Discussions on the importance of the range of movement in the body are very common during our appointments.

Watch the video or read below to understand why.



Reduced Range of Movement Affects Joints Differently

In a previous post, we discussed flexibility and why it’s important. The significance of a reduced range of movement will depend on which joint in the body you’re looking at.

For example:

The normal range of movement in one direction for the:

  • Ankle joint has 0-20°
  • Shoulder joint has 0-180°

If you lack 10°:

  • The ankle joint now moves 0-10° = 50% reduced range of movement
  • The shoulder joint now moves 0-170° = 5.6% reduced range of movement

A 10° restriction is less significant in the shoulder than it is in an ankle. You may start noticing issues around the ankle quicker than if you have issues around the shoulder.

Range of Movement = Building blocks

Look below at the pyramid, which has three different levels to it. Range of movement is at the base as you need an adequate range of movement before working on strength, endurance or functional exercises.

Pyramid showing the importance of range of movement in the body, it's one of the building blocks for movement

If you’ve got your full range of movement, the muscles around that area will be working as they should do and working as efficiently as possible. You can then move onto the strength, endurance or functional exercises. Depending on your sport will depend on the functional exercises you need to do.

If you lack that range of movement, muscles will be overworking and potentially could lead to aches and pains.

You may be someone that’s jumped straight into strength, endurance, or even functional exercises. If so, you’ve missed a significant step of working on your range of movement.

Do you Target your Range of Movement?

If you’re sat for a long time during the day, you may get stiff hips, knees or legs. When you head to the gym or an exercise class (if you’ve got time during the week), what kind of exercises are you focusing on?

Typically, exercises work mainly on strength and endurance and less time is spent on stretches and flexibility.

Here are some suggestions of flexibility exercises for you to try out:

Get your Movement back ASAP

When you work on your range of movement, you want to get your range back as soon as possible. Once you’ve got your range back, you can go into maintenance exercises. This means you don’t need to do the flexibility exercises as often, but perhaps keep repeating them 1-2 times a week.

Important note: If you have (for example) a desk job, you may find improving your range of movement is an ongoing process. This is because sitting causes joints and limbs to get stiff and tight, so you work to improve flexibility, to then go and sit for a long time, which means things become tight again.

Improving your range of movement means you can move onto your strength, endurance, and functional exercises.

Keep in the back of your mind what you’re aiming for, keep track of what you’re doing, and then check to see how you’ve been getting along.


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Knowing the importance of the range of movement for joints in the body can help improve consistency with exercises you’re given. If you’ve got any questions on the above, then please let us know (click for contact details).

Remember – Listen to your Body!

Please remember to listen to your body. Get any aches and pains checked out sooner rather than later.


As with all information given for exercises and exercise programs, when using our exercise videos or information, please use your common sense and don’t do anything that will hurt you. By performing any fitness exercises, you are performing them at your own risk. PhysioFit Health will not be responsible or liable for any injury or harm you sustain as a result of information shared on our website or YouTube channel. This includes emails, videos and text. Thanks for your understanding.

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