When you go to the gym, you want to get the most from every rep, set and exercise. That means working not just harder, but smarter.
That’s when considerations such as biomechanics, physics and anatomy come into play, says Justin Kompf, a strength and conditioning specialist at Clientel3 fitness studio in Boston. “Small adjustments to form and technique allow you to overload the muscles and increase the amount of work you do during a given amount of time,” he explains. “This can result in greater hypertrophy, or muscle size gains, neural adaptations or just more efficient workouts.”
Fortunately, even if you didn’t major in exercise physiology, you can still train like an expert. Below, trainers share 11 easy ways to get greater benefits from your favorite exercises.
1. Use your full range of motion. During each strength training exercise, prioritizing moving through a full range of motion is crucial. For example, lower all the way to the floor when performing pushups, and when performing rows, don’t stop until you’ve pulled as far as you can. There are specific instances in which someone might want to add some partial range of motion exercises to their routine.
However, performing an exercise with a full range of motion trains a greater percentage of a given muscle’s fibers compared to performing the same exercise with a partial range of motion. That means more calories burned and muscle gained, Komf says.