Pull Day Workout vs Push Day Workout (2023)

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Everyone keeps saying pull day workout or push day workout these days. But do we really know what they are and how to execute them properly?

Some of us, yes. But I know that when I first heard about it, I had no idea what they were and when I did learn, I would always forget which is which.

A common name for these workouts is a push-pull training split. This is when you do a push day workout one day and a pull day workout on another day.

Here is everything you need to know about a push-pull training split.

What is the difference between pull day and push day?

A pull day workout consists of exercises for your back and biceps. They are called pull exercises because they are performed with pulling motions. For example, when you are using a lat pulldown machine, you are pulling the bar downwards. When you are performing bicep curls, you are pulling the dumbbells upwards.

A push day workout consists of exercises for your chest, shoulders, and triceps. They are called push exercises because they are performed with pushing motions. For example, when performing a chest press, you are pushing the dumbbells straight up. When you are performing a shoulder press, you are pushing the dumbbell straight up. Triceps dips are performed by pushing your body up from a lowered position.

What exercises are on pull day?

On pull day, you will be performing back and bicep exercises.

Back exercises could be lat pulldowns, pull-ups, back rows, and conventional deadlifts.

Bicep exercises could be bicep curls, hammer curls, and alternating wide bicep curls.

There are many variations of back and bicep exercises that you can do.

What exercises are on push day?

On push day, you will be performing chest, shoulder, and triceps exercises.

Chest exercises could be chest presses, chest flies, and push-ups.

Shoulder exercises could be shoulder presses, upright rows, and lateral arm raises.

Triceps exercises could be triceps dips, skull crushers, and overhead triceps extensions.

(Video) WHY YOU NEED A PUSH AND PULL DAYS! | push & pull explained + my routine

There are so many variations of chest, shoulder, and triceps exercises that you can do.

Should I do a push or pull day?

You should be doing both a push and a pull day. It is important to do both because it ensures that you are exercising all of the different muscle groups. They could be done on the same day, if you are doing full body because you are working all different muscle groups. They can be done on different days, and this gives the muscle groups you aren’t working a rest.

Are pull exercises better than push?

Pull exercises are not necessarily better than push exercises because you need to work out all of the muscle groups.

However, stronger shoulders and better posture comes from doing more pull exercises.

Overall balance in muscle throughout the body comes from both pull and push exercises and should be done weekly.

Can I do pull exercises on push day?

It isn’t harmful to do pull exercises on push day. However, when you are exercising different muscle groups every day, it makes more sense to split the days and do your pull exercises one day and your push exercises another day.

It really just depends on your workout split throughout the whole week. If you work out by muscle groups, you should split pull and push days into two different days. If you work out and only do full body days, you can do pull and push exercises on the same day.

*Note: Make sure to leave 48 hours of rest after training each muscle group.

Why not do push and pull the same day?

You can absolutely push and pull on the same day. It is just important that you give your muscles the proper rest and recovery. If you do them on the same day, make sure to give yourself 48 hours of resting those muscles.

Does it matter if you do pull day before PUSH day?

If you are working out for general health and muscle gain, it doesn’t matter if you do a pull day before a push day. For bodybuilding and people who are very technical about their strength training, pull days should come before push day. This is because tough workouts can cause limited range of motion/flexibility in the muscles worked due to delayed muscle soreness. Getting those back and bicep muscles sore before a push day won’t affect your chest, shoulder, and triceps exercises.

How do I start a pull day?

You should start a pull day with a dynamic warm up.

This could be side twists, windmills, and walking jumping jacks.

Larger muscle groups should be worked before smaller muscle groups in every kind of workout. In this case, that means you should start with back exercises and then move on to bicep exercises.

Pull Day Workout vs Push Day Workout (1)

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How many exercises should you do on push day?

6-8 exercises. Your goals and the amount of time you have will determine the number of exercises. When doing 6 exercises, you should be performing two chest exercises, two shoulder exercises, and two triceps exercises. If you are doing 8 or more, you can sprinkle in more exercises between the three muscle groups.

