Push-Pull Workouts: Routines and Guide for Building Muscle
Push exercises for building muscle include exercises for the chest, such as the incline bench press. This is a great exercise for push days because it also works the muscles at the front of the shoulders (anterior deltoids) and the triceps. Next add some version of shoulder press, such as the dumbbell shoulder press or the military press. This works the shoulders from all angles as well as the triceps. These two exercises hit all of the push muscles you want to target. Add in auxiliary exercises, as time permits, to ensure you hit each muscle group hard enough to trigger growth. Some exercises to add include the flat dumbbell press, adding a pause at the bottom to prevent you from using momentum to lift the weight, laterals raises, overhead extensions, and decline cable flyes. On your pull day workout, start by completing pull-ups. There is no exercise as effective at increasing the width of your back. Kneeling lat pulldowns replicate the muscular involvement of pull-ups, and are an effective substitute if you cannot perform a pull-up. Follow up with a bent row, which is another great back builder. Underhand lat pulldowns follow, working the lower back and biceps. Finally, hit the rear delts, which can be a challenge to target, with the chest-supported rear delt row. Adding in deadlifts to your pull routine provides an additional workout for your lower back while also hitting the hamstrings as a secondary muscle group. If you are new to weight training, this may be too much with leg day coming up tomorrow. If you are comfortable with lifting and want to be sure you are hitting all muscle groups hard, consider adding it in. Accessory exercises, such as the barbell curl and face pulls allow you to finish off your workout strong.
Push-Pull-Leg Routine: Your Guide to the PPL Workout Split
The lower body is home to some of the largest muscles in the body. Targeting them effectively is hard work and can be mentally and physically taxing. The most common and most popular exercise for lower body development is the back squat. It targets both quads and glutes, although the entire lower body, core, and even back get somewhat of a workout completing this exercise. If you have knee or back pain that makes completing back squats uncomfortable, consider the front squat instead. The front squat is nearly as effective at hitting the same muscles with less force applied to the back and knees. You can also get the same gains with less weight when performing the back squat. Hip thrusts come next, working the glutes and hamstrings. Hip thrusts allow you to work the glutes hard without the stress on your back and joints that occur from back squats. Although they shouldn’t replace squats in your routine, they make an effective addition. Next add a split leg workout, such as a split squat or front or rear lunge. These exercises are not only a great workout for your lower body, but strengthen the core and improve balance as well. Walking lunges are not an effective substitute, as the temptation with this exercise is to perform the exercise without going through the full range of motion. Adding in glute-ham raises
or good mornings allows you to finish off the hamstrings. The calf muscles get a decent workout supporting your body through other exercises, so rotating between seated and standing calf raises on leg days typically provides a sufficient workout.
Push-Pull Strength Training Routine
Now that you know what exercises to perform, you are ready to build your routine. For the main exercises of each day, such as squats
, chest presses, and pull-ups, plan to complete 3 to 4 sets of at least 6 and no more than 10 reps. The last reps of each set should be difficult, with the final reps of the final set feeling very challenging. Add weight as you gain strength. Perform 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps of accessory exercises, again, adding weight as needed to keep the exercise difficult, but doable.
Why Simple Push and Pull Workout Routines Are the Best
doesn’t have to be difficult. There are certain facts that experts have learned about muscle development that apply to everyone. Following these guidelines, such as working each muscle group twice a week and allowing time for recovery between workouts, provide the best results.