This Push Day Exercise Will Deliver Dimension and Energy Good points in 6 Weeks

The muscles used in push exercises all have one thing in common: They provide the capacity to move a hell of a lot of weight in an explosive fashion. Of course, there are pulling muscles that are capable of the same thing, but from a functional perspective, being explosive often comes from being able to project, throw, drive, or push something (or yourself) away. In short: You need a push day workout every week if you want to improve your strength and athleticism. And the good news is that a dedicated push day is also the best way to grow those muscles.

What Are Push Muscles?

The push muscles primarily comprise the pectorals, triceps, and deltoids (shoulders). Working the push muscles begins with big, heavy lifts, to ensure you’re performing at your peak. 

There's a great advantage to training muscles for action—such as pushing or pulling—rather than focusing on specific muscle groups. This encourages balanced training that involves the entire body. As an added bonus, this type of training translates well to other areas of training, like fat loss, increased metabolic rate and, of course, more power and strength.

Related: 50 Best Chest Exercises for 2024

What Is a Push Day?

Many athletes schedule their weekly strength training around a push-pull-legs split. That's three strength sessions, each dedicated to a specific set of muscles, spread over seven days. Breaking training programs into push, pull, and leg days is ideal if you're seeking more muscle mass because it allows you to direct more volume and working sets to fewer groups of muscles that all serve a similar function. 

Push exercises differ from pull exercises simply due to the nature of the motion. It's as plain as, if you're moving the weight toward you, it's a pull pattern. If you're moving the weight away from you, it's a push pattern. 

The Best Push Day Workout

To help you reach your strength goals, I put together this rock-solid push day workout based on my decades of experience as a professional trainer.

Why's this workout so effective? It tackles all the big lifts while leaving juice in the tank to perform each of them well. The exercise order helps you maintain intensity, while also ensuring exercises don’t compete with one another by doubling up on the same muscle groups, thereby reducing their performance.

You're going work hard, and you're going to work efficiently. Perform this push day workout weekly for six weeks to see both size and strength gains.

1. Barbell Pin Press

Barbell pin press.

Hirurg/Getty Images

Muscles worked: chest, triceps, front deltoids

How to Do It

  1. Set up a flat bench inside a squat cage or a bench press station with adjustable height safety pins. Set the pins up about 4 inches higher than chest level when laying down on the bench.
  2. Load the barbell on the pins, and position yourself under it, so the bar is at its bottom point, resting above your chest.
  3. Use your standard bench press grip, get tight, and take a big breath in. Drive hard into the bar, into the bench, and into the floor, to drive the weight up to the ceiling. Lock out and hold.
  4. Lower the weight quickly, but under control, back down to the pins. It’s okay if it crashes down. Take a 1-2 second pause, and repeat for your next rep. 
  5. Perform 5 sets of 5 reps.

2. Plyometric Pushup

Plyometric pushups.

Justin Steele

Muscles worked: chest, triceps, front deltoids, abs

How to Do It

  1. Assume a classic pushup start position with arms straight and body aligned.
  2. Lower your body to the floor, then explosively press yourself up, bringing your hands off the ground.
  3. Don’t clap your hands. It’s a common habit, but can invite risk. Instead, simply focus on catching air and sticking a soft landing with the hands to smoothly transition to your next rep.
  4. Focus on sets for time rather than sets of a certain number of reps. As soon as your reps begin to slow down and you can no longer be explosive, the work will serve a lesser purpose.
  5. Perform 4 sets of 15 seconds.

3A. Seated Dumbbell Military Press 

Seated dumbbell military press.

James Michelfelder

Muscles worked: front and mid deltoids, triceps

How to Do It

  1. Sit in an upright bench while holding a pair of dumbbells, supported on the thighs. Slide forward toward the edge of your seat, while still maintaining your point of contact on the bench with your upper back.
  2. “Kick” the dumbbells up to your starting position, at shoulder level. Your elbows should be bent at 90 degree angles, with the upper arm positioned slightly head of the body.
  3. Press the weight directly upward over the shoulders to a full lockout. Lower the weights slowly to your starting position and repeat.
  4. Perform 10 reps, supersetting three times with 3B's bodyweight dips.

Related: 30 Best Back Exercises for 2024

3B. Bodyweight Dips 

Bodyweight dip on parallel bars.

James Michelfelder

Muscles worked: chest, triceps, front deltoids

How to Do It

  1. Set up in a dip station (parallel bars) and start with locked out elbows.
  2. If you want to bias your chest, it’s okay to lean forward to angle the torso toward the ground. If you want to bias your triceps, remain as upright as possible.
  3. Slowly bend at the elbow joint until you’ve reached an angle inside 90 degrees. Press hard and return to the top position.
  4. Perform 10 reps, supersetting three times with 3A's military press.

4. Goblet Squat 

Goblet squat.

James Michelfelder

Muscles worked: quads, glutes, spinal erectors

How to Do It

  1. Hold a heavy dumbbell on one end, at chest level. It’s easiest to cradle the weight end of one side of the bell.
  2. Set the feet to your ideal squat position, and maintain an upright posture.
  3. Squat down by spreading the knees apart and dropping the hips down. Be sure to keep the heels down.
  4. Pause at the bottom position, and return to the top position.
  5. Perform 5 sets of 10 reps.

Related: Best Squat Exercises to Build Muscular Legs

Metabolic Finisher: Med Ball Slam EMOM

Med ball slam.

James Michelfelder

Muscles worked: core

How to Do It

  1. Prepare a 10-minute timer and choose a slam ball no more than 10 percent of your bodyweight.
  2. Start the timer and standing tall, raise the ball to full extension overhead with both hands.
  3. In one motion, aggressively squat down and throw the ball down hard, right in between the feet.
  4. Pick the ball up immediately and repeat for 10 reps. That should take about 20 seconds. 
  5. As the clock continues to run, begin your next set at the turn of the following minute (meaning you’d have gotten about 40 seconds of rest). Continue in this fashion until you’ve completed 10 sets, or 100 total med ball slams. 

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