Range of motion predicts performance in national-level New Zealand male powerlifters
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
National Strength and Conditioning Association
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Previous research established that male powerlifters have less range of motion (ROM) in several movements about the shoulder and hip compared with sedentary male subjects. It is unclear if these differences in ROM are related to strength, training type, and years of training experience or if individuals with less ROM have a better propensity to gain strength. The purpose of this study was to compare strength and ROM in male powerlifters and recreationally strength-Trained male subjects and to determine if ROM would be an effective predictor of strength in these groups. Twelve powerlifters and 12 recreationally strength-Trained control subjects completed 1 repetition maximum (1RM) squat and bench press testing. In a subsequent session, active ROM was measured, and velocity data were collected during submaximal squat repetitions. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) between the groups for age, height, body mass, training experience, and training frequency. Powerlifters had significantly greater (p ≤ 0.05) training duration and absolute squat and bench press 1RM. Powerlifters had significantly less shoulder extension and horizontal abduction, and hip flexion, extension, and adduction than recreationally strength-Trained men. Significant negative relationships were found between 2-lift Wilks score (body mass relative strength) and shoulder extension and horizontal abduction, as well as hip flexion and extension. In powerlifters, significant negative relationships were found between competition Wilks score, shoulder extension, and hip flexion. Because these relationships correspond to the bottom position of the squat and bench press, it may be best to ensure that shoulder extension and hip flexion remain sufficient to achieve competition depth.
Spence, A. J., Helms, E. R., Sousa, C. A., Colby, A. & McGuigan, M. R. (2023). Range of motion predicts performance in national-level New Zealand male powerlifters. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 37(1), 123-128. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000004205