4-Day, Push-Pull Workout for Strength, Endurance, and More (Part 1 of 4)

BY Marc Miller TIMESeptember 12, 2016 PRINT

These push and pull workouts will enhance your performance, both in sports and in real life. They will help build total body strength, power, and endurance, and facilitate fat loss.

The opposition of push and pull in combination with the explosive, rotational, and bridging moves will work your whole body in a functional type of way, so chasing after kids or running up and down the subway steps will be easier.

The circuits are also designed to get your blood flowing between your upper and lower body, which helps drive metabolism and calorie burn.

There are two circuits per workout. Perform each circuit four times with a 45-second rest between each exercise.

These workouts are for people with intermediate to advanced fitness experience.

WOW_Push_Pull_Part1 (infographic)
(Infographic by Inga Longauerova/Epoch Times; Photo by Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Circuit 1

One-Arm Dumbbell Snatch

Whenever you’re lifting, especially if it’s a new exercise, go with a lighter weight. I suggest men start with 25 pounds and women start with 12 to 15 pounds.

  • Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Hold the dumbbell with an overhand grip.
  • Squat down with your back arched, and lower the dumbbell between your knees. Keep your arm straight and your shoulder over the dumbbell.
  • Pull the dumbbell up quickly by extending through your hips and knees.
  • The power for this exercise comes from this hip extension, and the force of this lift should cause you to jump upward and extend the body.
  • As you bring the dumbbell up, shrug your shoulders and pull with the arm. Allow your elbow to pull up to the side, keeping it over the dumbbell as long as possible.
  • When you lift the dumbbell over your head, aggressively pull your body under it.
  • While moving back into a squat position, duck under to catch the dumbbell at arm’s length above your head. Be sure your elbow is locked.
  • As soon as the dumbbell is caught on the locked-out arm in the squat position, squat up into standing, keeping the dumbbell overhead.
  • Do four sets of five per side. Rest for 45 seconds between each set.

Cable Rotation

  • Move the pulley to the middle of the cable tower or to shoulder height.
  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Holding the cable handle at shoulder level, rotate as far possible to your left until you feel the muscles in your back on the right side begin to stretch.
  • Then drive back in the other direction, keeping your arms extended. Keep rotating until you feel the cable wrap around the back of your shoulder.
  • Keep your feet stationary while returning the weight in a controlled manner. This exercise should have a swinging motion, like you are hitting a home run with a baseball bat.
  • Do four sets of 10 per side. Rest for 45 seconds between each set.

T Pushup Rotation

  • Get into a pushup position.
  • Lower into the pushup and drive back up to the side so that you finish on your right hand with the outside of your right foot on the ground. Your body should resemble the letter T, with both arms extended and your torso rigid and stable.
  • Repeat on the other side and then continue to alternate.
  • Do four sets of 10 (five reps per side). Rest for 45 seconds between each set.

Circuit 2

Barbell Push Press

  • Use an overhand grip to hold the bar at shoulder width. Bring the bar to shoulder height in front of your neck. Be sure to keep your body upright throughout the movement.
  • To start, dip down until you are at about a quarter-squat position. Then forcefully drive upward with your legs, using this momentum to drive the weight up over your head and slightly behind your ear line.
  • Your legs should be straight when the bar is locked overhead.
  • Do four sets of 10 per side. Rest for 45 seconds between each set.

Front Squat

  • Using one of the grips pictured, rest the bar on the front of your shoulders. The bar should be in contact with your neck.
  • Hold your elbows high in front to keep the bar in place.
  • Set your core by filling your chest with air and maintaining a tight vertical torso.
  • Descend as deep as possible into the squat by pushing your hips back. Keep your shin angle the same as your back angle in order to keep your heels flat.
  • Drive upward and exhale as you pass the halfway point during ascent.
  • Do four sets of 10 per side. Rest for 45 seconds between each set.

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

  • On an incline bench, using a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip, lower the weights until they are even with your outer chest.
  • Drive the weights up until the arms are fully extended. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
  • Do four sets of 10 per side. Rest for 45 seconds between each set.

Lying Dumbbell Skull-Crushes

  • Holding the dumbbells in a neutral hand grip, lie down face up on the floor or a bench.
  • Holding the weights in each hand, extend both arms overhead.
  • Lower the weights, keeping your elbows pointed straight up at the ceiling.
  • Tap the weights on the floor and then extend the arms back to the starting position.
  • Do 4 sets of 10. Rest for 45 seconds between each set.

Marc Miller is a New York state licensed physical education instructor, and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He has a master’s degree in physical education, biomechanics, and sport sciences. Marc has been a personal trainer for over 17 years. He currently trains clients at Independent Training Spot, which is located in Midtown Manhattan.



Marc Miller
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