The Push-Pull Workout For A Full Body Fat Burning Workout

Even out your pushes and pulls with this fat-burning, muscle-building, full-body workout. When you train, it’s tempting to do only your favourite strength exercises. But favouring only a few isolated, similar movements and neglecting opposing and complementary ones can create muscular imbalances.

Push exercises work the muscles you use to move weight away from your body, specifically the pectorals, triceps, fronts of the shoulders, and quadriceps. Pull exercises target the lats, biceps, hamstrings, and other muscles that enable you to bring the weight toward your body.

You can schedule your push and pull moves on separate training days, or tackle both types of movements in a single workout. The following workout, pairs push and pull movements in a superset format.

One superset couples a lower-body push with a lower-body pull; another pair an upper-body push with an upper-body pull; and a third incorporates core stability and conditioning. Core and conditioning work will help integrate the upper- and lower-body moves; plus, it adds a fat-burning boost by ramping up your heart rate.

Perform this full-body push–pull workout in three supersets. Complete the two movements in each superset for the prescribed number of repetitions or time, and then rest once you’ve finished both exercises.

Superset 1: Lower Body

Complete three or four rounds, resting 45 to 60 seconds between rounds.

Push: Goblet Squat

This squat variation is gentle on the back while working the quads and glutes.

How to:

  • Holding a kettlebell or dumbbell at your chest, stand with feet hip-width apart.
  • Push your butt back and bend your knees to lower yourself into a squat.
  • Keep your torso upright and knees in line with your toes throughout the movement.
  • Drive through your heels to push up as you rise to stand.
  • Perform 12 to 15 reps.


Pull: Romanian Dumbbell Deadlift

Home in on your hamstrings and focus on proper hinge technique.

How to:

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms hanging straight in front of your body.
  • Push your butt back to hinge at the hips, allowing the weights to lower as you keep them close to your body.
  • Lower the weights until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings and your hips no longer move backward.
  • Squeeze your glutes as you return to the starting position.
  • Perform 12 to 15 reps.


Superset 2: Upper Body

Complete three or four rounds, resting 45 to 60 seconds between rounds.

Push: Dumbbell Bench Press

Target your chest, triceps, and shoulders with this classic upper-body strength builder.

How to:

  • Lie face-up on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, positioned at chest height.
  • Press the dumbbells straight up toward the ceiling.
  • Lower the weights with control until your elbows dip just below the height of the bench.
  • Keep your arms close to your body and your feet planted throughout the movement.
  • Perform 12 to 15 reps.


Pull: Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

Build upper-back strength and counteract the hours you spend slouching at your desk.

How to:

  • With a dumbbell in each hand, hinge at the hips so your chest is about 45 degrees from the floor.
  • Draw your shoulder blades together and bend your elbows toward your hips to pull the dumbbells toward your rib cage.
  • Lower the weights with control until your arms are straight.
  • Perform 12 to 15 reps.


Superset 3: Core and Conditioning

Complete three to five rounds, resting 30 to 45 seconds between rounds.

Core: Wide Straight-Legged Sit-Ups

Build core strength across a full range of motion by straightening your legs.

How to:

  • Lie flat on your back with legs extended in a wide V; reach your arms toward the ceiling.
  • Engage your core as you sit up tall, keeping your legs on the floor and extending your arms straight ahead.
  • Lower slowly back down to the floor.
  • Perform as many good-form reps as possible in 60 seconds.


Conditioning: Dumbbell Thrusters

This move will get your heart pumping and work your upper and lower body.

How to:

  • Hold two dumbbells at shoulder height, then squat down as low as you comfortably can.
  • Use the power of your hips and glutes to explode back to standing, pressing the dumbbells overhead in one fluid motion.
  • Lower the weights and repeat for as many good-form reps as possible in 60 seconds.


Build Your Own Push-Pull Workout

Using the push–pull workout as a template, you can build your own supersets by subbing in other moves that fall under the same category.

Lower-Body Pushes

  • Goblet Squat
  • Back Squat
  • Glute Bridge
  • Leg Press
  • Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Forward Lunge

Lower-Body Pulls

  • Good Morning
  • Fire Hydrant
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Leg Curl
  • Reverse Lunge
  • Single-Leg Deadlift

Upper-Body Pushes

  • Push-up
  • Chest Press
  • Dips
  • Overhead Press
  • Chest Flye
  • Tricep Extension


Upper-Body Pulls

  • Pull-Up
  • Bent-Over Row
  • Shoulder Shrug
  • Rear Delt Flye
  • Biceps Curl
  • Lat Pull-down