“Pull” Your Weight

Guest blogger, Bethany Emerson explains to the MOXIE community how “A Little Pulling Exercise Goes a Long Way” …

In a resistance training routine, it’s important to balance pushing and pulling exercises. Whether a plan works your entire body or focuses on specific body parts, incorporating push and pull exercises is crucial to overall strength, muscular development, and muscular balance.

What Are Pushing and Pulling Exercises?
A push exercise is performed when the muscle pushes weight away from the body during the concentric phase of the movement and then lengthens in the eccentric phase when the weight is moved back toward the body. Pushing exercises include push-ups, bench presses, back squats, and forward lunges. These exercises use prime movers such as the glutes, quadriceps, calves, pectorals, deltoids, and triceps.

A pull exercise, on the other hand, is performed when the muscle pulls weight toward the body during the concentric portion of the movement and then lengthens as the weight moves away from the body during the eccentric portion of the exercise. Pulling exercises use prime movers such as the hamstrings, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, biceps, forearms, obliques, and abdominals.1

A Little Pulling Goes a Long Way
The majority of the muscles used for pulling exercises make up what is known as the posterior chain. The posterior chain is a group of muscles predominantly comprised of tendons and ligaments along the back or posterior of the body, including the neck, back, hips, and legs.2

Modern humans spend a lot of time seated during the day, which inhibits the use of the posterior chain muscles. The posterior chain is the primary mover for forward propulsion, including movements such as jumping, pushing, pulling, running, hopping, twisting, walking, squatting, bending, and even simply getting in and out of a chair. Neglecting your posterior chain can negatively affect your posture, mobility, strength, and flexibility.3

When this happens, your primary movers take a back seat while your stabilizing muscles do the big jobs. This means your support system does all the heavy-duty work, which can lead to daily aches and pains in your back and neck. The best way to avoid this poor movement pattern is to add pulling exercises to your weekly workout routine.

Upper-body pull exercises are divided into two categories: horizontal pull and vertical pull. Horizontal pull exercises include any exercise that moves the weight toward your body horizontally, such as bent-over rows. Vertical pull exercises include any exercise that moves the weight down vertically in relation to the torso, such as pull-ups and lat pulldowns. Elbow flexion exercises, such as bicep curls, fall into the upper-body pull category.

Source: Fix.com Blog

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