Home Bodybuilding Push-Pull Workouts: Routines and Guide for Building Muscle

Push-Pull Workouts: Routines and Guide for Building Muscle

Written by Safa Kamran

When we say the word workout, we are using the term to cover a wide range of exercises.

These exercises all have various purposes and intensities depending on your goals.

There are workouts formulated for specific end goals, such as building certain muscle groups, increasing your stamina, or losing weight.

Today’s workout of discussion is the push day workout and how it can help build muscles.

Workouts encompass numerous leg exercises, arm exercises, ab exercises, and many other exercises that focus on major muscle groups in your body.

You can adjust these workouts to best suit your abilities so that you can start slow and avoid injuring yourself.

Today’s workout of discussion is the push day workout and how it can help build muscles.

The Push/Pull Workout Plan To Build Muscle And Blast Fat

What Is A Push Day Workout?

People divide their workouts into days, so they are better able to focus on certain parts of their bodies.

They have days for their upper body, lower body, abs, back.

A push day workout is a day that allows people to focus on their upper body, specifically the shoulders, chest, and triceps.

They perform push exercises to work on these areas and to increase muscle.

A push workout is usually not solitary.

This is because the combination of a pull workout with push exercises allows you to work on many muscle groups in your upper body.

A pull workout routine builds muscle in the forearms, biceps, and back.

A pull workout accompanies it, so you have a push day followed by a pull workout day.

A workout routine that includes push workouts and pulls workouts give you the ability to enhance each major muscle group in your upper body.

These training sessions allow you to gain muscles in your upper body and include a variety of exercises, the intensities of which can be adjusted according to your level of expertise.

People usually follow up with leg workouts and core exercises after their push-pull exercises.

Leading to a full-body workout routine spread over an entire week, in which a rest day is included.

The rest day can occur between push workouts and an upper-body pull workout, or the rest day can be before leg day.

While push-pull exercises aim to improve your upper body, there are push-pull legs workouts.

A Push-pull leg routine is made to build muscle in your hamstrings, quads, and claves.

To ensure that you get the maximum benefit from this regime, it is important to include a push-pull leg split, i.e. a rest day between your push day workouts and push-pull leg routine or between your push-pull upper body day and your push-pull legs day.

What Are The Benefits of A Push-Pull Workout?

1) Optimize Recovery Time

What makes push exercises better than other exercise methods is their ability to improve your upper body strength, increase muscle growth while giving your body time to relax.

A push workout differs from traditional forms of exercise, which focus on improving one body part at a time.

This means that many muscles are being overworked. With push-pull workouts, you give your muscles 72 hours to relax between push-pull days.

2) Benefits Upper and Lower Body Muscle Groups

The push-pull legs workout regime is suitable for everyone and can be adjusted according to your ability level.

The push workout focuses on building muscle in your upper body combined with pull workouts. While push pull legs regime has a similar effect on the lower limbs.

You can adjust the number and intensity of your push workout on push day.

The same applies for pull days and for push-pull leg days.

For those beginning their push workout journey, it is best that their push-pull training is interspersed with rest days so that their push workout, pull workout, and push-pull legs days do not exceed three times in a week.

Those with an intermediate level of training ranging between 6 months to 2 years can reduce the number of rest days they take between push-pull legs exercises.

The same rules apply to those who have a great experience with exercise and can take a single rest day between a push workout and other push-pull workouts.

What Push Exercises to Include in Push Workouts?

A push workout focuses on the upper body pushing muscles, including the chest, triceps and shoulder, muscle group.

There are numerous push day exercises that you can include in your routine, and each can be adjusted according to the level of your ability and endurance.

You can increase the rep range once you have gained strength.

For those who have a personal trainer, you can work with them to pick the best exercises for you.

1) Bench Press

Among the many push-day exercises is the bench press.

A standard bench press focuses on your upper chest (pectoralis muscles), shoulders and arms, but you can adjust your bench press to work the forearms and triceps by having an overhand grip that is narrower.

You can use a heavier or lighter weight depending on your initial strength and increase the weight once you have built up strength and muscle.

