Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Calves

Push/Pull Routines – Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Calves

quadriceps squats

Combining primary muscle groups under the push/pull weight training
concept is the most common form of strength
training routine. More specifically, a push/pull
weight training routine includes exercising push
muscle groups and pull muscle groups during the
same workout session.

A push muscle group can be defined as a muscle group in which the muscle contracts when the weight is pushed away from the body (i.e. the concentric portion of the movement). In addition, the push muscles lengthen as the weight is returned back toward the body (i.e. the eccentric portion of the movement).

For instance, the pectorals (chest) muscles are defined as a push muscle group. When performing a flat barbell bench press, the pectorals muscles contract as the weight is pushed away from the chest (concentric portion) and lengthen as the weight is lowered back to the chest (eccentric portion).

Below is a list of the primary muscle groups
that are considered push muscle groups:

  • Calves

  • Deltoids

  • Gluteals

  • Pectorals

  • Quadriceps

  • Triceps

The pull muscles contract as the weight is pulled toward the body (i.e. the concentric portion of the movement) and lengthens as the weight is extended further from the body (i.e. the eccentric portion of the movement). For example, the biceps are considered a pull muscle group. When performing the standing barbell curl exercise, the biceps contract as the barbell is pulled upwards and towards the chest (concentric portion) and lengthens as the bar is lowered back to the starting position in front of the quadriceps (eccentric portion).

Below is a list of the primary muscle groups
that are considered pull muscle groups:

  • Abdominals

  • Biceps

  • Forearms

  • Latissimus Dorsi

  • Hamstrings

  • Obliques

  • Trapezius

Regularly performing a weight training routine that combines both push and pull muscle groups within the same workout is ideal for several reasons. First, since push and pull muscle groups contract through opposite directions in movement they tend to not be used as a secondary muscle group to support the primary muscle group that required to perform the exercise.

In other words, when performing a flat barbell bench press (chest is the primary) the biceps are not required to support the movement of the barbell. In this case, the triceps muscles would be considered the secondary muscle group and are required to support the chest muscles in order to perform the actual exercise (i.e. the flat barbell bench press). By not working the primary and secondary muscle groups within the same weight training workout each of the muscle groups that are going to be exercised will be fresh and ready to be aggressively worked.

A second benefit associated with regularly performing a push/pull routine is that since each of the muscle groups exercised during the same session are not required to support one another the level of stress placed on the joints is lower. This is an important point to be aware of since aggressively lifting heavy weights, by default, will place a high level of stress on the joints.

While performing pull/pull and/or push/push weight training routines are a fairly common practice as they can support breaking through a strength barrier, the majority of the time should be spent performing a push/pull routine. Below are several push/pull weight training routines that combine various muscle groups within the same workout session.

Push/Pull Routine #1 – Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Calves

The push/pull quadriceps, hamstrings and
calves weight training routine is a fairly intense weight training routine and may take slightly longer to perform. The routine targets the larger muscle groups of the lower body and is designed to increase strength, muscle density, and definition.

Push/Pull Routine #2 – Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Calves

The push/pull quadriceps, hamstrings and
calves weight training routine targets the major muscle groups of the lower body and is designed
to promote gains in muscle density, strength, and definition. The routine can be performed across all levels of weight trainers.

Push/Pull Routine #3 – Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Calves

The quadriceps, hamstrings and calves push/pull weight training routine is designed to exercise the major muscles of the lower body and is fairly aggressive to perform. The intent of the routine is to increase lean muscle tissue, muscular definition, and strength.

Push/Pull Routine #4 – Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Calves

The quadriceps, hamstrings and calves push/pull weight training routine is a fairly intense routine that is designed to provide increases in muscular definition, size, and strength. The routine includes both explosive and rhythmic exercises and may take slightly longer to perform than other routines.

Push/Pull Routine #5 – Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Calves

The push/pull quadriceps, hamstrings and
calves weight training routine is designed to work the major muscle groups of the lower body and is fairly intense to perform. The routine may take a little longer to perform than other routines but is suitable for all weight training levels. The exercises are both rhythmic and explosive.

Push/Pull Routine #6 – Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Calves

The quadriceps, hamstrings and calves push/pull weight training routine is designed to promote increases in lean muscle tissue, definition, and strength. All exercises target lower body muscle groups and include both explosive and rhythmic exercises. The routine, depending on intensity, may take slightly longer to perform than others.

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