Biomechanics is often mistaken for just the action being performed. However, it’s important to understand that regardless of the action, it’s how our musculature contributes to that action that determines which aspects of our biomechanics need work.

Range of motion (ROM) is the amount of movement that occurs at a joint. ROM is an important consideration in strength training because it can impact how much weight can be lifted and the effectiveness of an exercise. ROM in resistance training can vary depending on the muscle or joint being worked.

Let us further under the relationship between ROM and Biomechanics via few exercises:

For example, in a chest press/chest fly, it may not be necessary to retract the shoulders too far back, as this can engage the upper back muscles before the pectorals. However, a sportsman may benefit from retraction to engage multiple muscle groups, such as the chest, upper back, anterior and posterior deltoids, and biceps.

In exercises like the reverse fly or row, sportsmen may think about targeting the upper traps and rotator cuff muscles, but it is also important to focus on the rhomboids, which play a significant role in power generation during a swing and in maintaining a healthy thoracic spine. And to engage ‘rhamboids’ one has to retract their shoulders fully.

The lat pulldown exercise is an excellent example of how biomechanics affects exercise effectiveness. In the picture, it is clear that the exercise primarily targets the latissimus dorsi and teres major muscles, while minimizing the involvement of the shoulder muscles, middle traps, biceps, and rotator cuff, which are not the primary muscles being targeted.

Although the exercise may seem simple, it requires many muscles to act as synergists and stabilizers which can make it challenging to perform correctly. The upper trapezius muscle gets eccentrically contracted in controlling the weight. This compounding nature makes it an excellent exercise for sportsmen since it trains the entire upper back

Biomechanics is not just about ensuring exercise form looks correct from the outside; it is also about ensuring that the exercise is mechanically correct for the entire musculature not just the targeted muscle/s.

In summary, the lat pulldown (or pull ups) is a great exercise for developing upper back strength, but it’s important to perform it correctly to avoid injury and maximize its effectiveness.

Learning about range of motion (ROM) can have a significant impact on biomechanics, and vice versa. Biomechanics is the study of how forces and movements affect the body, while ROM refers to the range of motion that a joint can move through.

Understanding the limitations of ROM for a particular joint can help inform biomechanical assessments and exercise prescriptions. For example, if an individual has limited ROM in their hip joint, it may affect their gait pattern, and place additional stress on other joints and muscles, potentially leading to injury.

Conversely, an understanding of biomechanics can inform the selection of exercises and stretches that can help increase ROM in a joint. By strengthening and stretching the muscles that surround a joint, it is possible to improve its mobility and function.

Therefore, a thorough understanding of both ROM and biomechanics is essential for optimizing movement and reducing the risk of injury.