Range of Motion and Safety
Full range of motion training appears to be safe, and should be the basis of the majority of your training. Partial range can be included strategically in more moderate to advanced programs.
Deep squats do not cause damage to the knee or spine due to the “wrapping effect”. The wrapping effect encompasses functional adaptations and soft tissue contact between the back of the thigh and calf.
“Statistically significant difference was found between the full range-of-motion group and the partial and mixed groups (p < 0.5). This finding suggests that lifting through a full range of motion was superior to the other training regimens used in this study. However, this investigation also indicated that the partial technique had a positive effect on strength across time within the parameters of this study.”
“Full range of motion (FULL) 1RM strength was significantly greater than the partial range of motion (PART) 1RM after the training period. Average elbow flexor muscle thickness (MT) significantly increased for both training groups (9.65 ± 4.4% for FULL and 7.83 ± 4.9 for PART). These data suggest that muscle strength and MT can be improved with both FULL and PART resistance training, but FULL may lead to greater strength gains.”
“The practical implications for this body of work follow that full range of motion should be observed in resistance training where increased muscle strength and size are the objective, because we demonstrate here that ROM should not be compromised for greater external loading.”
“Deep-squat training appears to elicit the best improvement for both shallow-and deep-squatting performance.”
Training deep squats elicited more favourable adaptations on knee extensor muscle size and function compared to training shallow squats.