This answer (regarding if partial reps are actually effective when the muscle just can't use full range of motion) suggests to use partial reps to target the weaker muscles and "catch them up". The answer explained that I need to identify the weakest point of the rep and do partials reps. This question aims to break down how I do that exactly.

Personally, after a set of bicep curls, I can't do a full set using the whole range of motion. Instead, I end up only going about half way (arm makes about an 80 degree bend). When fixing this with partial reps what should my starting and ending points be? The following are some options I can think:

  1. Start with a fully extended arm and try to lift a little bit beyond my breaking point (~100 degrees)
  2. Start with a slightly bent arm (~45 degrees?) and lift a little bit beyond my breaking point.
  3. Start with a slightly bent arm and finish the curl to the top

  4. Start at breaking point and finish curl to the top

  5. Something completely different.

Which option sounds best?

1 Answer 1


Nothing wrong with ISO's. I would personally get a preacher curl machine do a 3:1 ratio weak:strong. Have a buddy help you do the concentric part of the exercise (when it's coming up toward you) or if you're alone use your other hand to help do the concentric motion only.

Focus on lowering the weight slowly (the weight should be higher than usual so it's pulling you down eccentrically). If you emphasize holding midrange in my experience I've found that more effective so you're doing the range from ~135 >> 45 degrees of elbow flexion.

If both arms are stuck at the same range ~70 is expected, you could go over to chin-up bar and jump or kick yourself back up and lower yourself as slow as possible.

  • Just a note - There are chinup machines that have platforms and counterweights to assist.
    – JohnP
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 18:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.