Wellness Warrior

The Only Push Day Workout You Need To Build Muscle.

When I first started taking my workouts seriously, I had no idea that there was a definite push and pull day. I still forget from time to time because most days, getting in a workout seems to be a luxury. A push day workout consists of all the exercises that need a push movement to do but with so many exercises and variations out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. The good news is no more guessing because I’m going to share my best pull day workout exercises that you’ll love doing!

It’s important to note that using dumbbells and doing targeted exercises won’t cause you to gain intense muscles and look “bulky”, to lose weight effectively and look more toned with a lean physique, you need to do weighted exercises to see the best results.

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What is a push day workout?

Getting into all the different aspects of a good workout can be really overwhelming and you might not always know where to start or even what to do. The first step is to have targeted workouts that focus on certain muscle groups in a single session. When you have a push day, you’ll target muscles like your chest, shoulders, and triceps, which are used when you bench press, overhead press, and push objects away from your body.

I like doing my push day workout and pull exercises in one day because I don’t always have time to do two upper body days in a single week. Find a routine that works for you and your body and keep in mind that everyone is different. Listen to your body and train accordingly.

The best push day workout you can do at home or in the gym.

The great thing about this push day workout is that you can do it pretty much anywhere and still see muscle growth and the results you need. I don’t have the time to hit the gym, so all my workouts are done at home with dumbbells. Working out doesn’t have to be challenging, make it fit into your life and not the other way around. Using a fitness journal also really helps keep track of your goals and workouts you’ve enjoyed. You’ve got this, and having the world at your fingertips helps!

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Chest Press.

This exercise would most commonly be referred to as a Bench Press, but because I’m focusing on exercises you can do at home, we’ll go with a chest press. Ideally, it would be great if you could do this exercise on a surface where your elbows can go past your shoulders on the way down for a more targeted workout, but you can do them from the floor as well and see the same results. Chest presses primarily focus on your chest, shoulders and triceps and will help build muscle in your upper body.

To do a chest press on the floor, begin by laying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a barbell or dumbbells directly above your chest with arms fully extended, palms facing away from you. Lower the weights towards your chest in a controlled manner, keeping your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body. Aim to lower the weights until they lightly touch your chest. Press the weights back up to the starting position, fully extending your arms without locking out your elbows. Focus on squeezing your chest muscles at the top of the movement.

Try doing 8-12 reps and repeat for 3 sets.

Dumbbell Flyes.

Unlike some of the other compound exercises, dumbbell flyes isolate your chest muscles (pectoralis major), making this a more targeted exercise push day exercise. If a lean physique is what you’re going for, this exercise is perfect! When doing this exercise, keep your elbows slightly bent to avoid any unnecessary strain on your joints which can lead to an injury. Use weights that are in line with your fitness goals and avoid starting too heavy and rather work your way up. Everyone has to start somewhere and there is no shame in that. A few months down the road you won’t believe how far you’ve come!

To do dumbbell flyes, Begin by lying flat on the floor, feet planted firmly on the ground for stability. Hold a pair of dumbbells directly above your chest with your arms fully extended, palms facing each other. With a slight bend in your elbows, lower the dumbbells out to the sides in a wide arc motion. Lower the dumbbells until you feel a comfortable stretch in your chest muscles. If you’re on an elevated surface, avoid lowering the weights too far down, as this can place excessive stress on the shoulder joints. Engage your chest muscles to bring the dumbbells back to the starting position, squeezing them together at the top of the movement to maximize contraction.

Try doing 8-12 reps and repeat for 3 sets.

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Push Up.

You knew this one was coming your way! Push ups are a great compound exercise because it targets multiple muscle groups in a single movement. Push ups work the muscles in your chest, triceps, shoulders and core. I used to hate push ups, but now they aren’t too bad. I still prefer to do the knees-on-the-ground version, because that’s what works for me and there’s no shame! Does it make me weaker than the person doing them old-school style? Not at all. You need to take care of your body the best way you know how. There are a few different variations you can try to target different muscle groups as well.

To do a push up, start in a plank position with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your arms fully extended. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels, engaging your core muscles for stability. Lower your body towards the ground by bending your elbows, keeping them close to your sides. Lower yourself until your chest nearly touches the ground, or you reach a comfortable depth. Press through your palms to extend your arms and return to the starting position, keeping your body in a straight line throughout the movement.

Try doing 10 reps for 3 sets.

Variations you can try for different muscle engagement:

  • Diamond push up: This variation is great for changing the focus of your push up to your triceps while still working your chest, shoulders and core muscles.
  • Spiderman push up: Adding in the leg movement changes the focus of the exercise to your obliques and core stability while still working your main push up muscles.
  • Handstand push up: This variation focuses on your shoulder and triceps while still engaging your chest and core muscles. When done without support, stability also comes into play.
  • Incline push up: This variation shifts the focus to your lower chest muscles as well as all other push up muscles workes.
  • Decline push up: This variation moves to the upper chest muscles and all other associated push up muscles.

Tricep Dips.

I have a love-hate relationship with tricep dips. They hurt so bad, but they look so good when they start working. Tricep dips mainly focus on your tricep and shoulders during your push day workout. Although not one of the main muscles, your core does get in quite a workout as long as you keep it engaged throughout the movement.

