Which exercise is better for developing strength and muscle thickness?
- Partial ROM (RangeÂ of Motion) Bench Press, or
- Full ROMÂ Bench Press
In a study published in theÂ Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers concluded that while both exercises are great for developing strength and muscular thickness, theÂ Full ROMÂ Bench Press is superior for developing strength gains.
Volunteers were randomly assigned to three groups:
- full range-of-motion
- partial range-of-motion
Subjects trained two days per week for 10 weeks in a periodized program.
Primary outcome measures included:
- elbow flexion maximal strength measured by 1 repetition max (1-RM),
- elbow flexors MT (muscle thickness) measured by ultrasound.
Results indicated that elbow flexion strength increased in both training groups…
- FULL (25.7 +/- 9.6%)
- PART (16.0 +/- 6.7%)
…but not for the CON group (1.7 +/- 5.5%).
As you can see, FULL 1-RM strength was significantly greater than the PART 1-RM after the 10 week training period.
Average elbow flexors MT significantly increased for both training groups:
- FULL (9.65 +/- 4.4%)
- PART (7.83 +/- 4.9%)
Researchers concluded thatÂ muscle strength and MT can be improved with both FULL and PART resistance training, but FULL may lead to greater strength gains.