(Video) Push And Pull Workout: Benefits, Training & Differences | Masterclass | Myprotein

When the exercises are performed correctly with the right amount of weight/resistance (if using weights) and the right number of reps, two exercises per muscle group is perfect.

You should either be continuously adding resistance or reps to your exercises to be getting the most out of your workouts.

How many exercises should I do on pull day?

4-6 exercises. Two back exercises and two bicep exercises are sufficient for a pull day as long as you are using enough weight/resistance and reps. However, three exercises for back and biceps is also sufficient, depending on your goals and the amount of time you have.

What happens if I only do pull exercises?

Muscle imbalances can happen if you only do pull exercises. Your back and bicep muscles will be developed but your chest, shoulder, and triceps will be weaker.

Aesthetically and physically, you want to do a pull day workout and a push day workout every week. This will give you an overall healthy and balanced appearance.

What is the best push day workout routine?

Here is a sample push day workout routine that efficiently trains the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Warm up:

→ Side twists

→ Arm circles

→ Overhead reach


→ 2 x 12 chest press

→ 2 x 12 chest flies

→ 2 x 12 shoulder press

→ 2 x 12 upright rows

→ 2 x 12 triceps dips

→ 2 x 12 skull crushers

(Video) Your Best Push Workout for Chest, Shoulder & Triceps


→ Arm across body stretch

→ Overhead triceps stretch

→ Arms behind back stretch (with your arms straight back, hold your hands together and push arms up)

What is the best pull day workout routine?

Here is a sample pull day workout routine that efficiently trains the back and biceps.

Warm up:

→ Side twists

→ Windmills

→ Walking jumping jacks


→ 2 x 12 lat pulldowns

→ 2 x 12 back rows

→ 2 x 12 pull ups

→ 2 x 12 bicep curls

→ 2 x 12 hammer curls


→ Cobra pose

→ Child’s pose

→ Bicep stretch (put arm straight out and apply pressure to your palm with your other hand)

(Video) The Ultimate Push Workout For Muscle Growth [Chest, Shoulders, Triceps] (2023)


A pull day workout and a push day workout are very different but can be performed with the same structure.

Key points to remember:

→ Larger muscle groups should be worked before smaller muscle groups.

→ Push and pull days can be performed on the same day but need 48 hours to rest and recover before being worked again.

→ Push and pull days can be performed once a week for sufficient muscle growth.

→ If you are getting technical, pull days should come before push days.

Everyone’s workout schedules look different. If you hate going to the gym and only want to go twice, doing full body, that’s fine. Do push and pull days together.

You love going to the gym every day? Split up your push, pull, and leg days to keep the workouts shorter.

You have to find a routine that you love and will stick to on a weekly basis. It also helps having a workout buddy to keep you accountable.

I personally do two full body workout classes every week with my friends and an extra leg day on my own. My push and pull days are always together. I personally like this because I am a pretty busy person, and I don’t like going to the gym every day. Therefore, I put it all together and make the most out of my workouts and my days off.

It is all preference. As long as you are exercising, fueling your body with healthy foods, and staying on top of your mental health, you are doing everything right.

Email hello@fitnessaligned.com and let us know how you have been incorporating your push and pull day workouts.

Related Reads:

At Home Back Workouts Using Only Dumbbells

My Current Workout Split with a Full Time Job and a Social Life

The Ultimate Workout for an Hourglass Figure

(Video) The Best Science-Based PUSH Workout For Growth (Chest/Shoulders/Triceps)

Thank you for reading

Pull Day Workout vs Push Day Workout (2)


Should I do a push or pull day? ›

By doing push movements on one day and pull movements on another, you ensure you're using different muscle groups, which allows the other muscles to properly recover. This means you can train each muscle group more often—twice per week, if you train six days with one day of rest—without overtraining.

What is the difference between pull day and push day? ›

A push-pull training split generally refers to workouts centered on muscle groups that perform similar actions. “Push” workouts train the chest, shoulders, and triceps, while “pull” workouts train the back, biceps, and forearms. A day for training the lower body and core is also included in this training split.

