you get older just getting yourself off the ground (burpee), or a lunge with the knee to the ground can be extremely tough.
They say Rome wasn't built in a day, so don't expect to have solid movement patterns in your 70s and 80s if you consistent cut corners now.
In summary -
Reason 1 to do full range of motion -
To get an accurate idea of your fitness capabilities and fairly assess your abilities against others completing the same workouts.
Reason 2 to do full range of motion - (more important)
Build and maintain strength, balance, and overall health to increase quality of life as we age.
Scores and PRs might be a big deal now, but as we age and health and independent living are challenged by Father Time, building a base of quality full range of movements RIGHT NOW seems more important if you ask me.
Maybe the question shouldn't be which is better a 500 lb partial squat or 300 lb full ROM, but how about a 45 lb partial range squat and no strength below 90 degrees or being able to get off the toilet by yourself because you can do a full ROM air squat.
TRAINING WEDNESDAY - THURSDAY
WARM - UP: EMOM rotations x 3
1. DB hang power cleans (2 db's) - 10 reps
2. Walking lunge - 10 reps
3. HKR or TTB - 10 reps
WOD: THE VIC CITY SPRINT TRIATHLON
Earlier this summer, we previewed version 1 of the Vic City Triathlon. This time around, we are going to shorten up the distances (and times) to provide a faster pace effort. The same guidelines apply as before - choose a distance series that you can maintain for the whole duration of the wod and try to hang on!
The scaling options are listed in the tables below, note that they are non uniform distances so write them down!