220120 Line of Push/Pull Principle, Part 2/2 by Daniel Pare N.C.C.P., C.S.O.

220120 Line of push/pull principle by Daniel Pare N.C.C.P., C.S.O.

It is always a pleasure and an honor to write strength training articles for Danny O’Dell and his Explosivelyfit blog.

I am returning with another and maybe different view about exercising in general. The line of push/line of pull training principle seems to have been forgotten as soon as a trainee picks up a barbell. Most trainees do not approach their training programs with that in mind.

Do you want to be successful and achieve results when you train? The line of push/line of pull training principle should be considered. How does it work and how do you apply it? It is a fairly simple concept. Everything must be in line whether you are doing a pulling exercise or a pushing exercise.

Let’s look at range of motion or flexibility. If for some reason you are not able to get into a comfortable position when squatting, dead lifting, bench-pressing… it might be that your level of flexibility needs to be addressed. I run into situations like these regularly, with trainees at my gym. They can’t squat properly or they can’t do pull downs properly. We address the issue and first thing you know, they are doing the exercise properly, with a totally different feel.

By paying more attention to this training principle you will feel muscles you never felt before and getting results. Whether it is a single joint (open kinetic chain) exercise or a multiple joint (close kinetic chain) exercise, the same rule applies. Everything must be in line.

*If you do an exercise, regardless of what it is, and it does not feel right. Check the alignment of your limbs (toes-knees, hands-wrists). Check your line of push or pull. It will most likely be off.


Daniel Pare, N.C.C.P., C.S.O.
Strength Coach, St. Thomas Ontario, Canada

Note: The “Coaches’ Guide to Strength Training for Young Athletes Interactive Book/DVD, will be available in near future. 

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