Today’s topic will be the Push and Pull Principle.
So let’s preface for a moment here…
Our body has several large muscle groups that work in tandem to provide us with both pushing and pulling movements within the planes of our physical world around us.
Some of these muscle groups specialize in pushing weight away from us (Pectorals, Shoulders, Triceps, Quads) and some of them specialize in pulling weight towards us (Back, Biceps, Glutes, Hamstrings.)
The key to overall body strength, proper posture, and preventing muscle burn out is to capitalize on this knowledge when training so that way you do not end up creating an imbalance.
Further tying in, we must understand that our Pushing and Pulling muscles also fall into two separate chains of muscles; Anterior and Posterior (Just fancy words for Front and Back.)
Our Anterior muscles (front) provide us with Pushing power.
The Posterior (back) provide us with Pulling power.
An exercise that fully activates our Anterior chain would be the Front Squat.
An exercise that fully activates our Posterior chain would be the Dead Lift.
So with following our progression so far, you should be starting to see why the Squat and Dead Lift are considered two of the most important exercises for total body strength and toning. Not only are the most muscles activated through the body, but they both directly affect our principle moving mechanisms of pushing and pulling.
Moving on! High-Ho Silver, Awaaaaaaay!
When using this methodology to create a routine or program, you can do split sets: working a group of pushing muscles, followed by working a group of pulling muscles.
By doing this, you are using the rest time your pushing muscles need to be ready for the next set and also challenging your cardiovascular system to keep working hard under prolonged conditions of duress.
Example: After performing a set of Bench Press, you could follow that with a set ofBent Over Rowing (Underhand Grip to work those Biceps.)
This allows you to go back and forth with minimal “wasted time” while allowing your muscles to recuperate enough to provide maximum ATP for a solid Strength Set.
And let’s face it. The number one complaint of newbies is “Not enough time” so why waste a second of it?
Another way to capitalize on this principle and get the most out of your training is to split your days. In one session, focus solely on Pushing muscles and the muscles of theAnterior chain. While they are recuperating on a different day, focus on the Pullingmuscles and the Posterior chain. This will allow you to really give the muscles groups a hard workout and not over train your body while waiting for them to recuperate.
Example: One day would comprise of Squats, Bench Presses, Shoulder Presses, and Tricep Extensions. It’s opposite day would comprise Dead Lifts, Rows, Chin Ups, Bicep curls, just to name a few.
So now you’ve got some knowledge and knowledge is power. Go forth, and craft your routines and shape your futures starting with your physical prowess!
If you need ideas, or a really good resource for exercises that work specific muscle groups, check out…
and go to their muscle and exercise directory. It is an invaluable resource, and while you’re at it, surf around a bit. They have a plethora of knowledge readily available to further help you in your goals for fitness!