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Push-Pull Programs
3rd Mar


Finding the best program for you is the hardest part of training.

The are endless programming ideas and philosophies out there. In order to maintain balance through joints while also focusing on sports specific movements is the most important thing to remember. One way of achieving this, is through a push-pull program.

As the name suggests, a push-pull program focuses on exercises that are pushing movements mixed with pulling movements. Again, there are many ways to complete this;

  1. Single exercises- one exercise is a push, the second exercise is a pull, third exercise a push, fourth exercise is a pull, etc. until your desired number of exercises are completed. This could be done for the whole body (good for beginners), upper body or lower body.
  2. Super set exercises- Exercise A is a push exercise and exercise B is a pull exercise. Complete a set of A, then immediately follow it with a set of B, before your rest period.
  3. Lower body power, then upper body push-pull. Complete you lower body exercises for strength and power, then complete an upper body push-pull series to complete your workout.

These examples are ways of targeting movements depending on what you are training for. They do not have to be muscle group related, or even opposite movements, however, across a whole program; balance across the joints needs to be ensured.

What does it look like?

Pushing Pulling
Upper DB or BB Bench Press

DB or BB Shoulder press



Triceps Pressdown

Push Press


Bench Pull


Bicep Curls

Rear Delts



Lower Squats


Leg Press

Leg Extension

Step Ups

Knee Lifts

Calf Raises

Glute Bridges



Leg Curls

Reverse Hyperextenions

Good Mornings

Back Extensions

KB Swings



Whole Body Program for Hypertrophy (Intermediate/Advanced):

Exercise Sets x Reps Movement Type
1. Bench Press 4 x 6 Push
2. Romanian DL 3 x 6 Pull
3. BB Push Press 4 x 6-8 Push
4. Bench Pull or Row 4 x 6-8 Pull
5. Squats 3 x 10-12 Push
6. Chin Ups 4 x 8,8,8,max Pull


Whole Body Program for Adaptation (Beginners):

Exercise Sets x Reps Movement Type
1. Pull Ups 2 x 10-12 Pull
2. Step Ups 2 x 8/leg Push
3. Swiss Ball Leg Curls 2 x 15 Pull
4. Push Ups 2 x 10-12 Push
5. Lat Pulldown 2 x 10-12 Pull
5. DB Shoulder Press 2 x 10-12 Push

Whole Body Strength/Power (Advanced):

Exercise Sets x Reps Movement Type
1. Cleans 4 x 3 Pull
2. Squats 4 x 5 Push
3A. Bench Press

3B. Seated Row

3 x 6

3 x 6



4A. Chin Ups

4B. Dips

3 x 8

3 x 12




Remember, there are endless combinations to this type of programming. It is important to find a method that suits you are where you are up to in your season. Read the following article, for more information about building programs.

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