Submissions from Readers

Range Of Motion for Rep for Exercise

Question:How much of the range of motion for the arm should be used for exercising? Or what do you recommend would count as a good "rep" to be used to count reps?

Answer: My response to that question would depend on the movement available to the patient. If I was working with a stroke patient that had regained movement and function and was simply needing a strength building routine then I would use exercise reps used in the general population for strengthening which is often 10-20 reps for several sets.

If, however, the patient has impaired movement/coordination, paralysis or only partial movement (which is the case with many stroke patients) then I would recommend hundreds of repetitions of functional movement each day since large amounts of repetition is needed for neuroplastic changes to take place in the brain. This would not be in the form of exercises like bicep curls but rather in repetition of functional activities that the patient wants to be able to do such as picking up objects, moving objects from one place to another, combing the hair, brushing the teeth, etc. Basically, there is no one size fits all answer to your question, but if you are looking to have a stroke patient regain movement and make neuroplastic changes in the brain, then there will be a lot of practice and repetition needed. Results will vary depending on the patient's existing movement, motivation, and the complexity of the task they are trying to complete.

Comments for Range Of Motion for Rep for Exercise

Amount of Range of Motion

If, for example, you could trace a "map" of the range of motion, is it typical for people to do home exercises using motions that go right to the edge of their range of motion? Or is it enough to go to about 1/2 or 75% of the total range of motion?

Answer from You would want to go through your full available range of motion (don't lock or hyperextend joints though) for most exercises. There are specialized exercises where you may only work on certain points of your range of motion such as working on terminal knee extension, but in general for most exercises, you would try and use your full range.

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