Monday Motivation (WEEK 4): Pushing & Pulling Exercises
Welcome back to the fourth edition of Monday Motivation! This week we will be discussing upper body pushing and pulling exercises. Many programs do not have an ideal ratio when it comes to the amount of pushing vs pulling exercises they implement in their programs.
I wanted to start real quick by discussing the dumbbell bench press. Most trainers or individuals do the basic dumbbell bench press. Another variation of the dumbbell bench press that I really enjoy is the single arm dumbbell press while stabilizing the other arm. With keeping that one arm extended straight up, that will help develop core strength, shoulder stability, and single arm strength. Like I said before, leave your ego at the door. You will not be able to lift as much in this dumbbell bench press but it will be so much more beneficial to your overall fitness level.
In discussing how a program should be designed for pushing and pulling exercises. The ratio should be 1:1 in the number of pushes to pulls you perform. If you ignore the rowing (pulling) movement it will lead to overdevelopment of the pressing muscles, leading to postural problems and in the end shoulder injuries. The amount of rotator cuff injuries who perform a great deal of bench press variations is extremely high. This is a result of lack of appropriate ratio of the pulling movements.
The best way to see if you have the right amount of muscle in both pulling/pushing exercises is by comparing your max bench wait to the number of pull-ups you can do. For example, a male weighing 200 lb who can bench press 300lb. should be able to perform 12-15 pull-ups. For females, they may actually be able to perform a better ratio of pull-ups to the bench press. Females who can bench their body weight can perform around 5-10 pull-ups.
In Good Health Always,
Sean Maloney and the Tone Up Club Team