What’s a Push Day Workout and Does it Work?

When your fitness training aims to gain muscle and build strength, you’re probably on a PPL routine. A PPL routine covers the following: pull, push and legs. It’s a full body workout that may help you enhance your health and performance as an athlete. The routine follows a basic format of targeting different muscle groups of the body — at certain days.

If you’re looking to target the upper-body push muscles, the push day workout may be more frequent for your routine.

What’s a Push Day Workout?

woman spotting man on benchpress
Photo by Michael Demoya on Unsplash

A push workout combines isolation and compound exercises. It targets muscle groups in the shoulders, chest and triceps. As the name suggests, the exercises will cover pushing motion. In comparison, a pull workout focuses on pulling motion.

Push exercises are good for building muscle strength in the upper body. But getting ripped isn’t the only benefit to this PPL routine. When done right, push workouts strengthen joints and bones. It allows you to maintain a healthy body — not just a strong one.

But why focus on pushing motion one day and pulling motion the next?

PPL workouts are becoming a preferred routine for most people because it allows the body to maximize fitness training and optimize recovery. If you workout six days every week, push workouts may take up two days and you could alternate those exercises with pull workouts and leg exercises.

What are the 5 Common Push Exercises?

Typical push exercises only use dumbbells and barbells. If you’re doing most of the exercises on your back, get a good flat bench. Every fitness routine requiring some equipment must be done safely, especially if you’re working out at home.

  1. Push up

woman on field push up
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Perhaps one of the best push day workouts is the push up. You don’t need equipment to do this.

  • Find a flat surface where you can get into a high plank position
  • Your body must be straight, from head to heels
  • Place your hands flat against the surface, lining them up with your shoulders
  • Tuck your elbows toward your shoulder and lower your chest until you’re inches from the floor
  • Pause for a few seconds then push up
  1. Dips

push exercise woman in dip station outdoors
Photo by Gabin Vallet on Unsplash

Probably best done in the gym because you’ll need a dip station.

  • Place yourself in a dip station with shoulders width apart
  • Extend your legs at a 45-degree angle
  • Bend your elbows to lower body as far down as you can, keeping your back straight
  • Press up until your elbows are straight
  1. Dumbbell Shoulder Press

push workout man on bench with dumbbells
Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

If it’s your first time working with dumbbells, go lightweight to prevent an injury.

  • With dumbbells on each hand (of equal weight, of course), sit upright on a flat bench
  • Place dumbbells at your shoulders, palms facing outward
  • Press up dumbbells until your arms are straight
  • Lower until their back at the position you started; press up again
  1. Dumbbell Bench Press

push exercise man lying on bench with dumbbells
Photo by Gyan Shahane on Unsplash

Same push workout with a different position to engage your core.

  • On flat bench, lie flat with feet firmly planted on the ground
  • Hold two dumbbells on each hand, palms facing outward and arms at a 90-degree angle
  • Press the weights back up until your arms are straight
  • Repeat
  1.  Seated Triceps Extension

push workout woman holding dumbbell behind head
Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Yet another push day exercise, this time working out your triceps, with dumbbells.

  • Sit on a flat bench or chair, place both hands under one end of a dumbbell overhead
  • Keep your back flat, core engaged and chest up
  • Lower the dumbbell behind your head while keeping your upper arms still
  • Pause then press up the weight back to its starting position

Other push workouts to include are barbell overhead press, side lateral raises with dumbbells and landmine press. Meanwhile pull exercises include deadlifts, pulls ups and cable rows.

Is Push, Pull Effective?

Every workout routine has the potential to deliver outstanding results, whatever your fitness goals may be. But every exercise must be done right to prevent injuries and maximize outcomes. It’s also crucial to stick to your routine, never faltering or wavering on your commitment to gain strength and muscle mass.

So the push day workouts along with pull exercises can help you achieve your goals.

Follow a structured workout. Make sure you’re doing every move right. Have time to rest, so your body recovers.

And make sure you’ve got a pre-workout routine. Pre-workout routines cover eating a balanced diet and taking the right supplements  to boost your performance.

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