Are pull exercises better than push? ›

For healthier shoulders, better posture and stronger lifts, pull twice as often as you push. You'll be impressed with the changes in health, body composition and performance that can come about just from following this simple ratio.

Is pull day easier than push day? ›

Who said pulling is easier than pushing ? And when it comes to lifting weights and gym ,pulling is the most difficult form compared to pushing because gravity comes in play.

Is A Bicep Curl A push or pull? ›

Examples of pull exercises include the biceps curl, hamstrings curl, and lat pull down. Pull exercises are the opposite of push exercises—eccentric contractions that involve lengthening the muscle and controlling resistance as you move connection points further apart.

Is it OK to combine push and pull Day? ›

Yes, when programmed properly this can actually be one of the most efficient methods of training. I recommend performing them as alternate sets rather than alternate exercises. This is a very efficient form of training, plus you'll double your rest time between sets of the same exercise.

Is pull day for biceps? ›

What Is a Pull Day? The typical pull day workout consists of upper-body exercises that utilize a pulling motion. They primarily engage the biceps, forearms, and back muscles.

Why do people do pull days? ›

A pull day is a workout that focuses on exercises that train the muscles in your back and shoulders. This type of workout is important because it helps to create a balanced physique. Without pull days, you may find yourself with imbalanced muscles – something that can lead to injury down the road.

Is A deadlift push or pull? ›

The deadlift is characterized as a pull exercise because it involves exerting force to move the weight towards us. This means that the muscles involved in the deadlift are contracting as the weight moves towards us to the lockout position, and are lengthening as the bar travels back down to the ground.

Should I separate push and pull days? ›

The push/pull/legs split is probably the most efficient workout split there is because all related muscle groups are trained together in the same workout. This means that you get the maximum overlap of movements within the same workout, and the muscle groups being trained get an overall benefit from this overlap.

What happens if I only do pull exercises? ›

You can develop muscular imbalances

While these are important muscles, you do not want any muscle group disproportionately strong compared with the rest of your body. If you only do pullups, you will develop a muscular imbalance. Incorporating other exercises to counterbalance the pullups is key.

Is Arnold Press push or pull? ›

It's a classic “Push” exercise that will make you stronger for Push-Ups, Bench Presses, and Dips because of the focus on the specific shoulder and arm muscles engaged in whole-body push movements.

What should push vs pull ratio be? ›

In general, we recommend a 1:2 push to pull ratio. Simply put this means that for every push movement (i.e.- bench press) you should be doing twice as many pulls (bent over row, pull downs, etc.).

What exercises are on pull day? ›

Mix them into your current pull day and see the difference they can have on your physique.
  • Pull-Ups. The pull-up is one of the most effective exercises for building a thick and wide back. ...
  • Deadlifts. ...
  • Lat Pulldowns. ...
  • Barbell Rows. ...
  • Dumbbell Rows. ...
  • Pullovers. ...
  • Dumbbell Shrugs. ...
  • Face Pulls.
May 6, 2022

Are hip thrusts push or pull? ›

In a hip thrust, you push through your lower body (more on the specific muscles it lights up in a sec) to lift your hips (and potentially a weight) up into a bridge position. The goal: To build lower-body strength and muscle.

Are skull crushers push or pull? ›

The skull crusher is a push exercise that isolates the triceps brachii, working it from the elbow up to the latissimus dorsi muscle of the back. 2 The triceps brachii contains three heads, which you can target by doing various lying triceps extension variations.

Should I do pull day after push day? ›

However, you don't have to regiment your workouts with an all-push workout one day, then an all-pull routine the next day. You can choose from a variety of ways to approach a push-pull workout routine: Upper/lower: Do a push-pull upper body day followed by a push-pull lower body day.

Is it OK to do triceps on pull day? ›

Can You Train Triceps On Pull Day? You can train triceps on pull day. The advantage is that you get a greater training frequency for the triceps. While training frequency alone may not enhance the muscle-building response, volume with a high level of effort does.

