The Best Push-Day Workout
When you want to create a resistance workout that challenges your body, there are two standard choices: pushing or pulling. Today, the focus will be on pushing exercises for the gym or your home. Below are my favorites which will cover your chest, shoulders, triceps, quadriceps and calves. You can choose either bodyweight, free weights or resistance bands to challenge yourself. The goal is to do three sets of 10-12 repetitions for each exercise.
Shoulder exercises: For the overhead press, use either bodyweight or free weights to perform an overhead press. Hands are on top of shoulders with or without weights, then push upward towards the ceiling. For the frontal raise: Use bodyweight or free weights to bring arms straight out from the body to the shoulder.
Chest exercises: For the chest press, use either bodyweight or free weights by lying on a bench. Bring both arms straight up and push to the ceiling. For a pushup, the variations could be on the floor, or against a box or wall. Keep your arms tucked in at the sides of your body to push away from the surface and keep your backside even with your body.
Triceps: There are three effective exercises that you can do to tone and strengthen your arms. Triceps overhead extensions can be performed with bodyweight or free weights with arms behind your head. Bend and straighten the arms either together or separately. Triceps dips: These can be performed on a box or chair with hands behind you. Dip yourself into a seated position and push back up with your arms. For added intensity, you can add a weight plate or a set of free weights in your lap. Triceps pushdown: These can be done with resistance bands looped around a bar and take the handles to push the ends down with horizontal positioning.
Quadriceps: When doing lunges, you can step forward with bodyweight or free weights. You can also do reverse lunges or even side-to-side lunges. Squats can be performed by having feet hip-distance apart and sitting back in your heels. If you want to target where your backside is going, have a bench or chair behind you and pretend you are going to sit down. Leg press is something you can use at the gym. This is a common and popular piece of equipment in the gym, and for good reason. You can tone your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves at the same time. Just make sure your position is low enough to get a decent range of motion and with your heels, push away from the plate.
Leg extension: The focus is on quadriceps only if you want more toning here. Calf raises: You can use either the leg press machine by taking your heels off the back of the leg plate and raising up on your toes to strengthen your calves. You can also use the dedicated calf-strengthening machine in the weight room or use a step bench. Standing up on the bench with one leg pointed downward, lift on your toes and back down with your heel coming down below the step.
Pushing exercises are a great focus for two to three days a week. Continue this focus consistently and you will see the difference in a few weeks to months’ time.
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