The Push-Pull Workout Beginners Need to Build Strength
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DEKAFIT is the ultimate indoor fitness competition. And DEKA Zone 7: The AirBike is all about push-pull strength.
Because, no, with the AirBike, you’re not just pedaling. Instead, you’re pumping the handlebars with every pedal stroke. As you press the bar forward, you build your chest, triceps, and shoulder muscles. As you pull the bar toward you, you strengthen your back, biceps, and rear delts.
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Plus, you do both moves simultaneously: You push through one arm while pulling through the other, explains Yancy Culp, DEKAFIT’s Sport Development Program Manager. This unilateral movement pattern creates trunk rotation to work the core and target the transverse abdominals and obliques. Core strength and stability is the foundation of every push and pull (whether you’re moving a sandbag, barbell, or your bodyweight).
To take your push-pull training even further—and best prepare you for DEKAFIT—try this interval workout from Culp. It contains two sets that you’ll perform back-to-back with minimal rest. You’ll perform the first on the AirBike, then dismount for 10 rounds of push-ups and rows.
Related: The 7-Day Push-Up / Pull-Up Challenge to Build Serious Upper-Body Strength
The Push-Pull Workout Routine to Cultivate Serious Upper-Body Strength
Here’s how it works:
2 minutes of easy effort (aim for 25 calories)
1 minute of high effort (aim for 25 calories)
Note: “Stay honest with your efforts. Easy should feel easy and during high efforts, you need to be dropping the hammer hard,” he says.
Related: The RAM Roller Lunge: 5 Steps to Crush It Every Time
Strength Set (10 Sets)
Push-Up (1 rep)
Bent-Over Single-Arm Dumbbell Row (1 rep per side)
Note: With both moves, prioritize strict form and a braced core, keeping your spine in neutral alignment.
Related: DEKAFIT ZONE 1: Spartan RAM Alternating Reverse Lunge
Rest for two minutes, then repeat everything for a total of six rounds. With each round, drop the length of your AirBike intervals.