Should I do triceps on push day? ›

An effective push day routine should include a variety of exercises that specifically target your chest, shoulders, and triceps. In this article, we're going to introduce you to what we believe to be the 10 best push day exercises. Performing these exercises correctly will transform your upper body.

How do you structure a pull day workout? ›

Pull Day 1
  1. Barbell Deadlift. 4 warmup sets, culminating in a set of 5 reps at 80 percent of your 1RM.
  2. Chest-Supported Row. 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps. ...
  3. Dumbbell Pullover. ...
  4. Dumbbell High Pull. ...
  5. Biceps Chin Curl and Overhead Triceps Extension (Superset) ...
  6. Angels and Devils. ...
  7. Snatch Grip Deadlift. ...
  8. Weighted Pullup.
Apr 27, 2021

What does a good pull day look like? ›

The Best Dumbbell Pull Workout at Home

One-Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min rest. Dumbbell Pullover: 3 sets of 8-to-10 reps with 2-to-3 min rest. Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raise: 3 sets of 8-to-10 reps with 2-to-3 min rest. Alternating Biceps Curl: 3 sets of 8-to-10 reps with 2-to-3 min rest.

Are abs considered push or pull? ›

Because abs are used in both pushing and pulling actions, they can be trained several times per week – just choose different exercises for each session. You could also try splitting your midsection routine into abdominal and core workouts, training abs on pull day and doing core strengthening on push day.

Are split squats push or pull? ›

“The knee of the rear leg is in a vulnerable position at the bottom of a Bulgarian split squat, so it's important to ensure you push only with the grounded foot,” Worthington says. “A good tip is to position your head and barbell in line with the middle of the front foot.”

Is A squat a push or pull? ›

Examples of push exercises are push-ups, squats, and the shoulder press. A pull workout is the exact opposite. Pull exercises are those where the muscles contract when weight is being pulled towards your body, meaning the work is done when the muscle shortens.

Is it OK to do 2 pull days in a row? ›

It's perfectly fine to train the same muscle group or perform the same exercise(s) multiple days in a row. Just note that you'll need to build up a tolerance for back-to-back training.

Is a 6 day PPL split too much? ›

For beginners, PPL twice a week can be too much and can even lead to injury. What is this? However, intermediate or advanced lifters can see benefits in the twice per week (6-day) routine. In fact, research shows that twice per week training can be more beneficial than once per week in terms of muscle growth.

How many times a week should I do pull day? ›

"If you're balancing out your strength training with things like yoga, Pilates, running, or other activities, one push and one pull day per week will be enough to see progress." However, if you're really focusing on strength-training, it's great if you can hit push and pull twice per week, each.

Is 4 sets of 5 pull-ups good? ›

However, fit and active men should be able to do at least 4 to 8 pull-ups in one set. Fit and active women should be able to do at least 1 to 3 pull-ups in one set. Any number above 8 for men and 3 for women is very good. You are in the highest percentile if you can do 12 to 15 pull-ups or more with good form.

Why are pull exercises harder than push? ›

The back muscles that are involved in every pulling movement are much larger than our pushing muscles (just think about the size of your lats compared to the size of your chest), so it makes sense to me that we are stronger at pulling.

Why can bodybuilders not do pull ups? ›

A bodybuilder or powerlifter at the higher levels are usually too massively muscles to be able to perform pull ups with straining their shoulder joints or muscles.

Are pushups pull or push? ›

How do they differ? The main difference between push-ups and pull-ups is push-ups are an upper body pressing movement targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Pull-ups are an upper-body pulling movement targeting the lats and biceps. There's no need to pick one or the other.

What muscles are push vs pull? ›

In sum, a push workout is one that targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps, while a pull workout targets the back and biceps. The benefit of a push-pull routine is that it allows you to rest one set of muscles, which aids in recovery and muscle growth.

Do bodybuilders do push pull? ›

The push / pull / legs split is one of the oldest and most effective training splits ever invented. Many of the world's greatest bodybuilders and powerlifters use this split to build muscle mass and strength.