To do tricep dips, start by positioning yourself on a sturdy bench or chair. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the edges of the bench, palms facing downwards, and extend your legs out in front of you. Lower your body by bending your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the ground, or you feel a comfortable stretch in your triceps. Keep your back straight and your elbows close to your body throughout the movement. Press through your palms to extend your arms and return to the starting position, fully straightening your elbows without locking them out. Exhale as you push up, focusing on squeezing your triceps at the top of the movement.

Try doing 8 – 12 reps for 3 sets.

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Side Raises.

Side raises are also commonly referred to as Lateral Raises, but I prefer calling them side raises to make things easier. This push day exercise strongly focuses on your shoulders, to define and strengthen them. These little bad boys have always been my worst enemy. Thanks to all the aerial sports I’ve done, my shoulders have taken quite a knock and this exercise tends to put a lot of strain on my shoulders. If you have any sort of shoulder injury, rather stick to lighter weights to avoid aggravating the injury any further.

To do side raises, start by standing tall with a dumbbell in each hand, arms by your sides, and palms facing your body. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows throughout the exercise to reduce strain on the joints. Keeping your core engaged and your back straight, slowly lift the dumbbells out to the sides until your arms are parallel to the ground. Avoid using momentum or swinging the weights, focusing on using the lateral deltoids to lift the dumbbells. With control, lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, maintaining tension in the lateral deltoids throughout the movement.

Try doing 8 – 12 reps for 3 sets.

Shoulder Press.

This exercise is great for your shoulders and has so many different variations you can do to spice up your push day workout like doing an arnold press instead of just the regular shoulder press. Make sure to use weights that are in line with your fitness level and work yourself upwards. Make sure to try some of these variations, they work really well and engage so many different muscles.

To do a shoulder press, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height. Your palms should be facing forward, and your elbows should be slightly in front of the body. Press the weight overhead by extending your arms, exhaling as you push. Keep your core engaged and avoid arching your back excessively. As you press the weight overhead, ensure that your arms fully extend but avoid locking out the elbows. With control, lower the weight back to the starting position, inhaling as you do so. Maintain a slight bend in your knees and keep your core engaged throughout the movement to provide stability.

Try doing 8 – 12 reps for 3 sets.

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Skull Crushers.

They are not are dangerous as they sound, so don’t shy away too quickly! They are basically lying tricep extensions made to sound all fancy. This push day exercise works the triceps, forearms, chest and shoulders and is a great way to work towards the lean physique you want. Make sure to use dumbbells that align with your fitness level. I always suggest starting lighter and working your way up, rather than using a weight that is too heavy and causing an injury.

To do a skull crusher, lie flat on the floor pair of dumbbells held directly above your chest, arms fully extended. Your palms should be facing away from you, and your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your elbows stationary and your upper arms perpendicular to the floor, slowly lower the weight towards your forehead by bending your elbows. Aim to lower the weight until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle or slightly lower, feeling a stretch in your triceps.

Engage your triceps to extend your arms and press the weight back up to the starting position, fully extending your elbows without locking them out. Exhale as you push the weight up, focusing on squeezing your triceps at the top of the movement.

Try doing 8-10 reps for 3 sets.

How to put these push day exercises into a full workout routine.

I am a huge fan of using my exercises in super sets. What that means is doing two different exercises in a single rep. I find that this helps me get through my workout more efficiently and keeps me motivated by being able to alternate between exercises and not tiring out one single muscle group at a given time. Here’s an example of how an at home push day workout would look for me, from warm up to cool down!

Warm Up:

30 Seconds – Walking on the spot

20 Seconds – Jumping Jacks

30 Seconds – Small jumps/ jump rope

20 Seconds – High knees

20 Seconds – Arm Circles Forward

20 Seconds – Arm Circles Backward

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Push Day Workout:

10 x Chest Presses

10 x Tricep Dips

Repeat for 3 sets.

10 x Dumbbell Flyes

10 x Side Raises

Repeat for 3 sets.

10 x Shoulder Press

10 x Offset Push Ups (one hand slightly elevated, 5 per side.)

Repeat for 3 sets.

10 x Skull Crushers

10 x Front Raises

Repeat for 3 sets.

Remember to do a proper cool down and stretch your muscles afterward. It’s so easy to put together a push day workout at home if you just know what you need to do. Don’t underestimate yourself. You’ve got this!


There you have it – the only push day workout you need to build muscle effectively. Remember to prioritize proper form and technique when you are lifting heavy weights, and always listen to your body to prevent injury. Consistency is key when it comes to seeing results, so aim to this this workout or one you’ve put together yourself at least once or twice a week as part of your workout routine. Combined with a healthy diet, enough sleep and proper hydration, you’ll be well on your way to your lean physique! Remember to take it one day at a time, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Happy Training,

Your Wellness Warrior!

5 thoughts on “The Only Push Day Workout You Need To Build Muscle.”

  1. Such a simple set of exercises even I can do at home. Thank you for describing the concept of a ‘push day’ – very informative.

  2. Pingback: The Best Lean Muscle Exercises At Home.

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