For a barbell bench press, you require a barbell, weights (depending on your strength), and a flat bench. Your starting position with a traditional bench press is to lay flat on the bench.

Your overhand grip on the barbell should be marginally more than shoulder width.

Ensure that you press your feet flat on the ground and that you do not raise your hips from the bench at any time during the exercise (maintain proper form).

Lift the barbell from its place on the rack and slowly lower it towards your chest with your elbows slightly bent at the sides.

Once your elbows have reached below the bench, stop bringing the bar down. Return the bar to the rack by raising your arms straight up. Repeat these motions as many times as your rep range requires.

You can adjust many pushing exercises for greater gain.

Similarly, the traditional bench press can be altered to give you variation in your push day exercises.

Incline Bench Press

A variation to a standard bench press is the inclined form, providing you with options in your pushing exercises and an opportunity to push yourself harder.

The incline bench allows you to focus more on your upper chest, as well as your shoulder muscles, and it is the same workout group, simply an enhanced version.

For this exercise, you require a bench press that has an incline angle between 45 and 60 degrees, a barbell, or two dumbbells( whatever your preference is).

Your starting position should be with your feet planted firmly on the ground and lay flat with your back pressed against the bench.

Hold your barbell or dumbells firmly with your palms facing forward, ensure they are at chest height.

Raise the weights past your eye level, ensure your elbows are straight. Bring the barbell or dumbells back to chest level with your elbows bent to the sides while inhaling.

These movements can be repeated as per the number of reps in your set.

2) Tricep Dips

Next up on our list of pushing exercises are tricep dips.

This exercise focuses on building muscle in your triceps. In a tricep dip, if you slowly lower yourself, you are increasing your ability to increase muscle mass.

To goal is to keep a shoulder-width distance between your hands on whatever surface you are using to lower yourself.

When lowering yourself, ensure your arms are in a straight line, keep your core engaged and your glutes tight.

Raise yourself up from your lowered position, ensuring that your legs do not swing.

Keep a slight bend in your elbows, and this slight bend prevents you from locking your arms completely and ensures your triceps are working hard.

3) Push-Ups

Push-ups are another great exercise on our list of pushing exercises. Push-ups are a common exercise when we think of chest exercises.

They benefit your upper chest, upper arms and help you build strength to hold up your body weight.

Your starting position in a push-up is with your hands flat on the ground wider than shoulder-width.

Your legs need to be at hip-width from each other and extend straight out, keeping you balanced between your toes and hands.

While inhaling, slowly drop yourself towards the floor, with your elbows at 90 degrees, keeping your abs contracted.

Return to your start position on your exhale, ensuring your chest muscles are contracted. Repeat the push-ups as per your rep’s requirements.

4) Lateral Raises

Lateral raises are great shoulder exercises and simply require a pair of dumbells.

They aim to strengthen your deltoid muscles; with variations in this exercise, you can also target your rear delts.

Traditional lateral raises focus primarily on the lateral head of the deltoids.

Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, your arms at your sides, palms facing forward, gripping the dumbells.

Lift your arms slowly by a few inches and then stop.

After a short pause, continue raising the dumbells until they have reached shoulder height and your body has formed a T shape.

Hold this position and then lower your arms back to their original position; ensure it takes twice as long to lower the dumbbells as it took to raise them.

To target the rear delts, hold the dumbbells so that your palms are facing upwards and your grip is underhand rather than overhand.

5) Overhead Press

You can’t go wrong with an overhead press with a push workout.

This exercise focuses on your shoulders, lower back muscles, and the area around your shoulder blades (upper back muscles), while your entire lower body is also engaged.

Stand with your feet apart and your hands gripping the weight bar with a gap equal to the width of your shoulders, ensuring your elbows stay beneath your wrists, at chest height.

Lift the bar straight up, tilting your head backward slightly. Lower the bar back to its original position.

For variation, you can attempt a military press.

All you need to change for a military press is to have your feet placed together rather than shoulder-width apart.

This makes the press harder as the distance between your feet gives you stability.

