Range of motion (ROM) What should it be?

(ROM) - What should it be?

Range of motion (ROM) refers to the degree of movement available at the site of a specific joint, but did you know that there are two types?


Active (AROM) is movement of a joint provided entirely by the individual performing the exercise, there is no outside force aiding in the movement. When an individual completes an active ROM the nervous and muscular system will need to be recruited which will aid in developing your motor control.

2. Passive (PROM)

Passive (PROM) is movement applied to a joint solely by external force such as a training partner, band, straps etc. When passive range of motion is applied, the joint is completely relaxed while the outside force moves the body part. When an individual completes a passive ROM then this is developing nervous inhibition and flexibility.

The Gap between AROM and PROM

Issues can arise if there becomes a sizeable gap between active and passive ROM or if passive ROM is insufficient. If this is left over time then this may result faulty movement patterns and tight compensatory musculature around the specific joint, ultimately leading to asymmetry or an inability to maintain regular activity or loading patterns while exercising.


Sedentarism, poor daily posture, incorrect exercise form, technique and poor flexibility are all culprits to decreasing ROM. That is why it is essential to balance your flexibility and mobility work with functional strength compound movements and isolated exercises or accessory work, to maintain appropriate mobility and strength around a joint.

How do you fair?
Take a look at our interactive AROM guide to find out?

Download our free Interactive AROM guide here.

Active range of motion  guide

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