End Range Training Explained
What is end-range training?
End-range training is a system of exercising that allows us to isolate the major weaknesses present within our movement patterns and intensively train them across multiple ranges of function. These ranges will be highly dependent on the requirements that the sport or activity the person is engaging in.
Still confused? Maybe a visual will help…
The easiest way to explain this system is with a very basic movement like a bicep curl. Here is the strength curve in relation to the joint angle of a few different bicep curl variations:
Notice how the amount of force produced at different angles of the elbow joint varies tremendously. Also notice how despite varying in slope, all the joints have an “inverted U” shape, producing less force at the end-ranges (near the ends of the graph), than at the middle. What the end-range training system does is isolate the parts of the movement that are the weakest (more often than not, the end-ranges) and acutely train those areas to increase their force production. The example used is a simple bicep curl, but this same concept applies to EVERY SINGLE JOINT and EACH ONE OF IT’s MOTIONS across your whole body (yes, include your spine, your toes, your neck, and maybe some joints you didn’t even know existed like your acromioclavicular joint)
As you may imagine, if you cannot PRODUCE force at the end-ranges, you also cannot ABSORB force there. Guess what will happen if you are ever put in a range of motion during your sport or training session, and the tissues of the area don’t have the ability to absorb enough force to meet the demands of the exterior? That’s right, INJURY.
But that is not all…
Another benefit of end-range training is that it allows us to tap into types of training that is not conventionally popular to say the least: connective tissue training and joint training.
Yes you heard me right, you can train your connective tissues and your joints. These two, along with muscle tissue and the central nervous system are what is considered the “4 Ecologies of Training”. Only by training all 4 you are getting a complete package to improve your movement. Sadly, most personal trainers and fitness centers only focus on one out of the three… your muscles.
The reality is that the amount of muscle tissue you can grow, and how much it can develop in terms of strength, speed and endurance is limited by how much and how strong your connective tissues are, since they are the ones that support the muscles to perform their functions. And as for joints, without their proper functioning, the muscles are plain useless.
Since those 2 ecologies of training usually go untrained throughout someone’s entire lifetime, those are usually the weakest spots of most people’s movement patterns. This means that most injuries occur not at the muscle tissue, but at the connective tissue level. End-range training gives us a way of training and strengthening these tissues, severely decreasing injury risk.
Unlike muscle tissue, connective tissue does not have any direct blood supply route. Blood is the body fluid primarily responsible for the transportation of nutrients and substances that are vital for the recovery of tissues that have been damaged by exercise. End-range training allows us to “force blood” into the connective tissues, allowing them the proper nutrients they need to heal, strengthen, and perform at a higher level.
End range training is VITAL for any athlete or gym goer that takes their exercise seriously. Both the injury prevention properties, as well as the performance enhancing ones can strongly benefit those that take pride in having their body at peak performance.
Further benefits of end range training
-Better body control
-Improved joint function
All of these, at the end of the day, improve performance.