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Strength and range of motion


New member
Maybe I missed something, but while reading the Naked Warrior and Relax into Stretch I found this - maybe -confusing paradox.
In relax into stretch Pavel say that you get stronger PRIMARILY in ROM you train - so its a waste of time to use the 120 degree abductor machine if you ought to do a full split.
In the NW he says that some russian Dr.s (too lazy to find the names) have busted the myth that ISO's only build strength at the specific angles they are trained.



New member
A stretching machine builds passive ROM by forcing the connective tissues to conform to the machine's setting. This does nothing for strength development and very little for your dynamic ROM. In general, passive stretching has little to do with your active flexibility.

The movements you use for strength development each move you through a given ROM. For example, deep squats train strength through a much greater ROM than quarter squats do. The greater the ROM of the movement, the more strength you will have in extreme ROM when you need it.

Isometrics are designed to move into a particular ROM and maintain tension to build strength. While the tension is held at the maximal point of the particular ROM selected, notable strength increases will be noted at a lesser ROM. Slight strength increases may be noted at a ROM beyond the point at which tension is normally held. Isometrics are useful tools for building strength at "sticking points" where you feel weak in a particular movement and for gradually increasing your comfortable ROM. As your comfortable strength ROM increases, your useful dynamic ROM will also increase.

Pavel Tsatsouline, Thomas Kurz, Scott Sonnon, and others use these concepts in their books and training. The PNF-style stretching that "Relax Into Stretch" is primarily based on uses a short isometric contraction followed by a short relaxation to improve flexibility. Over time, it can build some extreme range strength, but its primary function is to "trick" the nervous system into permitting your muscles to remain more relaxed at greater ranges of motion. Combined with regular isometrics and dynamic strength training, it can support the development of extreme range strength and vastly increased dynamic flexibility.

"Naked Warrior" uses more conventional use of isometrics for pure strength development as opposed to increasing your ROM.

I hope this has clarified things for you. :)

Jason Erickson, CSTwww.ClubbellTrainer.com
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