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The Ultimate Push Day Workout Guide + 7 Best Exercises

Written by the Boostcamp staff
Last Updated: Oct 22,20227 min read

What is push day?

Push day is a workout that focuses on building strength and muscle in the chest, shoulders, and triceps. It is typically one of the day in a 3 day in a push pull legs ("PPL") split routine.

What is a PPL routine?

A PPL routine is a type of training program that divides up the body into three different muscle groups

  1. Pushing muscles

  2. Pulling muscles

  3. Leg muscles

Each group is trained on separate days, with a focus on strength and hypertrophy. This type of training allows you to hit each muscle group with maximum intensity and frequency and can be done as a 3 or 6 day per week workout.

In this article, we'll give you a step-by-step guide to doing a push day workout, as well as 7 of the most effective exercises you can do to build muscle. So if you're ready to get started, let's go!

Workout plans & routines that use the PPL structure

There are dozens of proven workout plans available on Boostcamp, many of which use the PPL split structure. Below are a list of our most popular routines:

7 most effective push exercises

Dumbbell bench press - This is a great exercise for building strength and mass in your chest muscles. To do a chest press, lie on your back on a weight bench or other sturdy surface, with a dumbbell in each hand. Then, slowly extend both arms up so that they are directly over your chest. Hold the position for 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower your arms back down. Repeat this movement 10-15 times.

Barbell bench - Press This variation of the bench press allows you to lift a heavier weight, making it a great choice for building strength and mass in your chest muscles. To do a barbell bench press, set up a weight bench with the barbell on top of it. Then, lie down on the bench so that your back is flat and your feet are firmly planted on the ground. Pick up the barbell and hold it just above your chest with your arms extended straight, using a grip that is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Then, slowly lower the weight down until it almost touches your chest, and then push back up to starting position. Repeat this movement 10-15 times.

Dumbbell shoulder press - This exercise targets the shoulders and helps build strength in that area. To do a shoulder press, hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, slowly lift both weights up to your shoulders, keeping your arms bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold for 1-2 seconds, then lower back down. Repeat 10-15 times.

Triceps extension - This exercise helps build strength and mass in the triceps area of your arm. To do a triceps extension, hold a dumbbell or weight plate with both hands behind your head, keeping your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Then, extend your arms straight up until they are directly over your head. Hold for 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower back down. Repeat 10-15 times.

Side lateral raises - This exercise is great for building mass and definition in your shoulders. To do side lateral raises, hold a light dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, raise both arms out to the sides until they are at shoulder height, keeping your palms facing forward. Hold for 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower

Dips - This exercise is one of the most effective ways to build strength and mass in your triceps. To do a dip, you will need an elevated surface such as a bench or chair that you can hold onto with both hands. Then, slowly lower yourself down until your arms are straight, then press back up. Repeat 10-15 times.

Tricep push down - This exercise is another great way to strengthen and build mass in the triceps area. To do a tricep push down, grip either a weight cable or bar with both hands and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, slowly pull the cable or bar down so that your arms are behind your head, keeping them straight. Hold for 1-2 seconds, then release and repeat.

Sample push day workout routine

The first step to doing a push day workout is to choose several different exercises that you can do for each muscle group. Some of the most popular exercises for building strength and size in your chest, shoulders, and triceps include:

1. Bench press - Classic compound exercise that works your chest and triceps by pushing a barbell off your chest. Perform 3 sets of 8 - 12 reps each.

2. Incline bench press - This variation of the bench press allows you to isolate your upper chest by lifting a weight off at an angle. Do 2 sets of 8 - 10 reps each.

3. Barbell shoulder press - This exercise targets the shoulders by lifting overhead. Perform 3 sets of 8 - 12 reps each.

4. Lateral raise - This exercise works your shoulders by lifting a weight out to the side. Aim for 2 sets of 12 - 15 reps each.

5. Triceps rope extension - This exercise targets your triceps by pushing a weight down from above your head. Perform 3 sets of 8 - 12 reps each.

How many exercises should I do for push day?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as the number of exercises that you should do for push day will depend on a variety of factors, including your training experience, caloric intake, overall workout routine. You may want to start with doing 3-5 exercises on push day, starting on compound movements such as dumbbell bench press, barbell bench press, dumbbell shoulder press and followed by some accessory triceps exercises such as triceps extension, triceps push down.

Last words

If you want to build strength and mass in your chest, shoulders, triceps, or other areas of your arms, try incorporating some of these effective push exercises into your workout routine. Whether you use weights, cables, or a barbell, these movements are sure to help you reach your goals and achieve the toned and muscular arms, chest and shoulders you desire. So why wait? Start incorporating these push exercises into your workouts today and see the results for yourself!