Each primary muscle group is either specified as a push muscle group or a pull muscle group.
A push muscle group is where the muscle tissue contracts when the weight is pushed away from the body (concentric portion) & lengthens as the weight is returned towards the body (eccentric portion).In simple words, muscle groups that tend to contract as the weight is pushed away from the body are considered push muscle groups.
E.g., the pectoral (chest) muscle group is considered a push muscle group. When you are performing a flat barbell bench press, the pectoral muscle contracts as the weight is pushed away from your chest (concentric movement) and lengthen as the weight is returned to the chest (eccentric movement).
A pull muscle group is where the muscle tissue contracts as the weight are pulled toward the body (concentric portion) & lengthens as the weight is extended away from the body (eccentric portion).
E.g., the biceps muscle is a perfect example of a pull muscle group. When you perform a barbell curl, your biceps tend to contract as the barbell is pulled toward the chest (concentric movement) & lengthens as the barbell is returned to the initial position in front of the quadriceps (eccentric movement).
Primary Push Muscle Groups
The muscle groups listed below are considered as primary push muscle groups. These are the muscles you need to prioritize while making a push training plan for yourself to reap the maximum benefits & build a symmetrical physique.
Calves: The muscle group present in the lower portion of the back of your leg below your knee joint.
Deltoids: The muscle group that makes up a large portion of the curve of your shoulder.
Gluteal: The muscles of your posterior.
Pectorals: The muscles of your chest.
Quadriceps: The big muscle group located at the front of your leg between your hip and knee joint.
Triceps: The muscle group with three heads situated at the back of your arm between your shoulder and elbow.
Primary Pull Muscle Groups
The muscle groups listed below are considered as primary pull muscle groups. These are the muscle groups you need to prioritize to build up your pull strength and symmetrical physique.
Abdominals: The muscle group that makes up the front of your midsection.
Biceps: The muscle group with two heads located at the front of your arm between your shoulder and elbow.
Forearms: The muscle group located on the lower arm between your elbow and wrist.
Hamstrings: The muscle group located at the back of your legs between your gluteals and knee joint.
Latissimus Dorsi: The muscle group located on the sides of your upper back under the armpit.
Obliques: The muscles located on the sides of your mid-section.
Trapezius: The muscle group located on the sides of your neck.
Push/Pull Weight Training Routine Benefits
The push/pull weight training program is one of the most popular workout routines among bodybuilders and athletes because it optimizes recovery time between workouts and helps create a symmetrical & well-balanced physique. Here is a simple Push-Pull workout routine:
Workout 1 – Push
Bench Press 3 X 5 – 7
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 X 6 – 8
Incline Dumbbell Press 3 X 8 – 10
Side Lateral Raises 2 X 10 – 12
Triceps Pushdowns 2 X 8 – 10
Overhead Triceps Extension 2 X 8 – 10
Workout 2 – Pull
Bent-over Row 3 X 5 – 7
Pull Ups 3 X 6 – 8
Barbell Shrugs 3 X 8 – 10
Face Pulls 2 X 10 – 12
Barbell Curl 2 X 8 – 10
Dumbbell Hammer Curl 2 X 8 – 10
Workout 3 – Legs/Abs
Squats 3 X 6 – 8
Romanian Deadlifts 2 X 8 – 10
Leg Press 2 X 10 – 12
Leg Curl 2 X 10 – 12
Calf Raise 4 X 8 – 10
Hanging Leg Raise 2 X 10 – 15
Benefits of push-pull workout regimen
Performing a push/pull weight training regimen gives you flexibility when defining the exercises, you want to include in your program. You get to choose from a wider variety of muscle groups when determining your push/pull workout program as you divide all major muscle groups across the number of cycles required to exercise each of them.
Traditional bodybuilding workout routine involves training a single body part per day. This means you train your chest one day, legs the next, arms the day after, and so forth. In this way, you're training one muscle group only once a week, whereas if you follow a push/pull workout regimen & are working out six days a week, you get a chance of hitting every muscle group twice. This gives your body a better opportunity to show better growth & also recover.
This routine helps you create muscle balance & symmetry. Many people tend to overwork their chest versus their back or legs. Following a simple pushing and pulling workout, you create a more balanced physique.
A well-designed push/pull routine helps you to prevent injuries while working out. Overtraining major muscle groups are a common way to injure yourself. Maintaining a balance between push and pull moves will help you not stress & overwork your muscles & give you plenty of recovery time between workouts.
No matter what your weight training experience is, it would help if you always took the time to warm up and perform dynamic stretching before lifting weights properly. Listed below are a few additional general tips related to weight training:
For each exercise you perform, select a weight and repetitions that are challenging but not impossible to do. If the final reps of a set feel too easy, the odds are good that you should be using heavier weight or add more reps.
Allow each muscle group 24 - 48 hours of rest before working it out again. This will give your muscle group the necessary time to recover and repair the damaged muscle tissue & help you grow.
Learn to listen to your body & know the difference between "good pain" and "bad pain." Good pain generally consists of muscle soreness due to the workout & disappears on its own within a day or two. Slight joint soreness and stiffness are also possible symptoms of good pain. However, the muscle or joint pain that persists for a long time or feels especially acute and severe is considered bad pain & maybe an indication that the muscle or joint is being stressed or overworked.