If you applied this one rule to every training or injury rehabilitation session, not only would those sessions be more effective, they would also be a lot safer as a result.
It’s the one change that would turn every exercise class into a challenge for your muscular system, even stretching. And thinking in this way would also reduce your aches and pains.
Enough already I hear you say! What is it?
Respect your active range of motion.
What?! Allow me to explain using this example. Lay down on your back and slowly lift one leg up as high as it will go before returning it to the floor. Now try the same with the other. Did one leg go higher than the other?
If so why do you think that was? What stopped you from going further?
The answer is your brain. Yes really. You will no doubt have felt tension in the back of your leg restricting the movement but that tension is regulated by your central nervous system (CNS). The primary focus of your CNS is to keep you safe, so if that’s where it stops your leg, there’s a good reason for it.
Now let’s relate that back to exercise. If your brain decides how far your limbs should move, what would be the point of overriding that decision? This would be rather like consulting every expert in a particular field and then deciding to do the opposite of what they advise.
In my experience ignoring that decision is the biggest mistake you can make and doing so will limit your progress.
The next time you exercise have this concept in your mind. Don’t let an external force, be it gravity, a weight, or another person, take you into a position you can’t get to under your own steam.
Employing this simple but profound change will see your progress accelerate whatever your goal is.