Whether you’ve been spending more time at the gym lately or browsing new routines on fitness blogs, you’ve probably heard buzz about the push-pull training method.
If the rumors are true, it’s a holistic approach to exercise that allows you to build muscle, increase strength, and improve your endurance—all while giving your body a healthy dose of rest between sessions.
But what’s the difference between a pull day and a push day, and what do those routines look like in practice?
If you’re interested in this exercise method, it’s important to know how this three-part method (which also includes a leg and core day) works on the gym floor. Four tips to get the most bang for your next workout push with a play-by-play on how to replicate this workout style Choose Fitness– To read.
The Push-Pull Fitness Method: What You Need to Know
When people talk about hitting the gym for push day or pull day, they’re referring to an exercise regimen push pull.
The push-pull method is designed to support a well-rounded workout routine that distributes your effort evenly across all areas of your body. In its distilled essence, it involves alternating between workouts that focus on different muscle groups.1
Generally, push-pull routines are divided into three categories of targeted exercises:
- pushWhere you will focus on your arms and shoulders
- pullWhere you will primarily focus on your back muscles
- Give legs and coreWhere you’ll skip your upper body and work your core and trunk muscles
It is worth noting that many people choose to include a rest day between the second and third days of training. Push-pull routines can be tough on energy day after day, especially if you’re new to working out.
Push vs. Pull Exercises: What to Do on Your Next Push or Pull Day
You may not realize it, but you probably do a lot of pushing and pulling in your daily life. Even the simplest things, from lifting yourself out of bed in the morning (which uses a pushing motion) to opening the door for a stranger (which uses pulling), can engage your pulling and pushing muscles.
That said, performing these actions on the gym floor looks a lot different. Let’s take a look at some push day vs. pull day workouts to see how they differ.
Push day exercise
On Push Day, you’ll focus on exercises that use a pushing motion to strengthen your upper body muscles. These exercises work to target your triceps and your chest and shoulder muscles.1
Some well-known and popular push day exercises include:
- Highlighted above
- Pullover exercise
- Shoulder pressure
- Dumbbell bench press
- Dumbbell chest fly
- Dumbbell overhead triceps extension
- Dumbbell lateral raise
So how should a pull exercise look? Unlike a push day, a pull day workout routine includes strength-training exercises that force you to pull weights. towards your body (instead of pushing them away).
Some cornerstone pool day exercises include:
- pull up
- Turn on the row
- Apostate row
- Bicep curl
- Upright Dumbbell Rows
- Jotman Karl
While push day focuses on the muscles in your chest, shoulders, and arms, pull day works to target the complex network of muscles in your biceps, arms, and most importantly, your back.1
While the arms, legs, and core often absorb much of the attention of fitness enthusiasts, strengthening your back is an important component of your overall physical fitness. Your back muscles have a tremendous impact on your mobility, and conditioning them can promote better posture to protect your spine and help prevent pain in your lower back.
Leg and Core Day Exercises
The first two days of the push-pull workout are dedicated to your upper body, but the push-ups and pull-ups don’t stop on the 3rd day in a row.
On leg and core day, your workouts will focus on strengthening your leg muscles using the same technique you did on days 1 and 2: pushing and pulling. Initially, Leg and Core Day works to strengthen your:
- Achilles tendon
- Gluteus Maximus
- Pelvic floor muscles
When push day and pull day workout routines rotate type Regardless of the exercises you do, Leg and Core Day is designed to encourage different areas of your body to work cooperatively to create strength. This technique can help you improve your balance, stability, and even your awareness of how different muscle groups work.
When leg and core day rolls around, some popular exercises to try include:
- Barbell back squats
- Quadriceps leg extension
- Seated hamstring leg curl
- Dumbbell standing calf raises
- Hanging leg raises
Should you try push-pull training?
Push-pull training is just one method that fitness enthusiasts take care of their overall physique at the gym. This type of exercise regimen may be for you if:
- You want to gain muscle mass – Resistance training, such as those involved in push-pull regimens, may be more effective at building muscle than other methods of working out, according to a study. Furthermore, it is also great for building muscle endurance and overall strength.2
- You want evenly distributed results – For many gym-goers, alternating schedules of push-pull routines means they don’t have to worry about overworking or neglecting any one area of their body.
