What Are Partial Reps And What Is Its Importance?

TSquared Lab, 20 Jan 2022
Lifestyle

When it comes to workouts, you need to consider various factors to create a
workout plan. For example, to become stronger and how your training impacts
your body. That is you need to choose the right exercise, lift the right
weight, do the right number of reps, complete the set, obtain the proper
rest, etc.

The frequency, volume, and reps of your workout plan are all factors that
determine whether you’ll make progress. So then, how can we figure out how
many repetitions are better to gain muscles or strength, or if volume or
frequency matters?

Let’s discuss what partial reps are and how they are used to build strength
and size.

Understanding Partial Reps

Exercises in which part of the range of motion is simulated are called
partially reps. They are repetitions when you do not use a full range of
motion in an exercise.

You can do partial repetitions for 3/4, half, or even less of the whole
movement. For instance, while squatting, you only go down a few inches
instead of squatting fully. Instead of pulling a loaded barbell from the
floor, the barbell is placed on a power rack or squat rack, and pins are
used to adjust the height.

Deliberately stop during the concentric portion before going to the
eccentric part of the exercise, for example, during a dumbbell chest press.
Thus, not locking out your elbow at the top part of the movement but only
working at the bottom to the mid-range.

What Are The Benefits Of Partial Reps For Muscle Growth?

Partial reps allow you to train with heavier weights. In general,
heavyweights are considered better for muscle growth. Hence, shortening the
range of motion shouldn’t be an issue.

For instance, let’s say you bench 225 pounds, bringing the bar to your
chest. If you began doing partial repetitions, the bar would probably only
need to be three to four inches above the chest. Thus, a bench press of 250
pounds would not be much more difficult.

Increasing the level of mechanical tension on your muscles over time will
help them to grow. In this instance, volume is the amount of weight lifted,
the number of repetitions, the distance covered. Essentially, you measure
how much resistance your muscles must generate.

A full rep allows you to use a longer range of motion but forces you to use
lighter weights and fewer repetitions, while a partial rep allows you to
add more weight and reps during a miniature range of motion.

Progressive overload refers to the process of increasing one or all of
these variables over time, so to build muscle, this is a worthwhile
endeavor.

How To Gain Strength And Size Using Partial Reps?

Partial reps are done when you are trying to grow a muscle without wasting too much energy. It is usually done during a muscle-building phase and not the fat-loss phase. When you are training, you want tension in a muscle to make it bigger and stronger; however, not all exercises are perfect.

Perfecting an exercise means engaging the muscles through the entire range of motion. Unfortunately, the load is working against gravity when using dumbbells and barbells, and your muscles are not all built in the same direction.

For example, your chest has three divisions. One is from the armpit towards the side of the chest (coastal pec) and one towards the middle (sternal pec) with another towards the collar bone (clavicle pec).

When you are doing an incline dumbbell chest press, the weight from the dumbbell is not towards the middle of the chest like an abduction. As you are lowering the dumbbell to the bottom, the dumbbell stretches the pecs and it actually is closer to the pull from the upper chest or clavicle pec.

Whether or not this exercise is useful depends on the purpose of the exercise. For growing muscles, it is superior if you spend your time at the bottom doing partial reps rather than full reps. The tension in the set is much greater and more constant if you are doing a full range of motion.

Which Workout Benefits From Partial Reps?

You can convert almost all exercises into half-rep movement, except those that put too much pressure on the shoulder joints. But some exercises will yield more benefits as partial reps.

Potential reps of an exercise, along with your regular full-ROM workout, can aid you in muscle-building, fat-blasting, and even weight loss.

Weight and repetitions will be based on your current fitness and training levels. Listed are some of the exercises that can result in more benefits.

  1. Bench Press

Trainers recommend doing bench press exercises with a full range of motion
before progressing to half-reps, as it is a foundational strength movement.

A half-rep bench press targets the chest and triceps muscles, which are
often under-worked in women.