With the military press, your core muscles need to work harder to lift the bar.

What Exercises To Include In A Pull Workout?

A pull workout’s goal is for you to gain muscle in your upper body, pulling muscles that include the muscles in your back, forearms, and biceps.

These muscles carry out the pulling movements throughout your daily life, and the exercises in these workouts target these pulling movements.

These exercises build muscle mass simultaneously as well as increase stamina, and build strength in your body.

With these workouts, you can place them back to back with other exercise days for people with advanced capabilities.

At the same time, those with a more beginner level of ability can take a rest day between consecutive days or between push-pull days and leg and core days.

1) Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are pulling exercises; as the name suggests, they require the use of the upper portion of your body to pull yourself up on the pull-up bar using your hands.

Your back muscle (trapezius) and your arms are heavily involved in this exercise as it requires you to lift your entire body upwards until your chest is level with the bar and your chin is above it.

This exercise does not require any weights as your body becomes the resistance against which your upper body muscles need to build strength and increase muscle mass.

2) Barbell Bicep Curls

Another pulling exercise that you can easily perform is the barbell bicep curls.

This exercise can be adjusted as your needs require because it involves the use of weights. The stronger you, the more weights you can use to act as resistance for your biceps to act against.

To perform a barbell bicep curl, you require a barbell and weights (if you feel you need them, although a barbell alone works too).

Begin by holding the barbell in an underhand grip, slightly beyond shoulder width, while standing tall.

Ensure that your core remains engaged and that your elbows remain close by your side. Start raising the bar until you can feel the tension in your biceps.

While keeping this tension, curl your biceps while lifting the bar to chest height.

When lowering the bar back to its original position, try to ensure that your biceps remain engaged and tensed.

This allows for maximum effectiveness of the exercise and for greater muscle growth.

3) Cable Pull Down

This pulling exercise is optimized to focus on your abs, back, and arms muscles.

It requires the use of a cable pulley machine which means it is an exercise that requires the use of a gym.

You do not have to be an expert to perform this exercise, and it is fit for beginners.

This exercise uses weights as a form of resistance to increase the growth of your muscles and build strength in your upper body.

Your weight for the pulley can be set according to your capability, making it ideal for everyone.

To begin this exercise, connect the cable to the frame.

Grip the handlebar with both hands on either side, such that your arms are properly stretched.

During this process, keep your abdominal muscles tight and engaged.

Your grip on the handlebar needs to be overhand with a shoulder distance while keeping your arms completely straight.

Do not lock your knees.

Bring the cable downwards towards your thighs while exhaling.

Your arms should remain straight, as should your back, while your hips are bent forward slightly. Remember to keep your core and back engaged at all times.

Return the cable to its original position over your head while inhaling.

Keep your arms straight throughout the exercise and ensure there is tension on the cable before beginning the next repetition.

4) Bent Over Barbell Row

This pulling exercise targets the muscles in your back as well as in your legs. This is a weighted exercise, and so the weight you use needs to be according to your strength.

This is to ensure that you do not injure yourself by overexerting your back to lift a weight beyond your fitness level.

All this exercise requires is the use of a barbell (with appropriate weights) and the correct posture. Begin with your knees bent slightly and feet hip-width apart.

Lean forward from your waist while keeping your knees ben, ensure that your back remains straight.

Hold the bar with both hands shoulder-width apart while keeping your arms completely straight. While raising the barbell upwards towards your chest, maintain core engagement.

Slowly lower the bar back to the ground, keeping your muscles engaged and your movements smooth.

This prevents injury and increases the growth of your muscles.

Repeat these reps as many times as you require.

Exercises For Your Legs And Core

To get the complete benefit of push-pull workouts, you need to include a day that works on the muscles in your core and legs.

You can include numerous exercises in your regime, such as seated hamstring leg curls, barbell back squats, and dumbbell standing calf raise.

Conclusion

Push-pull workouts are a great way to target your upper and lower body muscles without overworking any muscle group.

It allows you to rest your muscles between exercises while stilling ensuring that you are getting the maximum benefit of building strength, muscle, and stamina.

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