a man doing push ups

Push to the Limit: How to Crush Your Next Push Day

Have you ever yearned to emulate the workout regimens of elite bodybuilders and athletes? If the answer is a resounding yes, then it's time to acquaint yourself with the world of push-pull training.


Push and pull training is a workout methodology that divides your gym sessions into distinct "push days" and "pull days," each focusing on pushing or pulling exercises, respectively. This structured approach is your ticket to achieving maximum hypertrophy.


In this comprehensive guide, we unveil the power of doing the best push day exercises for sculpting an impressive upper body. By incorporating these exercises into your fitness routine and embracing the push-pull methodology, you'll elevate your training to the realm of professional bodybuilders.


So, let's dive into the essence of push-pull training, explore the rationale behind it, and uncover the top-tier push exercises to catalyze your journey to a formidable upper body.


The Wisdom Behind Push-Pull Workouts


Push and pull training serves as a blueprint for categorizing your upper body workouts into dedicated push and pull days.


Here's a glimpse of a typical weekly workout schedule in adherence to the push-pull method:


  1. Day 1: Push day
  2. Day 2: Pull day
  3. Day 3: Leg day
  4. Day 4: Rest day
  5. Day 5: Push day
  6. Day 6: Pull day
  7. Day 7: Cardio or rest


Push day exercises primarily target the chest, shoulders, and triceps, while pull day exercises focus on engaging the back, biceps, and forearms.


This method boasts several advantages:


  1. Comprehensive Muscle Activation: By distributing muscle groups across different training days, you work each of them twice a week, optimizing hypertrophy.
  2. Inclusivity of Leg Day: The push-pull method ensures that leg day remains an essential component of your regimen, allowing you to devote one or even two days per week to enhancing lower-body strength.
  3. Strategic Muscle Recovery: Adequate muscle recovery is facilitated by the method's rotation. For instance, if you engage push muscles on the first day of the week, they won't be activated again for another four days, enabling optimal recuperation and protein synthesis.


Now, let's delve into the crux of the matter and explore the paramount push day exercises that will empower your upper body.



Push-ups are an iconic bodyweight strength training exercise and a supreme pushing exercise. You can diversify your push-ups by opting for tricep or wide-arm variations, each targeting distinct muscle groups.


Tricep Push-Ups: Keep your elbows close to your body, hands directly beneath your shoulders.


Wide-Arm Push-Ups: Position your hands wider than shoulder-width apart, allowing you to emphasize shoulder and back muscles.




The overhead shoulder press, also known as the military press, is a quintessential hypertrophy-inducing exercise. It merits inclusion in your routine if your goal is substantial muscle growth. This lift demands precision and technique, making it advisable to seek guidance from a fitness professional or refer to instructional resources.




The chest press is designed to engage your pectoral muscles, deltoids, biceps, and triceps. Distinct from the bench press, this exercise is executed in an inclined seated position with dumbbells.




Don't underestimate the importance of triceps in achieving upper body balance and strength. Tricep dips are instrumental in developing these smaller yet essential muscles.




Chest flys rank among the top push day exercises due to their comprehensive engagement of chest, shoulder, and triceps muscles. Execute this exercise on a flat incline bench for optimal results.




Dumbbell lateral raises specialize in broadening your shoulder muscles, imparting that coveted V-shaped upper body appearance. This exercise not only enhances aesthetics but also contributes to improved posture and spinal health.




Tricep pushdowns, whether performed using a cable machine or resistance band, are indispensable for working all three tricep heads – long, lateral, and medial. Additionally, they engage the back, core, and shoulder muscles, making them a versatile choice.


Achieving Balance with Pulling Exercises


To ensure holistic upper body development, complement your push day exercises with top-tier pulling exercises. Incorporate bent-over barbell rows, bicep curls, deadlifts, pull-ups or chin-ups, lat pulldowns, and rear delt raises into your pull day routine.


In Closing


Whether you're eager to embrace the push-pull method or simply seeking fresh upper body exercises, these seven best push exercises are worthy of your consideration. Pair them strategically with their pulling counterparts, and your upper body will radiate strength and aesthetics like never before.


Forge an upper body of unrivaled power with our top seven push exercises!

James Freeman


Liam Marshall, the friendly fitness coach, has spent 14 years sharing his love for sports and fitness. With degrees in sports science, he crafts workouts that fit like your favorite jeans. Beyond the gym, he organizes sports clinics and tech-savvy fitness apps that motivate people worldwide. He's all about making fitness doable for everyone, and it's not just about bodies – it's boosting confidence. In 2019, he scored the "Virginia Fitness Coach of the Year" award. Outside the fitness world, he loves family time and hikes in Shenandoah National Park. Liam's journey from a small-town fitness fan to a big-time coach is all about passion, inspiring people to see fitness as a body-and-mind thing. Catch him on Instagram to stay in the loop!