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The Push/Pull Strength Method For Symmetry

The Push/Pull Strength Method For Symmetry

  1. Are you workouts structured to promote balance and symmetry in your body?
  2. Is your physical posture and body alignment the it should be?
  3. Are you familiar with agonist and antagonist muscles?

If you’re looking for an efficient and smart way to structure your workouts then you need to consider using the push/pull strength method. When training to obtain optimal strength and muscular development you need to be aware of your body’s needs and make sure that you’re training for balance and symmetry.

Push/Pull Strength Method

So what is the Push/Pull strength method? This is a very intelligent way to program your workouts as the Push/Pull strength method is designed for you to train opposing muscle groups in order to help you to eliminate imbalances, or asymmetries in your body which could lead to poor postural development and possibly even injury.

This method essentially involves you training agonist and antagonist muscles within a given working set. So what are agonist and antagonist muscles?

Agonist: During a given movement the prime movers that are involved in providing the greatest amount of force to produce the movement are known as your agonists. For instance, if you’re performing a bicep curl then your biceps would be the agonist because the bicep is responsible for your elbow flexion.

Antagonist: Is the muscle that opposes the action of the primary mover.

Let’s use the bicep curl again as an example. During the bicep curl the bicep muscle would be the agonist where your triceps would be the antagonist muscle in this movement because the triceps must relax in order for you to perform the bicep curl.

During the Push/Pull strength method you might perform a set of close grip tricep presses (pushing movement) followed by a bicep curl (pulling movement). By performing these movements one after the other you’re directly training these opposing muscle groups which will promote better symmetry in terms of the development of your arms.

Another example might be that you perform the bench press (push) followed by a set of pull-ups (pull). Once again by programming this way you are promoting better symmetry with your chest, back, and shoulders so that you can develop a more proper postural alignment.

Push/Pull Strength Method Combination Sets

When programming your workouts with the Push/Pull Strength Method you can structure and execute them in a couple of different ways.

Supersets: This is where you would perform the push movement and with little to no rest turn around and perform a pulling related movement. This method is great if you’re looking to raise your level of exertion while cranking out a time efficient calorie burning strength workout. Get ready to work with this set up because you’ll yield a hell of a conditioning effect as well.

Alternating sets: This is where you would perform a push movement, wait 2 to 3 minutes and perform a pull movement, wait 2 to 3 more minutes before going back to the pushing movement. You would continue this pattern until you complete the desired number of sets involved with both pushing and pulling related exercises.

With alternating sets you can lift much heavier weight and you will notice an explosion in your strength gains in both the pushing and pulling related exercises after the first combination set!

I’ve personally had students (and myself) to hit new PR’s from doing alternating sets in a given workout. You’re going to be surprised at your strength gains with this one.

Push/Pull Strength Method: The Takeaway

At the end of the day you need to be smart about how you go about structuring your training in order to eliminate any asymmetries in your body. You also need to be efficient with your strength so that you can feel confident that your workouts are both productive and optimizing your physical function.

Are you incorporating a push and pull method with your workouts? 

What type of set up are you currently using with your strength and conditioning program? 

Post up and share here in the comments below. 

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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