Why Personal Trainers Should Take ROM Measurements

We think ROM should be a prerequisite for every human movement professional working with clients


If you’re a personal trainer, then you’ve got clients who want to look and feel good. They want to be strong and perform with an edge. Range of motion is crucial for all of those things. 

Why? Because by taking a range of motion measurement, you learn the length and tension of the muscles associated with that joint. A muscle’s length and tension are the building blocks of good body mechanics. You need solid mechanics to prevent tissue damage, joint wear and tear, and injury.

 A proactive approach to the body is crucial. Personal trainers have access to clients before they are in pain. Personal trainers are the ones recommending stretches and exercises, and teaching clients the biomechanics of movement.

So we know each joint has a job to do. Whether it’s acting as a lever to perform work, stabilizing a load, or assisting another muscle. Each joint has an optimal range that its supposed to move through. By measuring a joint, you are indirectly measuring the length and tension of the associated muscle, deriving which muscles are tight and short. But even more valuable than discerning which muscles are too tight? Discovering which are asymmetrical.

If you find an asymmetry from left to right, the tension imbalance can pull the skeletal frame out of alignment. These asymmetries will manifest as one shoulder higher than the other, or one leg that feels longer than the other, or a torso that is rotated more to one side. 

Taking range of motion measurements quantifies exactly which muscles need to be stretched. Maybe it’s not a bilateral stretch.

 These measurements are paramount for personal trainers. Arguably, they are a prerequisite to working with a client. How can you select stretches and exercises without knowing what’s tight? You can’t always see tightness.

 What would happen if you recommended a stretch to a hyper mobile muscle? What if you were consistently reinforcing your client’s muscle tightness by assigning an improper exercise?


Niki Driscoll