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Last issue we gave you the ‘PUSH’ workout, now we bring you the ‘PULL’ element of the PUSH-PULL series. 

Although there are many different ways to pair muscle groups for each session, a PUSH-PULL split is known to bodybuilders as one of the more effective methods. It means that training the body is broken down into a push day, for training the ‘pushing’ muscles (such as chest, shoulders and tris), and a pull day for working the ‘pulling’ muscles (such as back, bis and forearms). You can even go so far as to break it down further and keep legs as a separate session – which will allow for even greater intensity. If you missed the ‘PUSH’ workout, make sure to grab a copy of Men’s Muscle & Health issue 8 by visiting or scan the QR code for a free digital copy. 

This ‘PULL’ workout can be performed up to three times a week, incorporating the ‘PUSH’ workout on the alternate days. Mix up the routine by including different exercises that also comprise a pulling movement such as lat pull-downs, wrist curls or chin-ups. 



Target Muscles: Full body (specifically legs and back)

Set-up: Load the barbell with the desired resistance. While keeping the back as straight as possible, bend your knees, bend forward and grab the bar with your hands at shoulder width-apart and an overhand grip.

Action: While holding the bar, start the lift by pushing with your legs while simultaneously getting your torso to the upright position. In the upright position, stick your chest out and contract the back by bringing the shoulder blades back. Go back to the starting position by bending at the knees while simultaneously leaning the torso forward. Keep your back straight at all times. 



Target Muscles:Middle back and bis, lats and shoulders

Set-up:Using a seated row machine, grab a V-bar with a neutral grip and palms facing each other.  Keeping your knees slightly bent, pull back (hinging at hips). Keep your chest proud and arms extended. 

Action: Keeping your back slightly arched, pull the handles towards your torso until the V-bar touches you abs. At this point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard.  Slowly go back to starting position and repeat.



Target Muscles:Lower back

Set-up: Using a V-bar attachment on a high cable pulley, grab the V-bar with the palms facing together. Keep your arms fully extended. 

Action: Keeping your chest proud and a slight arch in your lower back, bring the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. The forearms should do no other work except for holding the bar.  After a second in the contracted position, while squeezing your shoulder blades together, slowly raise the bar back to the starting position where your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.  



Target muscles: Biceps

Set-up: Stand up straight with a dumbbell in one hand at arm's length. Keep your elbow close to your torso and rotate the palm of your hand until it is facing forward.

Action: Keeping the upper arm stationary, curl the weight while contracting your biceps. Continue to raise the weight until your biceps is fully contracted and the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a brief pause as you squeeze your biceps. Lower the dumbbell back to the starting position and repeat with the opposite arm. 




Target muscles: Biceps

Set-up: Stand up straight, holding a barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart and palms facing up . Keep your elbow close to your torso.

Action: Keeping the upper arms stationary, curl the weight with both arms while contracting your biceps. Continue to raise the weight until your biceps is fully contracted and the bar is at shoulder level. Hold the contracted position for a brief pause before lowering the bar back down. 




Target Muscles:Rear delts

Set-up:  Holding dumbbells in both hands with your palms facing each other, lay down on an incline bench, arms extended to the floor. 

Action: Arc your hands out to the sides so that your arms are at shoulder height, contracting your rear delts as you do so.  Keep your arms slightly bent throughout the movement, with all of the motion occurring at the shoulder joint. Slowly return to the starting position.  

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