Opposing Muscle Groups

A popular workout philosophy is to exercise opposing muscle groups in one workout because they complement each other – Arnold did it and look at him. Also called antagonistic muscles, these are muscle pairs that perform the opposite movements. One contracts, the other expands. One gets shorter, the other gets longer.

Almost every muscle you’re going to exercise has a counterpart that performs the opposite movement. When you exercise opposing muscle groups you help maintain balance. As one works, the other rests. And when you’re done working out, the muscles pull on each other and remain under stress for longer. Exercising opposing muscle groups the opposite of the push / pull workout.

Example of opposing muscle groups

  • Back / Chest
  • Biceps / Triceps
  • Quads / Hamstrings

Working on opposing muscle groups also reduces the risk of injury and may even help with flexibility. Like this guy:

Opposing Muscle Groups Gymnast

Sample workout

  • Monday: Back and Chest
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Legs
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Biceps and Triceps
  • Saturday: Cardio
  • Sunday: Yoga/Stretch