The debate over partial range lifts has long persisted within the fitness community. While some insist on full range of motion (ROM) exercises, considering partials as a form of cheating, others associate partials with ego lifting or social media stunts. However, it’s important to recognize that partial range lifts have their merits when used correctly. Although they cannot replace full ROM exercises, partials can effectively address specific sticking points and mobility limitations.
Here are five proven partial exercises that can help enhance your strength and muscle-building efforts:
Hang Power Clean: This exercise is a shortened version of the power clean, starting from a tall position and limiting the range of motion to knee level. This variation reduces stress on the lower back and simplifies the complex movement while improving explosive hip extension, muscle fiber recruitment, and muscle stimulation.
Bottoms-Up Front Squat: To address issues with front squats, this exercise begins from the bottom, forcing you to engage your core and maintain proper spinal alignment. This eliminates the stretch reflex and ensures an optimal position for the lift.
Band-Resisted Box Squat: This exercise targets back squats, especially for individuals with limited mobility. Using a box and resistance bands, it helps control eccentric movements, reduce injury risks, and enhance strength and power by altering the resistance curve.
Trap Bar Deadpull: Designed as a modification of the conventional deadlift, this exercise is ideal for individuals whose form breaks down when pulling heavy weights. It reduces stress on the spine and focuses on the lower body, helping you build stability and strength.
Trap Bar Hanging Deadlift: Also known as a one-and-a-half deadlift, this exercise combines a full deadlift with a partial deadlift to the base of the knee before locking out. It increases time under tension, promotes trunk stiffness, and adds volume to your training while reducing shearing stress on the spine.
Including these joint-friendly partial range exercises in your training regimen strategically can help you overcome sticking points and protect your joints while promoting strength and muscle growth. While they can’t replace full ROM lifting, they offer a valuable addition to your fitness routine.