T Nation

Antagonist Muscles?


What are some common antagonist muscle pairings? I'll use back-chest, bi's-tri's, quads-hams but what are some other good pairs? I used Chad Waterbury's total body workout for a few months, but got sick of only those three pairs on alternate weeks. What would you pair up with lower back? Shoulders?


For lower back you would pair up abdominals muscles. Shoulders are a little harder because there are several muscles that work in several planes. If you were doing something like overhead presses then the opposite would be a chin type movement of lat pulldown.


Don't think of antagonistic muscles, they all work together to produce movement. Consider antagonistic motion. So shoulder press is paired with pull-ups of the same hand spacing and orientation (prone, neutral, supine).




I think what he is saying, is that within the parameters of Chads workout, the only real option you have is to pair Chest/Back, Bi's/Tri's, Quads/Hams...If you pair it another way, then you cant do the workout while still stayin within the parameters of the workout.

Shoulers/Back is an obvious pairing, but then you lose something to pair with Chest...I think he is just looking for more ideas...Ive been wondering this same thing..



What mastermind said. Think in movements, not muscles and it's easier.


Just like Mastermind said - Movements.
I like to follow the following split based of planes of movement.
Vertical (Pulldowns,Overhead Press,Deadlifts,etc.)

Arms (add movements like Dips and Close-Grip press to work chest as well)

Legs (add movements like Overhead Lunges, Clean/Squat, Squat/Push Press to work shoulders as well)

Horizontal (Bench, Row,etc)

The plus side is that one is working their back twice a week in different planes of movement. Also if you plan it right you indirectly hit legs on vertical day, and shoulders on leg day, and chest on arm day, and arms on all days.

Other Exercises on each day.
Abs - Vertical movements
1. Cable Woodchop
2. Cable Reverse Woodchop
3. Standing Cable Crunch

1. Clap Pushups 10x5
2. Renegade Rows
3. Sprints

1. Farmers Walk (Traps/Legs)
2. Stiffie Lunges (Traps/Legs)
3. Back Extension/Lower Trap Raise (Low Back/Hams/Low Traps/Rear Delts)

Abs - Horizontal movements
1. One-Arm Cable Push
2. One-Arm Cable Pull
3. Serratus Crunch

sometimes - Sprints


I've been using this approach since the beginning of the summer with awesome results.

back squats + hamstring curls
bench press + row
barbell curls + tricep overheads

front squats + calf presses
cleans + weighted dips
military press + pullups

lunges + leg extensions
deadlifts + weighted ab exercise
incline press + hammer curls

Sunday - rest, carb up hard
Monday (shitty long workout day) - all 6 exercises heavy 10x3
Tuesday - hill sprints
Wednesday - all 6 exercises 5x5
Thursday - hill sprints
Friday - all 6 exercises 3x10
Saturday - low intensity cardio 25 min.

start off with workouts 1, 2, and 3 on mon, wed, fri respectively. then the following week, shift each one back one lifting day (workouts 2, 3, and 1 on mon, wed, and fri respectively).

this way you only do the same workout once every three weeks.

caution: it's monday night and i can't move.