How many push is average? ›

Average: 55-74 push-ups. Good: 75-99 push-ups. Excellent: 100-110 push-ups. Extraordinary: 111 or more.

How many pull ups is optimal? ›

Pepper those small sets throughout your routine—a single pullup in between sets of every other exercise in your routine is a good way to approach it. Aim for 25 to 50 total pullups, three days a week (25 reps if you're a beginner).

Why is it called push and pull day? ›

What is 'Push, Pull, Legs'? It's a full-body training split that's designed to build muscle in almost every single muscle group by following a simple format: on a certain day of the week, you only train either upper-body pushing muscles (push), upper-body pulling muscles (pull), or your entire lower-body (legs).

Is Bench Press A push or pull? ›

Upper-body push movements work the chest, shoulders and triceps, and include exercises such as bench presses, shoulder presses, push-ups, and tricep push-downs. Lower-body push exercises include exercises such as squats, leg presses, and lunges.

What are push movements? ›

Push exercises are those in which you are either pushing an object away from your body (like a bench press in which you press the barbell off your chest) or pushing against something (like in a push-up, where you're pressing against the floor).

How do you organize push and pull days? ›

For example, let's say on day one you train back squats on a push day. Day two you train bent over rows for pulling. The third day you train front squats, and the last day you deadlift. While those movements all target push and pulling muscles, they all equally demand the lower back to be strong and stable.

Are chest flys push or pull? ›

Push Day – Chest Presses (Horizontal), Chest Flys, Shoulder Presses (Vertical) and Triceps Extension/Press Movements. Pull Day – Low/Medial Rows (Horizontal), High-Rows (Vertical), Shoulder Accessories (Lateral/Front Raises & Transverse Abduction for Rear Deltoids), as well as Bicep Curls.

Is chest and triceps push or pull? ›

Triceps are a pushing muscle and are typically trained on an upper body pressing day. The pressing muscles consist of the chest (or pecs), shoulders (front deltoids), and triceps. In contrast, the pulling muscles are the lats, rear deltoids, rhomboids, traps, and biceps.

How many pushups a day to build muscle? ›

Ideally, you should try to do 3 sets of 12 reps each day. This will help you gain muscle strength. If you want to gain benefit from this form of exercise then do it in the right way. Performing the wrong form of exercise will not benefit you anyway.

What is a good push day? ›

What Are Some Push Day Exercises?
  • Push-up. Assume a high-plank position with your feet together, your body straight from head to heels, and your hands in line with (but slightly wider than) your shoulders. ...
  • Shoulder press. ...
  • Dumbbell bench press. ...
  • Dumbbell chest fly. ...
  • Dumbbell overhead triceps extension. ...
  • Dumbbell lateral raise.

How do you structure a push day? ›

The Best Push Day Workout Routine

Standing Barbell Overhead Press: 3 sets of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min rest. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min rest. Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise: 3 sets of 6-to-8 reps with 2-to-3 min rest. Triceps Pushdown: 3 sets of 6-to-8 reps with 2-to-3 min rest.

What are 5 examples of push? ›

  • Closing the door.
  • Pushing the table.
  • Pushing the brakes of a car.
  • Pushing off the thumb pins.
  • Pushing a plug inside the socket.

What order should I do my pull day? ›

With that in mind, here's the best pull workout routine:
  1. Barbell Deadlift: 3 sets of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min rest.
  2. One-Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min rest.
  3. Pull-up: 3 sets of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min rest.
  4. Alternating Dumbbell Curl: 3 sets of 6-to-8 reps with 2-to-3 min rest.

What is the best 4 day workout split? ›

  • Monday: Chest/Triceps. Tuesday: Off. Wednesday: Quads/ Hams. Thursday: Shoulders/Triceps. Friday: Off. ...
  • Monday: Quads/Hamstrings. Tuesday: Chest/Triceps. Wednesday: Off. Thursday: Off. Friday: Back/Traps/Calves. ...
  • Monday: Chest/Biceps/Abs. Tuesday: Quads/Hams/Abs. Wednesday: Off. Thursday: Shoulders/Triceps. Friday: Off.


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