- Your body needs time to recover – While other workout methods force you to work the same muscles for days in a row, push-pull training gives your body time to rest, repair and strengthen between sessions.
- You can access the best gym equipment – Because push-pull training is an individually intensive method of working out, you’ll see the best results if you have a range of gym equipment on hand for your workout. Having full access to a range of exercise machines and weights will enable you to tailor your equipment to each individual exercise, as well as leveling your weights as you go.
4 Tips to Maximize Your Push-Pull Routine
The push-pull exercise routine may seem relatively straightforward, but you may need to make some changes to your exercise and overall lifestyle to get the most out of this technique.
With that, let’s review four strategies for optimizing your push-pull workouts, no matter what day comes next:
- mix up – There’s no shortage of exercise options for the push-pull workout method—good news for those who tend to get bored of sticking to the same workouts. However, running against muscle fatigue is possible if you put your body through the same exercises day after day.3
To avoid getting bogged down by repetitive workouts, try alternating between push, pull and leg and core exercises while rotating through the day. For example, you might spend a week or two on your pool days doing pull-ups, bicep curls, and renegade rows, then swap out one or two for alternates.
- Weigh your options – It’s hard to overstate the importance of choosing the right weight for your push-pull workout, and the size can vary between the exercises you’re doing. The right weights for you should get your heart rate up on your first few reps, but they shouldn’t keep you from feeling so tired that you can’t move on to your next exercise after you finish your set.4
- Add “on rest days”. – As we mentioned, many fitness enthusiasts swear by rotating a “rest day” into their three-day push-pull regimen. This gives your body a day to recover, allowing for tissue repair, muscle growth, and long-term injury avoidance.5 Plus, even if Even if you take a day off, push-ups will still enable you to exercise all your major muscle groups twice a week.
- Improve your sleep hygiene – Getting the right amount of sleep (at least 7 hours per night) is crucial to keeping your body at its peak.6 At the gym, you’re breaking down your muscles—and they’re only able to grow stronger while you sleep, while your body adds new fibers and proteins to your muscles.7 In other words, your workout can only come full circle if you get your nightly Z’s in.
Finally, push-pull training is recommended for people who commit to working out three to six days per week.8
Like other styles of working out, push-pull takes time and determination to get results—so if you choose it as the foundation of your fitness regimen, make that commitment in a community that can inspire and encourage you on your journey. Push pull workout routines help promote muscle growth and target almost every muscle group with one simple routine.
Limit your workout with Choose Fitness
Often, inspiration strikes to find a new workout routine, take a new approach to your fitness goals, and find a gym buddy who is just as motivated to meet them as you are.
Choose Fitness is that gym buddy—we haven’t met yet.
At Choose Fitness, we believe that achieving individual fitness goals depends on the strength of the community behind them. with Fitness classContent from us Ichuz Wellness apps, and dedicated fitness experts to answer all your exercise questions, our fitness centers aren’t just gyms. They are vibrant hubs of activity where everyone is encouraged to push (and pull) their own fitness standards. Whether you want to incorporate turf workouts into your routine or try a new exercise, we’ve got you covered.
To join our community and get a jump start on your personal wellness goals, use us gym near me Features to find a location and introduce yourself today.
Ani is Vice President of Fitness at Chuz Fitness and oversees the Group Fitness and Team Training departments. He had a 25+ year career in club management, personal training, group exercise and instructor training. Annie lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and son and loves hot yoga, snowboarding and all things wellness.
- Healthline. Push-Pull Workouts: Routines and Guides for Building Muscle. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/push-pull-workout
- National Library of Medicine. Central and peripheral fatigue during resistance exercise – a critical review. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26839616/
- National Library of Medicine. Muscle Fatigue: General Understanding and Treatment. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5668469/
- Livestrong. What weight should I use dumbbells? https://www.livestrong.com/article/344995-how-much-weight-do-i-need-for-dumbbells/
- Half post. Why rest days between workouts are so important. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-rest-days-between-workouts-important_l_5f0867f8c5b63a72c340854e
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sleep and sleep disorders. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html
- College of William and Mary. Sleep and recovery. https://www.wm.edu/offices/sportsmedicine/_documents/sleep-manual
- Men’s Health. Build full-body muscles using the ‘push, pull, leg’ method. https://www.menshealth.com/uk/building-muscle/a38199992/push-pull-legs/