  1. Biceps Curl

If you are new to biceps curls, start with weights around 40-50 percent of
your one-rep max or a weight easy to lift for seven repetitions without
stopping.

Once you reach that point, weights or repetitions may be increased
accordingly.

  1. Squat

During a half-rep squat, you keep parallel, increasing strength without
stopping beyond your breaking point, so your butt never drops below your
knees.

A muscle breakdown occurs when it is put under tension continuously for one
full rep and one-half rep within a series, leading to a stronger muscle
when it has fully recovered.

  1. Split Squat

Split squats give you an excellent method of strengthening the glutes and
quadriceps to build muscles.

Muscles are created, hamstring tension and tendonitis are prevented, and
old injuries are not aggravated.

The Benefits Of Partial Rep Workouts

There are many advantages of performing partial rep workouts. Let’s have a look at the major ones:

  1. Overcome A Plateau

Partially replacing the movement allows you to train through muscles that
haven’t yet been strained, through which you can train the heavy part of
the movement without straining muscles.

If you’ve reached a plateau with partial reps, try adding heavier barbell
weight to the beginning of the set and lifting it as far as you can for,
say, one to three partial biceps curls or working within the first foot of
a deadlift.

A partial repetition can be used if you cannot complete one more repetition
without seriously compromising your ROM or form. It is primed to process
signals for movement, allowing you to perform exercises with less effort.

  1. Improvement Of Form And Technique

By performing partial repetitions, you can begin developing neuromuscular
networks for easier movements. Then, when you have a weight appropriate for
both ranges of motion of the movement, you can increase reps or weight.

While you are working on your form and technique, you should lighten the
load to focus more on the muscle movements instead of the load. It will
ultimately help you become more comfortable and stable with your movements.
Correct form and technique can be achieved by guidance from expert personal
trainers who have years of experience and knowledge under their belts.

  1. Recovery From An Injury

When injured, building partial reps into your training won’t put pressure
on the injury points. For instance, squatting with half reps won’t put much
pressure on those joints for someone with an ankle or knee injury.

You can continue training while undergoing rehabilitation by
using partial reps. However, as an athlete, you need to consult a
specialist about continuing on your own since it will depend on the
specific injury.

  1. Overcome The Limitations Of Mobility

In strength training, flexibility and range of motion go hand in hand, and
tight hips, stiff ankles, or knee pain might restrict mobility and range of
motion, at least temporarily, requiring partial repetitions.

Strength training must be combined with mobility exercises and stretches to
prevent injury and enable your body to increase its range of motion over
time gradually. For example, if you don’t have the mobility to squat fully,
you should sit part of the way down in a squat.

Conclusion

Ideally, you should experience the full range of motion in a movement But,
partial reps and pauses occasionally help break the plateau.

When training a specific muscle tissue, knowing when you are using it and
spending all your effort there can help you build a better body. In
addition, keeping an eye on your overall training regimen is vital to
maximizing muscle growth, strength gains and overall body transformation.

It can be hard to keep track of yourself. That’s why working out under the
guidance of fitness professionals in a fitness center like TSquared Lab can
ensure your efforts are aligned with your goals.

Neither women nor men should overwork their muscles, so allow them adequate
recovery time. Sometimes it is a matter of using a different exercise.
Every exercise is useful in different phases, you just don’t do them all
together in every different training phase.

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q. What are Partial Reps?

A. Exercises in which part of the range of motion is simulated are called partially reps. They are repetitions when you do not use a full range of motion in an exercise.

Q. How are Partial reps beneficial?

A. Partial reps allow you to train with heavier weights. A full rep allows you to use a longer range of motion but forces you to use lighter weights and fewer repetitions, while a partial rep allows you to add more weight and reps during a miniature range of motion.

Q. How to prevent injuries from strength training?

A. Strength training must be combined with mobility exercises and stretches to prevent injury and enable your body to increase its range of motion over time gradually.

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