Why thinking about your workout in terms of pushing and pulling can give you serious results


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Photo: Stocksy/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

When people put together their workout routines, it typically involves splitting up the week by body part: leg day, ab day, arm day…you name it. But while you might be building up strength, there seems to be a much better way of getting serious results: the push-pull method.

When Emma Stone trained for La La Land, she wanted to strengthen her body in order to nail the dancing elements of her role. To get her where she needed to be, her trainer Jason Walsh started up a push-pull routine: a technique that focuses on how the body moves rather than the body parts themselves. And one of her primary exercises? Pulling a super-heavy sled. “We focused a lot on the posterior chain—a lot of pulling motions. Things to get the muscles fired and protect and stabilize the spine,” he told Vanity Fair. And he’s not the only one who swears by it.

Jillian Michaels is also a fan of the push-pull style of training, even recommending a weekly circuit routine that focuses on the movements. Here’s how it works: On Mondays and Thursdays, for example, you group all the muscles involved in pushing: your chest, shoulders, triceps, quadriceps, and core. Then on Tuesdays and Fridays, you group the muscles involved in pulling: your back, biceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing exercises that use your own bodyweight or you’re lifting actual weights—it’s effective either way.

There are plenty of benefits to doing a push-pull routine opposed to a body part-centric one. Muscle and Fitness reports the method can burn more calories since you’re working your entire body during each training session—not just your legs or arms. On top of that, it helps you avoid the dreaded over-training that comes with the traditional line-up, ensuring you never stress out your muscles and affect your other workouts. You’ll also have a quicker recovery time and keep your body balanced—something that helps in avoiding injuries.

You don’t need anything complicated to reach your #fitnessgoals. Maybe, you just need to switch the focus.

We scouted the top fitness journals to help you crush your 2019 workouts. And something you should definitely pencil in? 10-minute micro-workouts.

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