Full range of motion exercises for sports performance
In most sports, especially field based sports, we rarely bring our muscles through a full range of motion. Jumping for a ball do you squat the full way down until your hamstrings are on top of your calves? No, we will quarter squat down and explode out of that position as quickly as possible. So taking this into account, do we always have to train our muscles through a full range?
The answer is both yes and no.
Shortened range of motion lifts can be used to strengthen a specific position that is vital to your sport. When we use shortened range of motion it allows us to overload the specific muscle fibres needed to preform the action. However, if we use shortened range of motion exercises exclusively, this will lead to reduced range of motion of the working muscles and decreased joint stability.
Here is an example that can be used to improve acceleration and vertical jumping. The first video is an Top half Inertia Back Squat, this is a shortened range of motion exercise in the specific range that these two qualities occur. Using inertia reps in which you have to pause at the bottom for 2 seconds requires you to overcome the weight from a dead stop position (like you have to do in an acceleration from a stopped position). The second video is a full range of motion Front Squat, this will work the muscle through its full range of motion. This exercise will maintain your mobility and stability through both the working muscles and joints.
This could be used in a session as follows to improve acceleration or vertical jumping:
A1 - Top Half Inertia Back Squat - Rest 60 seconds
A2 - Box Jump (vertical jump emphasis)/10 Yard Prowler Sprint (acceleration emphasis) - Rest 180 seconds
B1 - Front Squat
B2 - Glute Ham Raise